What an entity ought to do, is determined by what it is, or, in this context, what it ought to be. Properly, in a free society, a police force should and does protect man's rights (life, liberty, and property). However, America is no longer a free society, but a mixed economy, with the trend towards increased government controls, "that is, towards a dictatorship, America's police are caught in a deadly contradiction; should they enforce the immoral laws (those that initiate force against innocent citizens) along with the moral ones? As they become more and more a tool of the State, and less and less the protectors of man's rights, the police forces in our major cities become less and less well-staffed.
In any situation, including riots, the essential imperative should be "bring 'em in alive". The police should be taught and required to use non-lethal weapons where and when ever possible.
Predominantly, ghetto dwellers are not armed—they should be dealt with as such. There is no reason for the sickening spectacle of a twelve year old looter shot to death while attempting to escape; there are other ways to stop him.
Like: Liquid banana peel, which, when applied to asphalt or concrete turns the surface slick as glass. Placed in the path of retreating looters, and used in conjunction with barbed wire blockades, it would make capture a bloodless process. It is also an effective method of enforcing an automatic curfew.
Or: Warblers. Several years ago, two patrolmen broke up a dangerous mob by simply driving through it with the electronic siren on. Now available, is a medium intensity high frequency siren, guaranteed to scatter an angry mob in every direction, with their fingers in their ears. Correctly used, it causes no damage.
Or: Mace, a liquid tear gas, effective in controlling militant individuals.
Or: Indelible and invisible dyes to mark those at the scene of the crime for later identification.
Or: Electric prods.
Or: High pressure water, which has the advantage of cooling down a crowd, but the disadvantage of leaving it physically able to fight.
Or: Obscuring smoke.
Or: Tear gas grenades that dance around, making it impossible to throw them back at the police.
John Campbell, editor of Analog magazine, suggests the use of muscle relaxant and/or blood pressure reduction agents (for example, Ismelin). These agents reduce blood pressure, making it impossible to remain on one's feet without getting dizzy, finding it impossible to think, and, finally, collapsing to a prone position. As long as the rioter remains on the ground, he will not feel uncomfortable, and can think clearly. Should he attempt to stand up, he will have an urgent desire to return to the ground, and even if he resists, will eventually faint. In other words, the fight is over, and the discussion begun.
The helicopter is useful as a troop carrier (to place anti-sniper teams on roof tops), a weapon platform, and as a means of spotting trouble and coordinating police action.
In the light of all these non-lethal (and effective) weapons, why are some police departments purchasing tanks? What—is somebody planning a dictatorship, maybe?
(BOSTON POLICE DO NOT ANTICIPATE TROUBLE THIS SUMMER, DUE TO "EXCELLENT" POLICE-COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS. THEREFORE, THEY ARE NOT USING, NOR CONTEMPLATING THE USE OF, ANY WEAPONS OTHER THAN THE "STANDARD" ONES.)
BOOKS DEALING WITH THE RIOTS:
• Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, (Kerner Report), Bantam books QZ 4273, $1.25, N.Y. 68, paperback, Often irrelevant, and with false conclusions, this report contains much information about what happened during the 1967 riots.
• The Second Civil War: Arming for Armageddon, Garry Wills, Signet T 3502 $.75, N.Y. 68, paperback. Although written in a meandering stream-of-consciousness style, this book explains what various police forces are considering for control of future riots.
ABOUT SPECIFIC RIOTS:
• Rebellion in Newark: Official Violence and Ghetto Response, Tom Hayden, Vintage V 427, $1.65, N.Y. 1967, paperbaok
• Nightmare in Detroit: A Rebellion and Its Victims, Sauder & Hines, Regnery, $4.95, Chicago, 68, Hardback
The editors do not agree with everything written in these books. Judge for yourself.
ABOUT THE CAUSE AND CURE OF RACISM:
• The Virtue of Selfishness. Ayn Rand, Signet T 2791 $.75, N.Y. paperback, RACISM, on page 126, explains the psychological motivation of the racist and defines racism in present day America.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Crime and Punishment".