. . . blocking their progress, as seen in the video, even putting a hand out and touching one of them as they moved along. What was he thinking?
The special response unit was formed in 2016 and is deployed to manage mass demonstrations and riots. They are the first line of defense and best trained officers in the department for these situations, according to [John Evans, PBA president.] and other police sources. Their training includes pushing through crowds in order to maintain control. [Emphasis added]
“Don’t put them out there if you don’t want them to do the job,” Evans wrote in a text to Investigative Post. “This is an example of officers doing exactly what they’re supposed to and then getting charged. It’s so wrong.”
No wonder the whole unit resigned when two of them were suspended — and later were charged. Why was the man getting in their way? Was he carrying his protest too far and trying to stop them?
What if he had obstructed their path by lying down? Instead, he went at them, not of course to punch or push them but to put his hand on one or two of them, thus presumably preserving his nonviolent status — maddeningly so — but clearly interfering.
The cops were acting as trained to keep the crowd back. He tried to stop or delay that. One hand went out to push him away, and backing away several steps on the force of that, he lost balance and went down.
This is all to judge from the video. Does anyone else know what he was attempting?