An Unwise Escalation


It’s being reported that rioters in Portland have used lasers to blind, perhaps permanently, federal law enforcement officers who were engaging in riot control. If so, it was unwise.

IANAL, but IIRC, an attack that can cause an injury such as blindness is usually considered dangerous enough to justify a response that can include deadly force. The feds’ response so far has been limited to normal riot control techniques, so the rioters haven’t experienced much more than a whiff of tear gas. There is a wide array of more powerful tools available to deal with the rioters.

Some of the Portland rioters may be trying to goad the feds into opening fire with their firearms, seeking to sacrifice some of their fellow travelers as Kent-State-style martyrs. I doubt that will happen. The BORTAC team has a reputation for being among the best trained and disciplined in the business. They aren’t a bunch of green, young National Guardsmen who’ve never been in a skirmish before.

I suspect that an appropriate response is coming, and I’ll bet that Antifa won’t like it.

12 thoughts on “An Unwise Escalation

  1. I have long suspected there are multiple tiers of Antifa recruits. The vast majority of what you see in the front lines are essentially cannon fodder with just enough of 2nd and 3rd tier agitators thrown in to keep things going. Antifa is almost certainly trying to create martyrs to further their cause in the media and to recruit more cannon fodder.

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  4. OTOH, Law Enforcement wants to be very careful with the chain of thought that using light to blind someone can be considered an act of violence that justifies a use of force is response. The police, in particular, commonly use ultra-bright flashlights to blind people (and their cameras) that are filming the police. Many of these tactical flashlights have warnings that shining them in the eyes of someone is a dangerous act and can cause blindness. If the police can respond with violence to being blinded, so can citizens.

    • Glenn Reynolds has argued, correctly IMHO, that there is a due-process right to film police who are carrying out their official duties. If that’s so, then police who use high-power lights to prevent people from filming them are engaging in deprivation of rights under color of law.

    • If you are filming via a digital camera, the light cannot blind you via the screen. The screen might be whited out, but that it not going to damage your eyes. Also, a tactical light is considerably less hazardous than most lasers in terms of blindness.

      If you have a due process right to film the police, do you also have a right to have a good quality video?

    • Spoken like a true Antifa/blm soyboy. Using a device that can blind someone is an act of violence so beyond the pale that whatever means are used to suppress it is justified. If you cannot differeniate between high powered flashlights which do no damage, and a device that permanently robs someone eyesight, you have demonstrated your:
      -intelligence
      -lack of critical thinking skills
      -mendacity

      In short Gruppen Fuhrer I hope Isee you using such a device. Then you can wait for the flash.

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