Today, it is quite common to hear an individual frequently complain about the way the police deals with protests, and how they are either too forceful, unforgiving, or filled with a lack-of-restraint with crowd control.
While in the past few years there have been a handful of protests where the police reacted in an incorrect manner condoning violence, within the last few decades, the police have experienced a serious amount of change, which has allowed protests to become much safer and more secure for citizens.
In 1970, the Kent State Shootings was a series of protests involving two stark viewpoints on the Vietnam War and police retaliations. These protests set off an eventual push for change in the laws by which the police were required to act under the presence of protests, due to four people dying and nine being wounded at Kent State University. President Nixon was forced to act due to the large number of angry individuals over this injustice. He decided to reform the way the police and National Guard, the group responsible for much of the injustice in the Kent State Shootings, could respond to the escalation of a crowd for the benefit of all.
With the supplement of less lethal weapons and a more established system, including riot tactics to control a crowd, a list of changes has remained and benefited protests over the last few decades, which safely protects both the citizens protesting and the police.
While President Nixon and others involving these issues may have half-heartedly agreed to seek changes, due to the anger of the masses following this incident, the reform brought upon by this tragedy has since done an overall decent job at protecting American citizens and police.
It is freeing to be able to actively trace the progression of justice throughout history, and I find the compromise the police and government handle protests has come a considerable and positive way.