Recent large-scale civil disturbances in two states led the respective governors to mobilize state National Guard (NG) forces. These incidents raised questions and concerns about the appropriate and effective use of NG intelligence capabilities to support domestic civil disturbance operations. Domestic missions are no different from overseas missions in that a key requirement for mission success is situational awareness (SA)—leaders and commanders at all levels must be aware of the situation on the ground and have a deep understanding of the operational environment in which their forces are operating and the inherent threats faced in that environment. Overseas, where the threat is by definition foreign, the intelligence component provides the preponderance of threat data. Domestically, defining threat information may entail the collection of information concerning U.S. persons. By law, the military and civilian intelligence components face constraints in the manner they may lawfully collect, disseminate, and retain such information.
ATP 3-39.33 provides discussion and techniques about civil disturbances and crowd control operations that occur in the continental United States (CONUS) and outside the continental United States (OCONUS). United States (U.S.) forces deploy in support of unified action, overseas contingency operations, and humanitarian assistance worldwide. During these operations, U.S. forces are often faced with unruly and violent crowds who have the intent of disrupting peace and the ability of U.S. forces to maintain peace. Worldwide instability coupled with U.S. military participation in unified-action, peacekeeping, and related operations require that U.S. forces have access to the most current doctrine and techniques that are necessary to quell riots and restore public order.
Because the operational environment (OE) requires Army forces to operate in urban areas, commanders must have accurate information on the complex human elements, infrastructure, and physical terrain that make up the urban environment. The limits on imagery and electronic reconnaissance and surveillance (R&S) capabilities place a premium on human-based visual reconnaissance. Reconnaissance troops and platoons must be trained to gather and analyze the necessary information and provide it to their commanders and higher headquarters. This chapter discusses definitions, training strategy, prerequisite training, individual task training, and collective task training designed to prepare reconnaissance units at troop level and below for operations in urban terrain.
The following photos are from March and February of this year and were taken at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The first four photos from March depict riot control training for a “domestic quick reaction force” that would aid in civil…
The purpose of this bulletin is officer awareness. Officers should know that instigators involved in violent demonstrations might be familiar with, and might try to apply, techniques from the “Crowd Control and Riot Manual.” The handbook, from Warrior Publications teaches protestors how to defeat law enforcement crowd control techniques. Although it does not address specific groups or organizations, the information is widely applicable.
In the United States all people have the right of free speech and assembly guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Federal Constitution and California State Constitution. Law enforcement recognizes the right of free speech and actively protects people exercising that right. The rights all people have to march, demonstrate, protest, rally, or perform other First Amendment activities comes with the responsibility to not abuse or violate the civil and property rights of others. The responsibility of law enforcement is to protect the lives and property of all people. Law enforcement should not be biased by the opinions being expressed nor by the race, gender, sexual orientation, physical disabilities, appearances, or affiliation of anyone exercising his/her lawful First Amendment rights. Law enforcement personnel must have the integrity to keep personal, political or religious views from affecting their actions.
As you read this, somewhere in California one law enforcement agency is providing mutual aid to another. Mutual aid is an everyday occurrence in a state as large and diverse as California. This is the continuation of the decades-long process of “neighbor helping neighbor.” The law enforcement mutual aid system is an ongoing cooperative effort among law enforcement agencies to ensure an effective and organized response to a wide range of emergencies. There is a misconception that mutual aid is something used only during a riot or disaster. The mutual aid system has been used successfully for many other situations, including large criminal investigations, deployment of special teams such as Special Weapons and Tactics Teams, Bomb Squads, etc.
The California Emergency Management Agency’s original Law Enforcement Guide for Emergency Operations was developed in response to the need for standardization and uniformity of organization and response on the part of law enforcement agencies involved in major multi-jurisdictional and multi-agency incidents such as a civil disorder, technological disaster, or natural disaster. The revised and expanded 2009 Law Enforcement Guide for Emergency Operations is designed to be a practical field-oriented guide to assist law enforcement personnel throughout the State of California with implementation of the Field Level Incident Command System. The intended primary users of this guide are watch commanders and field supervisors. The guide can also be an excellent emergency response tool for law enforcement managers, as well as line officers and deputies.
This Policy is to provide an outline of basic steps to be taken and/or considered by UCPD in the management of campus demonstrations. It is recognized that no policy can completely cover every possible situation and thus we rely on the expertise of the commanders and supervisors to manage the situation utilizing this policy as a guideline. This policy is primarily intended to cover demonstrations on campus and involving primarily University affiliates but many of the elements are applicable to any demonstration. “Demonstration”, for the purposes of this policy, includes a broad range of gatherings. Generally they are events with a significant crowd intending to express a particular point of view to others, often “The University”, and often through highly visible and possibly disruptive means. They are distinguished from peaceful meetings but may spring from them.
Photos from Tuesday evening’s violent police response to a march supporting the Occupy Oakland protest encampment indicate that the Oakland Police Department is using the same crowd suppression technologies that are used by foreign dictators. One photo by Reuters photographer Stephen Lam shows a broken canister from a “Han-Ball” rubber ball smoke grenade. The non-lethal munition is made by Defense Technology Corporation of America (Federal Laboratories), a company based in Casper, Wyoming and owned by BAE Systems, one of the largest defense contractors in the world. The use of non-lethal munitions manufactured by this company has been reported in recent popular protests in Yemen and Bahrain. Several Palestinian protesters were injured in early 2011 and one was killed after being struck by tear gas grenades made by several U.S. companies, including Defense Technology Corporation of America.
Oakland Police Department Crowd Management/Crowd Control Policy revised October 28, 2005.
Photos taken from Flickr.