Dick Morris: Don't Disarm Police Facing Rioters


Spurred by radical left-wing pressure, cities like Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles are taking steps to rein in police officers as they seek to contain and control demonstrations, protests and even riots.

In Philadelphia, the city council banned cops from using rubber bullets, tear gas or pepper spray in containing demonstrations.

In Dallas, the police chief must approve any use of tear gas.

Chicago has instituted special training in crowd control and ordered police to be more respectful of demonstrators’ civil rights.

The Los Angeles Police Department has placed a moratorium on some foam projectiles.

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Of course, one man’s demonstration is another man’s riot.

The left uniformly uses euphemisms to describe riots, often ignoring massive property damage, arson, smashed store windows, widespread looting and even deaths.

Many demonstrators and rioters throw bricks and other objects at police, causing widespread injury.

Unable to use their guns — or even non-lethal means of crowd control like tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray — how are police to contain rioters in the streets of major cities?

Gentle persuasion? Exhortations to patriotism? Or just plain begging and pleading?

In effectively disarming the police, the radicals in these cities are exposing their citizens and merchants to massive losses.

No wonder so many poor neighborhoods frequently lack grocery stores and other retail outlets.

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These measures are part of the campaign by the left to excuse radical demonstrations as expressions of the need for social justice and to characterize rioters and looters as “peaceful protesters.”

Must we wait for another round of riots in our cities before we repeal these restrictions and permit police to act effectively?

Nobody is recommending shooting into crowds, but Tasers, tear gas, rubber bullets, fire hoses and other alternatives to deadly force are often necessary measures to protect the lives and property of innocent citizens.

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Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton as well as a political author, pollster and consultant. His most recent book, "50 Shades of Politics," was written with his wife, Eileen McGann.