Following up to my last post, I do want to address what I see as the wrong-headed blame being placed on the police during the G20 summit.
Not that their actions are blameless, or rather, were perfect, but they were normal and expected.
Can you think of any other profession where you are expected to intuitively understand and know how to deal peacefully with any person in any emotional or mental state? I can't. Reading the comments out there, it appears we want our police officers to have the psychological skills of a BF Skinner, the tactical genius of General Patton, the deductive skills of Sherlock Holmes and the patience and compassion of Mother Teresa.
It ain't gonna happen. We don't pay them enough to have anywhere near the necessary skill-set, not to mention that no human in history has this combination of skills. The closest we could get to the ideal security at G20 like events, is to have a fully trained 100% dedicated corps for crowd control. And that's all they do. Crowd control is what we train them for and use them for. Well that isn't going to happen either.
Our police officers are generalists, good at many things, expert in none (speaking of general skills, they are often expert shooters). They have to be detectives, traffic control, lost dog finders, crowd control officers and a myriad of other things. Add in that Toronto's security needs were such that they pulled in officers from all over the country, many that are not familiar with Toronto, never mind its people and you have a large host of unqualified crowd control officers. Unqualified as far as the population's expectations are.
Which is why they resorted to simplistic tactics. They do not have the other skills necessary.
I am not saying that police officers are inadequately trained or incompetent. They are a tool of society, but like any tool, they have to be used properly for what they have been designed (or trained) for. You cannot use a hammer to put in a screw.
The people expressing outrage at the police are suffering from unrealistic expectations, but I cannot blame them for that. For that I blame the political masters that put them in this no-win situation in the first place. The only win-win scenario was a 100% protection of property and person with a 100% respect of rights and personal dignity.
As we saw, neither was achieved, and you know what? Neither will ever be achieved because we use the wrong tools for the wrong jobs.
Don't blame the police, blame the REMF's that put them there.
I heard a wonderful solution on the radio the other day. The perfect location for this G20/G8 summit would have been Canadian Forces Base Borden. A secure location reasonably far from population centers with a trained security force with a clear delineation of where civilians are allowed. And if there is any group of people that know how to patrol and secure a perimeter, it better be the armed forces.