news minneapolis protests riots kmart parking police nationalguard brutality slashing tyres cars innocent justice force

Cops Here, Slashing Tyres.

By ZackNorman97 | Life Blog. | 9 Jun 2020

Well, it's been just 24 hours since my last post discussing the state of racial prejudice, and to a large extent, the protests against discrimination around the world, especially in the United States. An ever fiery topic to discuss, I had hope that eventually we'll see the swift hand of justice bringing order to the chaos that has been sown. Indeed, I keep holding onto the hopes that we'll see a de-escalation sometime soon, but here we are again, throwing buckets of oil onto a raging forest fire.

Some videos have been shown of the police officers controlling protests in Minneapolis, to be slashing tyres of cars being parked at a local K-Mart, near a busy protest zone. The photos and video below should display a clearer picture on the case, as heavily-armed officers used knives on tyres of at least a dozen cars, seemingly as a pre-emptive strike. Unsurprisingly, the owners of those cars called for help, thinking that rioters did this instead. Little did they know at the time.

Cutting Open.


Credits to: The Drive | Officers slashing open the tyres of this Ford parked near a protest zone.

The goal here is to disable those cars, for fear that they might be driven dangerously. From my understanding, this might be to stop incidents of cars ramming into police officers, protestors, and other bystanders. The targets are cars located near or around danger areas, and if they appear to contain any sort of objects that could be used as some form of weaponry. Apparently, this is an unconventional tactic, and has been done strategically to ensure the safety of the public.

Here's a titbit of information from Department of Public Safety, courtesy of the The Star Tribune, story here:

"State Patrol troopers strategically deflated tires … in order to stop behaviours such as vehicles driving dangerously and at high speeds in and around protesters and law enforcement," the spokesperson said.

The patrol also targeted vehicles "that contained items used to cause harm during violent protests such as rocks, concrete and sticks."

"While not a typical tactic, vehicles were being used as dangerous weapons and inhibited our ability to clear areas and keep areas safe where violent protests were occurring,"

"As in all operations of this size, there will be a review about how these decisions were made."

Right... See, if you came out to notice your tyres have been deflated, your first instinct would be to inspect it further. Ordinarily, you'd call a tow-truck, unless you start noticing large cuts along the sidewalls of some, if not all the tyres. At this point, the jurisdiction turns away from the mechanic, and onto law-enforcement. But what happens when it's the law that's left you stranded? The police claimed this has been "strategic", but from what we can tell, every single car in a specific area had their tyres slashed open.

This tow truck driver has been here all day. He later told me four @CNN vehicles had their tires slashed here as well. There was an entire row of press vehicles that all had to be towed.

— Andrew Kimmel (@andrewkimmel) May 31, 2020

Interviews of tow-truck drivers suggest that they've had a busy day towing cars with flattened tyres, and they claim that not only protestors were affected, but also journalists and medics. So, whether you're the most belligerent of anarchists with molotov cocktails hidden in the boot, or a paramedic working away to help the wounded, you'd end up with a similar fate, coming back to find your private property damaged.

A week or so ago, I chided in the act of some protestors vandalising their surroundings. Not all mind you, but those particular few that have looted stores, setting alight to anything that can be turned into ashes, and destroying all material goods. I do feel that despite the need to send a strong message, the destruction left in the wake - albeit not of the greatest significance in the grand scheme of things - goes against the principles of the protests in the first place. It even distracted us somewhat from the otherwise wholesome nature of the movement against racial discrimination.

However, I'm left with astonishment now that even the police and National Guard are partaking in this destructive demeanour. From what I can see at present, this vandalism seems like a case of an eye for an eye, making sure that people know what might happen if they stand in the way. An apparent police state - already armed to the teeth with militarised equipment meant for the most powerful armed forces in the world - is cracking down harshly. Even a simple act of civil disobedience can see you staring down the barrel of a pseudo paramilitary group.

An Eye, For An Eye?

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Credits to: Jeff Wagner - Twitter | From the lens of a WCCO reporter.

Now this is weird. Someone pointed out to us all that of the cars in the Kmart parking lot at Nicollet and Lake St. have slashed tires. The group that told us said it was the police or Natl Guard who did it. @WCCO

— Jeff Wagner (@Jeff_Wagner4) May 31, 2020

Imagine yourself as a journalist, wanting to cover the protests from the ground, documenting all the good and bad that's happened. You mean no harm at all, just wanting to find and conceive some sense in all this to millions of listeners. Suddenly, your truth has become a weapon in the eyes of the law, and intent on seeing you silenced, or intimated enough to keep quiet. How is this any different than the persecution of free-press elsewhere in the world, even in the most oppressive and censorship-addicted regimes?

How about those healthcare workers, then? They've been assigned as frontline medics to treat the wounded in these protests - another burdensome task that's been heaved onto their shoulders - as if Covid-19 (Coronavirus) hasn't been enough already. Impartial, and only to do good by treating injuries of all those involved. Inhalation of tear gas, cuts and bruises, or more life-threatening wounds - these are the heroes that stood by us, just as they have with their selfless sacrifices during the pandemic, working endless hours in hospitals and makeshift clinics.

They're all tired, and they want to go home. The pacifist protestor who carries placards, banners, and masks to join the rallies, trying to make their voices heard. The journalist who's backpack sags with the weight of heavy cameras, microphones, notebooks and computers, eagerly awaiting to write the next story. The medic who's clothes are likely stained by other people's blood, wanting to get what little rest they can before clocking in again the next day, perhaps adorning a face-shield, staring into the quarantine wards of a hospital wing.


Credits to: Sean Craig - Twitter | This belonged to a car rented by reporters for Radio-Canada.

Radio-Canada journalists covering the protests in Minneapolis had their tires slashed. Witnesses told them police did it.

— Sean Craig (@sdbcraig) May 31, 2020

Now, they can only walk, or find some other means of transportation, creating ever more inconveniences to an already arduous day. It's been said before, and I can't stress this reminder enough - not all uniformed officers are bad. Between the police, National Guard, and any other unit that's been called to control the protests, most of them are kind, decent folk who only wish to maintain some order and safety. They may agree or disagree to be standing there in the first place, but they know that they must do it, otherwise there would only be total anarchy.

They know that if they don't, the society that they've been entrusted to serve and protect, will be left in ruins. I imagine it must be enraging to a lot of them as well, seeing how their reputations have been tarnished by so-called colleagues and partners, using brutal force to enforce the law. Whatever the motives or reasons are behind slashing other people's tyres, certainly doesn't help dissolve the issue of police brutality and excessive force. As we ourselves hold accountable over our actions, I hope they too will do the same.

Stay safe, and take care.


Credits to: Feroze Alam - The Disunion of the State

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