Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Hunter S. Thompson Talks About The George Floyd Aftermath

The Daily Beast

     "American law enforcement procedures have never been designed to control large groups of citizens in rebellion, but to protect the social structure against specifically criminal acts, or persons. The underlying assumption has always been that the police and the citizenry form a natural alliance against evil and dangerous crooks, who should be arrested on sight and shot if they resist.

There are indications, however, that this 'natural alliance' might be going the way of the Maginot Line. More and more often the police are finding themselves in conflict with whole blocs of the citizenry, none of them criminals in the traditional sense of the word, but many as potentially dangerous--to the police--as any armed felon. This is particularly true in situations involving groups of Negroes and teen-agers. The Watts riot in Los Angeles in 1965 was a classic example of this new alignment. The whole community turned on the police with such a vengeance that the National Guard had to be called in. Yet few of the rioters were criminals--at least not until the riot began. It may be that America is developing a whole new category of essentially social criminals. . . persons who threaten the police and the traditional social structure even when they are breaking no law. . .because they view The Law with contempt and the police with distrust, and this abiding resentment can explode without warning at the slightest provocation."

Hunter S. Thompson, Hell's Angels, Ballantine Books, 1967.

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