De-escalation Keeps Protesters And Police Safer. Departments Respond With Force Anyway
But just because there’s no data about protests that can be easily compared in a chart doesn’t mean we’re bereft of information, said Pat Gillham, a professor of sociology at Western Washington University. There’s 50 years of research on violence at protests, dating back to the three federal commissions formed between 1967 and 1970. All three concluded that when police escalate force — using weapons, tear gas, mass arrests and other tools to make protesters do what the police want — those efforts can often go wrong, creating the very violence that force was meant to prevent.