Seeming to think that the nationwide protests over police brutality were actually a request for more of it, police around the country arrived at peaceful demonstrations Monday night clad in riot gear and bristling with shields, pepper spray and flash-bang grenade launchers. They fired tear gas into a crowd of protesters peacefully assembled outside the White House. They kettled more protesters in a small residential street elsewhere in D.C. and sprayed them with tear gas before residents offered them shelter. They continued dispensing gas and flash grenades, and the president cheered them on.

Seeming to think that the crowds pleading for police accountability were clamoring for the streets of American cities to be treated as a “battlespace” (Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s words), law enforcement hovered helicopters low over the streets of downtown Washignton, kicking up enormous gusts to get people to disperse. The president demanded that governors “dominate,” and volunteered to send in the military if they did not live up to his standards, as though this was what the people were pleading for.

And this followed a week in which police officers throughout the country must have been similarly bewildered by what protests against their abuses were seeking to point out; they responded to the gatherings by releasing tear gas, firing pepper balls and rubber bullets at journalists, and handcuffing black store owners flagging them down for help. Seemingly baffled why the German foreign minister would call the protests “understandable” and “more than legitimate,” police in Washington struck a reporter and a cameraman with a baton and a shield, police in Brooklyn drove an SUV into a crowd, and police in Salt Lake City pushed over a man with a cane. Laboring under the misapprehension that they were serving and protecting someone, they pulled down the mask of and pepper-sprayed a man protesting with his hands up.

Unable to comprehend what the crowds of people clearly demanding accountability after the killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and a miserable litany of others could possibly be demanding, police officers in Louisville fired into a crowd and killed barbecue restaurant owner David McAtee.

How monstrous they will feel when they realize what people were complaining about!

Imagine how hideous they will seem to themselves when they realize people were asking for them to stop.

And if they are not confused, I would hate to think what they were doing.

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