Judicious police response (editorial)
London Community News
What a week it’s been in -London.
The Fleming Drive riot once again brought negative attention to our city, which has seen its fair share in the last year. A banana throwing incident, baseball team named after a serial killer, factory closings and now a gang of drunken rioters.
The actions of the local police have been heavily scrutinized. Some praise their rather passive approach on the night of the riot, others blame them for not taking a more aggressive stance or calling for reinforcements.
Unfortunately, in this case, the local force was caught between a rock and a hard place. Every move they tried to make resulted in more aggression by the crowd.
Had they started to get more physical, who knows what have happened? Yes, maybe the crowd would have dispersed after the batons, stun guns or other measures were used. On the other hand, the situation could have easily escalated, resulting in the police having to draw their guns.
A battlefield of wounded or dead young people or officers isn’t an outcome anybody wanted and no doubt would have resulted in even greater criticism and more media attention.
The following day London Police Chief Brad Duncan called the riot an act of “civil disobedience,” which wasn’t the case at all. An act of civil disobedience usually involves a peaceful protest over a refusal to comply with certain laws, principals or legislature – Occupy London being a good example. Occasionally violence happens but there’s usually an ideology at the root, which wasn’t the case here.
The Fleming Drive riot was nothing more than a bunch of young people who consumed too much alcohol and other substances and decided to cause chaos.
They need to be caught and punished but their actions had nothing to do with fighting for a perceived “greater good” for society.