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ZeSpectre
March 4, 2010, 01:04 PM
First the news story. (There's also a video on the newspage) and then some comments.

Violence Erupts in College Park After Terps' Victory (http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0310/712443.html)

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Prince George's County police arrested more than two dozen people after celebrations of the Terps' triumph over Duke became unruly Wednesday night, spawning a near-riot on Route 1 in College Park

County police say about 1,500 people converged on Route 1 after the game, cheering, yelling and blocking the major thoroughfare.

Police spokesman Cpl. Larry Johnson says the crowd caused a "major disturbance," throwing snowballs and ice at officers and pulling down at least one sign.

Fearing a riot, officers in helmets and vests, and some on horses, clamped down fast and hard.

"They lined up in a big row at the bottom of the street, and they started banging their batons against their shields, and anyone who couldn't run fast enough got beat," claimed University of Maryland student Mark Shorr.

Officers had assembled in advance of the game's conclusion, fearing a repeat of previous post-game mayhem.

"Cops were just crazy," said UMd. student Evan Egel. "People were lying in the gutter, shooting them with , like, pellet guns I guess they were. People were screaming."

Campus police say smaller groups moved onto campus, setting fire to a tree and trash cans.

"The crowd a started to have different pockets in different areas went on to campus and started several fires -- set a tree on fire by Montgomery Hall and then set some trash-can fires along McKeldin Mall on fire; threw some stuff at the police," said Paul Dillon, a spokesperson for university police.

A few officers suffered minor injuries. But some students believe the police went too far, shooting pellets, using clubs and arresting students for disorderly conduct.

"It was scary," said recent UMd. graduate Brad Lewis. "They were certainly doing their job intimidating."

County police arrested 27 people, including about 16 or so believed to be students. Prince George's county police gave the names of the students they arrested to the University of Maryland. Those students face sanctions, including possible expulsion.

Police are studying video footage of the incident to see if they can identify more students who could be charged, or face administrative punishments through the university.

I realize that MD has no concealed carry, but let's concentrate on the situation and not the location.

So if you were just walking down the street and suddenly found yourself in the middle of this mob that swept out of nowhere to clash with police, what would you do to maximize your own safety?

What if you were carrying concealed?

What if you were open carrying?

And before someone says "well such a crowd is easily avoided in the first place" I can tell you it's not always so easy. A few years back I wound up in the middle of a semi-destructive IMF/World Bank protest. All I was doing was walking back to work from lunch and when I turned a corner I immediately found myself sandwiched between two converging mobs and the cops.

Fortunately the cops took one look at me in a business suit and let me out of the cordon but it certainly could have been ugly.

SiNNiK
March 4, 2010, 02:42 PM
I work downtown Austin, and I have wondered about this a couple times myself.

Since I don't follow college football, I usually get caught unaware that there are 70,000+ fans at the stadium, and my work place is one block away from UT campus and two or three blocks from the stadium.

The garage I can park in (free) is also two blocks away and I get to walk through 10 or 15 thousand people to get to work.

I hate home games.

Would a lockbox in your car be enough to protect your firearm?

Some people take advantage of mob scenes to commit random acts of violence too, what if you're faced with 4 people who clearly intend to do you harm, and your carrying.

I can't imagine what would happen if you discharge a .45 in the middle of that many people.

Composer_1777
March 4, 2010, 02:56 PM
they will scatter like wild animals. Just shoot a couple of leaders. No biggy.

Glenn E. Meyer
March 4, 2010, 03:04 PM
So if you were just walking down the street and suddenly found yourself in the middle of this mob that swept out of nowhere to clash with police, what would you do to maximize your own safety?

they will scatter like wild animals. Just shoot a couple of leaders. No biggy.

So are you just being a smarty pants? You have not demonstrated a threat to yourself and would be righteously charged in this one.

Can we avoid posturing please?

How about find the direction of the mob, meld, hang back and get out of the way! If you look like a good guy as Z said, maybe you could get past the cops. Approaching them (who are at alert) with an open carry gun seems not like a good plan. They are prone and waiting for a signal from the crowd to come to action. They all might shoot you.

If you draw, who kills you - the police or the mob?

Are you ready to shoot? There is fair evidence that isolated armed folks faced with mobs become paralyzed and don't shoot. Get beaten up or disarmed. Of course, not you. ;) Reference Violence by Collins.

I don't see the gun as that useful except in the extremis of an attack. Do what it takes to get away.

Cremon
March 4, 2010, 03:21 PM
My first instinct would be to go right to the police at the location and ask them for help getting out of that mess.

"What's going on, Officer? A game eh? What a mess! Any way I can get away from those fans? That crowd looks a bit fired up and crazy - I don't suppose I can leave through here could I?"

I never open carry. If I were carrying concealed, it would never come up in my conversation with the police and the gun would stay concealed where it was.

And if I was in a state that did not recognize my GA CCW permit, I would be unarmed.

Old Grump
March 4, 2010, 03:26 PM
I suppose a bloody T-shirt, a fright wig and a double bitted axe would be over the top.

Only serious suggestion I have is to try to get to a side edge of the mob and slip away into the first door or alley or between two cars as quickly as you can. Not as easy doing it as saying it I know but my experience has been on the baton side of a large unruly crowd, not in the crowd so I'm not sure what to say.

brickeyee
March 4, 2010, 03:40 PM
Just leave.

No real reason to do anything else.

And pay more attention to your surroundings.

Mobs are rarely quiet gatherings.

uspJ
March 4, 2010, 03:44 PM
i would think the best option would be to go the opposite direction the mob. if you have to go through the mob to get to your car then i suggest staying on the outskirts as much as possible and staying aware of potential threats (groups acting aggressive to others, small groups vandalizing property), these types of behavior generally draw a crowd as people generally love to watch drama unfold and love to tell that they were there.

if a situation escalates and you were to have to defend yourself a firearm may not be your best choice as the potential of a missed shot/overpenetration could hurt others and leave you in a nasty balttle for your freedom or life should the mob/police respond to your actions as an attack.

old bear
March 4, 2010, 07:18 PM
First, in 27 years L/E I never had to attempt to help quiet a riot, a few large fights but no riots, thank goodness. Yet our standing orders, which I agreed with 100%, anyone other than another L/E who displayed a weapon of any sort were to be SHOT ON SIGHT! No warning shots were allowed. Composer 1777 you may want to remember that if you think it is a good idea to start waving a pistol around and popping off rounds. I assure you someone may think it may be a “biggie” if someone cop took you out!

Second if you can’t find a way out of the messes get inside the closest building or store. If worst comes to worst get under a car.

raimius
March 4, 2010, 07:23 PM
I'd probably try to be as low profile as possible.
If the police were having trouble with the mob, I'd probably try to find a quiet exit or place to bunker down (local building, alley, etc).
[if there were small stores, I might ask to use/be escorted to a back door]
If the police were simply trying to direct/stop the mob (and there was no violence/threats going on), I'd ask to leave that way--again being polite and keeping a low profile.

Be polite, have hands in an unthreatening posture, and smile when possible. Who wants to attack/arrest the nice guy?

Composer_1777
March 4, 2010, 07:42 PM
He never said if you get caught in a mob that is clashing with a riot response team.

My assumption was without law, gun shots would subdue a pretty large crowd b.c. by instinct people in riots are just following a persons of charisma and will run from real danger. Its basic psychology, take out the leaders.

As far as police shooting me, that is why we bear arms in the first place so police can't just bully citizens like they do in Iran. Also we protect ourselves individually from riots over causes we don't like. Without police the forces would be balanced instead of oppressive.

Wildalaska
March 4, 2010, 08:16 PM
Vomiting explosively would work. Thats why I carry a can of Progresso Split Peas soup with me whenever my riot radar goes on. I can draw that can, pop the top, guzzle, burp and barf before you can draw your CCW and folks just scatter as I do my Linda Blair imitation.

WildireallycanttakesomeofthesescenariostooseriouslyAlaska ™

OK...serious answer...feets dont fail me now...Im out of there.....

mete
March 4, 2010, 09:11 PM
Wildalaska ,that only works for a mob of grizzlies !!
Avoid large groups if you can as even the calmest group can in an instant turn into a violent riot.Don't hang around to see what's happening . Move out of the group as soon as possible.

Glenn E. Meyer
March 4, 2010, 09:51 PM
Basic psych to take out the leaders? Who are doing what? Maybe it is a 2nd Amend. rally opposed by the antigun police.

Also, having studied up a bit on such - I don't trust that hitting a few people in a giant mob is that deterrent.

Last, you have no reason to shoot from the OP - you probably will be arrested.

ZeSpectre
March 4, 2010, 10:01 PM
WildireallycanttakesomeofthesescenariostooseriouslyAlaska
and yet...you always seem to join in with some snark or other.

The most amusing aspect of your response is that neither scenario is made up. One was in the news (with a video bonus) and the other happened to me personally. :rolleyes:

I suppose in Alaska it's not an issue but I live in a somewhat more populated area and have seen "happy" crowds turn mean in a flash (especially when I was working in DC) so there's no "fantasy" involved here.

Slamfire
March 4, 2010, 10:32 PM
Don't go visit the riots to see what is happening.

Leave the area.

Go home.

Composer_1777
March 4, 2010, 11:40 PM
Ok nvm that was too off-topic.

Yes Realistically i would avoid the situation.

Realistically if i had to fight these people, i would try to discourage them psychologically. Either by shooting leaders, or men of certain charisma or other methods.

I would join in the riot as a passive volunteer if it was a cause i believed in and discourage violence with leadership.

Buzzcook
March 5, 2010, 01:19 AM
Been there done that. Unless you get caught in a police riot, all you have to do is not go where the mob is going. Move away from what the mob is focused on.

If you get caught between a crowd and the riot police, ask officer friendly how you can get out of there.

ClayInTx
March 5, 2010, 02:31 AM
Wildalaska,
I suppose you went to U of Missouri, Rolla, (used to be Missouri School of Mines) where they have the drink, hop, jump, and puke contest every year.

But, in response to the OP mob in Maryland.
The cops let the crowd know they were going to be chased. So—just become a chasee and chase in the direction the chasers are wanting you to chase. After the chase has de-chased you just un-chase yourself from the chase and do nothing to cause you to be re-chased.

If it has been traumatizing, you just find a bar and get a shot of bourbon and chase it with beer, that is if you can stand another chase.

Glenn Dee
March 5, 2010, 02:47 AM
First of all.... Situational awareness... It's kind of hard to not see or hear an angry mob. But I'm sure it can, and has happened. If you get caught up in a Vs. police angry mob you have two problems. 1) the angry mob 2) the police.
If ever I found myself in a similar situation I'd probably go with the flow a little slower than everyone else...until I reached the back of the mob... then as another astute poster said.."FEETS DONT FAIL ME NOW".

As far as taking out the leaders?... This is still the UNITED STATES of AMERICA. ALL the people have the right to protest. Even those you dont like or agree with. IMO This is what makes us different from everywhere else.

Firearms are of no use at a protest. No matter how loud, noisy, or distastefull it may be.

Firearms are of very little use, and in fact pose more a danger in a riot. Chances of an armed citizen having his weapon taken away, and used against him is more likely.

Wildalaska
March 5, 2010, 03:18 AM
The most amusing aspect of your response is that neither scenario is made up. One was in the news (with a video bonus) and the other happened to me personally.

I suppose in Alaska it's not an issue but I live in a somewhat more populated area and have seen "happy" crowds turn mean in a flash (especially when I was working in DC) so there's no "fantasy" involved here.

Your ad hominems aside, I have been lucky enough to have the living daylights STICKED out of me by two NYPD officers at a Yippie J Day Demonstration (and I was a semi innocent bystander caught in the crowd) so I find the scenario of firearms adding anything to a riot scenario to be even more irrational that Progresso Pea Soup Projectile Vomiting, and therefore with all due snarkiness, I have to expand on Glen Meyer's thought and say that the whole thread could be viewed as an excersize in posturing.


Riot...Run and hide...you have gun?..Run and hide....

Cover and cower:D You should have seen me doing the worm on the sidewalk with my arms over my head as those brown sticks came a flying...

Alexander Burnes got a few shots off in Cabool, look it up...

WildolookmyheadisonbackwardsAlaska TM

ZeSpectre
March 5, 2010, 06:19 AM
An exercise in posturing?

Maybe for some but that certainly wasn't my intent. Like most "tactics" scenarios my only consideration was to get folks thinking in advance about a possible (increasingly possible lately) scenario where a mob situation could develop and what your best bet is to get out of it unharmed.

Heck we had some unruly behavior (not quite a mob though) develop in my area at the end of a meeting over some school closings recently. One minute it was a crowd of upset but civil parents, the next minute an over-reacting school officials was calling the police and the scene could have gone either way (fortunately everyone took a deep breath and calmed down).

I don't think it's at all unreasonable to give some consideration to the idea that someone might unexpectedly wind up in such a situation some day and (if you open carry which there are more folks doing in my area) that you may need to figure out what to do with your sidearm as a precaution against a terminal response from police just because you are armed. Like the man said "After the whistle blows is a poor time to come up with a game plan". :D

(Of course some idiot is always going to advocate shooting into a mob and that I have no control over :rolleyes: )

Glenn E. Meyer
March 5, 2010, 09:47 AM
I don't think the OP is an exercise in posturing.

My response was the post suggesting shooting the leaders was ill conceived and could be the shoot 'em posturing we see sometimes. We do get throwaway type cliches.

My serious response was on avoidance, the legal aspect and mob response. My one experience in such was that fleeing in terror worked quite well.

Now let's be nice.

TailGator
March 5, 2010, 09:49 AM
I think I would have two concerns: (1) Not being identified as an armed hostile by the police, and (2) Not having someone in the mob take the gun and make a bad situation worse.

Both problems are solved by secure concealed carry. In that kind of situation, I doubt if anyone is looking for subtle cues of concealed carry, so putting you hand over your holster on the outside of your cover garment would be unlikely to cause a problem. I don't open carry, but if I were in such a situation and the gun was exposed, I think I might move it to a pocket of pants or jacket.

As far as getting out of the crowd, it needs to be handled like swimmer handles a rip current. If you try to swim against it you will tire and make no progress, perhaps be trampled. If you swim/walk at right angles to the current, you get out of the flow and you regain control of your direction.

I have no idea what anyone would hope to accomplish by either spraying lead around or even by brandishing a weapon in such a situation. If you don't wind up dead, you will wind up in jail. Geez.

brickeyee
March 5, 2010, 11:25 AM
if you have to go through the mob to get to your car then i suggest staying on the outskirts as much as possible

Or just go the other way and wait for the mob to disperse.

You would have to be nuts to even consider trying to go through or around a mob just to get to a car, especially if you are armed.

Trouble avoided is safer than trouble dealt with.

You are not the police, why put yourself at needless risk?

bamboo spear
March 5, 2010, 11:41 AM
If it's one thing I've learned from youtube, the news and reality police shows, it's to avoid mobs and never take part in any large demonstration moving down the street. It's just trouble waiting to happen.

Wildalaska
March 5, 2010, 01:38 PM
An exercise in posturing?

Maybe for some but that certainly wasn't my intent.

Never said it was...I used the term "could" and you recognize of course that the mere existence of the scenario gives rise to the thumpin...;)

Followup on Tailgators comment..Open carry is a bad idea where you may be subjected to mobs gone wild...

So what happens when the Open Carry in Starbucks crowd are ordering Breves and out of the blue, the riot starts :)

Tactically unsound, neh?

Wildmybuddyjustboughta9.2x62barrelforhisBlaseranditissocoolAlaska ™

Mr. James
March 5, 2010, 01:43 PM
Whatever a Breve is.

Not uncool at all. Just turn the page, sip the cup, let the street theatre run its course . . . no problems, mon. :cool:

Glenn E. Meyer
March 5, 2010, 02:08 PM
Let's all have a coffee and a 7 layer bar!

That is an interesting question, though - about the risk of open carry when things go publicly and widely awry.

I could see the law doing you in. I could see the angry mob thinking you are law and doing you in. I'm not much on the deterrence aspect if the mob is really out for evil. As I said before, there are plenty of cases of mobs taken on armed individuals.

I think also we have moved beyond the 'open fire' response to discuss real options.

I might, if I open carried (which I won't), get the gun under concealment and ditch the holster. You could always stick the gun in your pants, under your shirt in the emergency.

SiNNiK
March 5, 2010, 02:49 PM
To those who said "ask mr officer how to get out", having been in the middle of thousands and thousands of people who abruptly burst out cheering a UT touchdown, you can't hear anything. Downtown acoustics are different than in the stadium. It's all one big roar. I'd be afraid of being perceived as "yelling at mr officer unintelligibly" and get bonked on the head with a baton.

Can't really avoid the mobs for me, I'd have to call in every time there was a home game, and I'm sure that wouldn't go over well.

Fortunately for me, UT fans have a habit of celebrating victories without having to burn our city to the ground.

B. Lahey
March 5, 2010, 03:26 PM
I was in downtown Chicago when the protests kicked off at the start of the (new) Iraq war. It was mostly hippies obstructing traffic (great idea, that'll win over tons of people to your cause), but there was some minor unrest. Some windows broken, trashcans tossed, and the like. Chicago cops are somewhat notorious for their dislike of such things so there were some efforts at crowd control.

I just hung back in the lobby of one of my school's buildings, prepared to hotfoot it out the back into the alley if objects or gas came flying into the area. When I saw a break in the crowd I sprinted to the closest El station and got the heck out of there.

But that was back when my spine and both knees worked. If the same thing happened today I would probably hunker down and wait it out. I am no longer as swift.

alloy
March 5, 2010, 03:59 PM
You could include things like this and the Katrina evacuation, where there might be almost no way to avoid the crowd.....into this mob scenario. Evidently an evacuation, jammed highways etc...can be worse than the event.

Five months after the storm, it appeared that Rita contributed to the deaths of 119 people, 113 of those in Texas. The important point for this article is that only six of those 113 deaths are “directly” attributed to the storm (wind, water, surge); the other 107 deaths were caused “indirectly,” primarily by activities (e.g., accidents) related to the evacuation process. Rita also caused an estimated $9.4 billion in damage, making it the ninth costliest storm in U.S. history.

*from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1781922/

markj
March 5, 2010, 04:39 PM
carry a can of Progresso Split Peas soup

Do they make a holster for this?

When I lived in Chicago in 1970 they had a few riots. We would get to a high place and watch them go at it till the police came and broke heads. The riot would disperse after the batons started swinging. Cheap entertainment.

Living where I now do and living the life I live, no fear of rioters, but them steers can get mighty rowdy at times.

JustDreadful
March 5, 2010, 11:37 PM
E&E is without doubt the first choice. That said, if I ever am caught in a mob I hope I'm armed. A gun might have done Reginald Denny quite a bit of good. (And yes, Denny had a big ol' truck to use, but that particular mob might just as easily have attacked someone considerably more truckless.)

Dre_sa
March 6, 2010, 01:16 AM
I think if I were to 'happen upon a mob', I would do a 180 and go back the way I came. They are not where you came from, they are where you are going.

I'm not saying retreat or make a strategic withdrawl, I'm merely suggesting advancing in the other direction...

If my car were on the other side, I'd wait for it all to stop before I go near it. And even if its been vandalized, that's what insurance is for. The priority would be to get away from the mob, as far as is necessary. If the mob looks like it wont be moving away from the area your car is in, call a taxi, that's what cellphones are for. you can always come back to it later.

If you're missing an appointment, I'm sure the other party would understand...

Silverado
March 6, 2010, 01:49 AM
I'm older these days and was old enough back in the late '90s that when the Avs and Broncos won championships, I enjoyed the games at home rather than join the tens of thousands in the LoDo bars down in Denver. It wasn't hard for me figure out the possible outcomes down there if the home-town team prevailed. Even a joyous crowd when fueled by alcohol, can become ugly, turning over police cars, setting fires, etc. Nice the home team won, but the aftermath was not exactly a poster moment for Denver's civic pride. I wouldn't think you'd need a crystal ball or deck of tarot cards to predict what could happen in LoDo those nights, and why would you carry there if you were inclined to experience the throng first hand? Emotion, alcohol, crowd, gun? Bad formula. It is difficult to imagine being caught in a mob situation with no warning in this country.

For the first time in my life, I recently attended a politically rally at the Capitol down in Denver to protest, well, I won't say since this is a forum on guns, not politics. My dad wanted to come with me, his first rally too! I left my gun in the truck where we parked- I could not think of what good it would do me where we were going, and more bad things that could happen if I was carrying in a mob, even tho' I have a permit.

It was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration and for the most part it was, save for a very few people from the opposing view, who I guess, showed up just trying to agitate things. Although they shouted obsenities and even pushed a few people on the edges, they shortly ran out of steam when the crowd mostly ignored them. After the rally dispursed, dad and I lingered and he mentioned he had never seen the inside of the Capitol even though he'd lived in Colorado for more than 40 years. We went to the entrance and of course, there were metal detectors, guards etc. Glad just for that I didn't have the gun and dad and I were able to spend an hour together in there looking around. 'Course when we got back to the truck I put my rig back on my hip and felt normal again when we went to lunch.

ZeSpectre
March 6, 2010, 10:22 AM
Some people just aren't getting it.

Before anyone else comments, maybe you should try to READ and UNDERSTAND the original post.

If you can avoid the mob then there is no issue and no reason to comment so if "avoid the mob" is your answer you aren't paying attention to the question.

What CAN and DOES happen (I know it happened to me) is that sometimes you can wind up in the middle of something before you realize what is happening.

Maybe due to "condition white", maybe due to other circumstances (like mine where the mob is coming down the street and the police cordon is closing and you discover that you are "rock and a hard place" between them). The reason (and recriminations for being in that situation) aren't the important point of the question.

The question is, you are caught in the mob, it has already happened....now what?

So far the ideas that seem the best are.
-Do your best to appear non-threatening (to everyone)
-If you are armed, go stealth and make sure your firearm is not visible
-Bunker-down and find some object to take shelter in/behind
-If no object or shelter is immediately available, move diagonally to the flow of the crowd and "break out" of the undertow if possible.

Buzzcook
March 6, 2010, 02:48 PM
To those who said "ask mr officer how to get out", having been in the middle of thousands and thousands of people who abruptly burst out cheering a UT touchdown, you can't hear anything. Downtown acoustics are different than in the stadium. It's all one big roar. I'd be afraid of being perceived as "yelling at mr officer unintelligibly" and get bonked on the head with a baton.

If the noise is so loud that you can't be heard from inches away, then how did you "happen" to be stuck between the rioters and the police line?

SiNNiK, you are stretching the scenario a bit.

ZeSpectre, you got out of a situation by following my advice number two, "ask officer friendly". Why go further?
If you personally are not the object of focus for the mob or the police then just walk away. It works.

ZeSpectre
March 8, 2010, 07:32 AM
ZeSpectre, you got out of a situation by following my advice number two, "ask officer friendly". Why go further?

Because, at the time, I had no "plan B". If it had been "Officer not-so-friendly"...it would have been ugly (as it was for the crowd a few minutes later).

So, knowing that I can't think of everything myself and knowing that these things happen, I thought I'd throw the question out to the group and see what others came up with.

markj
March 8, 2010, 05:01 PM
A gun might have done Reginald Denny quite a bit of good.

If he had locked the doors of that truck........


The question is, you are caught in the mob, it has already happened....now what?

Blazing Saddles, the new sheriff is introduced to the townsfolk scene. I would do that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upvZdVK913I

9megameter
March 9, 2010, 04:02 PM
I've been caught in a similar situation. Unfortunately the riot in question was taking place on the street in front of my apartment. Fortunately the answer was pretty simple - go back inside, lock the door, and wait for it to blow over :)

Glenn Dee
March 9, 2010, 08:57 PM
Having been on both sides of a civil disturbance... I'd like to re-add my two dollars and fifty cents.

First of all... Police reality shows have absoloutly nothing to do with reality.

As a demonstator in the 60's (before I enlisted) I participated in a few marches/protests. I'd like to say that my intentions were honorable... In truth it was a great way to pick up chicks. Once the demonstration reached the point that I didnt want to play anymore. They were doing things I refused to do. So I got out of it by demonstrating slower than everyone else... Until the demonstration passed me by... and I slowed down even more... Until I passed a subway entrance, hopped on the train and went home, and watched it on TV.

As a police officer I have held the line in one major ( a blackout) Riot, several medium sized riots, and hundreds of mini riots. The best thing for a civilian to do is get as far away as possible from the trouble. Handguns or any other firearm has absoloutly no place in a riot/demonstration. If anything a firearm would probably make everything worse. There are no officer friendly's in a riot.

Balog
March 12, 2010, 02:07 PM
Being caught in a riot presumes a major failure of either situational awareness (walking into one in such a way you can't get out) or discretion (joining a big riot happy crowd). But, I'm not perfect and neither are you so let's think about what we can do.

First, cops are not your friend in an active riot situation. Where ever the cops are, move away from them. Your heart may be pure as the driven snow but they have no way to discern that.

Second, I know my building responds to riots by locking every entry point down. Ducking into a building to get out of the mob is a good idea, but it might not be possible.

A question for those who have studied it more than I. it seems that in a riot most violence occurs either rioters v. cops or looters v. property owners. So if you're in the crowd but away from active police confrontations or looting, one should be reasonably safe as you work your way to the edge and out, right?

Cremon
March 12, 2010, 04:04 PM
I'd be afraid of being perceived as "yelling at mr officer unintelligibly" and get bonked on the head with a baton.

Then you would have waited WAAAAY too long to look for an escape. The second I see the crowd, I am heading away toward the cops if I can't get out another way. If the crowd is THAT close to where the policeman right in front of you can't hear what you are saying, you let your curiosity get the better of you to see what was going on and waited too long to get out of there.

sakeneko
March 12, 2010, 05:54 PM
I don't like crowds and noise, so my experience with mobs is largely limited to human and civil rights related demonstrations. I also had one notably scary experience traveling through Yugoslavia in spring of 1991 just as it was breaking up into several unfriendly pieces. :/ All of this happened before I bought my first gun a year ago.

My instincts tell me that Glenn and WildAlaska (waving) have the right idea, though. Not all crowds are mobs, not even all noisy crowds, but they can turn into mobs within seconds if the right, or wrong, thing happens. Mobs also don't behave or react like individuals do; often members of a mob act with little or no concern for their personal safety and show little ability to assess threats realistically. Clear thinking is *not* part of the mob experience. This is true whether you're with a crowd of trade union activists protesting work conditions in a West Virginia coal mine and out for blood, or with a crowd of mostly-hippie peace activists.

I open carry from time to time. I wouldn't if I were going to join or even observe a demonstration, however. I might carry concealed. And, despite the fact that I carry almost any time I leave home, I might just leave the gun behind entirely and rely on my wits, with pepper spray as a backup. That's what I've done since college, and it hasn't failed me yet.

I also wouldn't open carry into most large crowds, just in case the crowd should suddenly go through the phase change that results in them becoming a mob. :/ There are rights, and then there is the sense that the good God gave to a *rock* not to get yourself shot or stampeded.

freakintoguns
March 12, 2010, 06:28 PM
i was unfortunatly in LA when the Lakers won a championship and people were flipping cop cars and burning cars and all kinds of other crap, i simply walked away. a LAPD officer stopped me, i told him i dont like B-ball and was trying to get back to my hotel and he let me go. also been at Boxing matches where the judging was a lot less then honesty and caused roiting by the crowd. just got up and went the other way. in those kind of situations i tend to get away and watch my surroundings. if i have to react to a threat i will, be it a fight or flight reaction. and seeing as imma Duke fan not a terps fan i wouldnt have been in that mob of turtle lovers!

tacticalj
March 12, 2010, 07:48 PM
gas the crowd and then let them disperse on their own. Why send officers into an unruly crowd if you don't have to? Of course there are times when you have to. From an LEO stand point anyways.

If I was caught up in one as a civilian. Move away as fast as possible. You only got to out run the slower people. Seriously though, it's situational awareness. An unruly crowd would normally be loud and you should probably be able to hear them for a ways off. I have never been in one, so no personal experience there, as far as a riot. However, a large crowd can also run you over just as easily! Thats a tough one. Slip away ASAP

Blue Steel
March 14, 2010, 08:33 AM
What CAN and DOES happen (I know it happened to me) is that sometimes you can wind up in the middle of something before you realize what is happening.


This may be true, especially in a very large, spontaneous event. One situation that I can imagine would be that you are in a location that is caught up in the middle of the riot, like being in a restaurant in south-central on the day the Rodney King verdict came out. But you can mitigate your chances of being caught up if you exercise awareness and common sense. Riots don't just explode from nothingness. If you are at a sporting event and the crowd is starting to spiral out of control, leave. If they crowd is leaving, stay where you are. Avoid large gatherings that have explosive potential, and if you see a large demonstration, take a detour.

Maybe due to "condition white", maybe due to other circumstances (like mine where the mob is coming down the street and the police cordon is closing and you discover that you are "rock and a hard place" between them). The reason (and recriminations for being in that situation) aren't the important point of the question.

The most important thing is to express to people the power of awareness and decision making. Where did you come from that you were instantly trapped between advancing mob and police cordon? At some point before you were trapped was there not an about-face moment? I think you might explain exactly what happened in enough detail for us to understand what you might have done differently to avoid this situation.

The question is, you are caught in the mob, it has already happened....now what?

So far the ideas that seem the best are.
-Do your best to appear non-threatening (to everyone)
-If you are armed, go stealth and make sure your firearm is not visible
-Bunker-down and find some object to take shelter in/behind
-If no object or shelter is immediately available, move diagonally to the flow of the crowd and "break out" of the undertow if possible.

I agree these are the best ideas if you were suddenly thrust into a situation like this somehow. If you're swept up on a street, and can do nothing else, just try to make your way to wall and pin yourself against it. Arms up, palms out in the universal surrender sign.

Blue Steel
March 14, 2010, 08:44 AM
In the OP, the college students quoted in the article were crying about the police response. What sucks is that the police are damned if they do, and damned if they don't. Mob mentality builds and boils over, out of control. The best way to stop this come down on the mob like a ton of bricks, overwhelming their resistance. For this, the police are criticized for being over reactive.

Now, consider if the police simply held a perimeter, constantly relaxing that perimeter against the movement of the crowd. The mob would eventually exhaust itself, but after causing how much damage? How many injuries, how much property damage? How much criticism would the police suffer for failing to protect, for failing to respond?

ZeSpectre
March 14, 2010, 12:48 PM
Where did you come from that you were instantly trapped between advancing mob and police cordon?
Okay I'll try and give you a visual. Remember, it's noisy lunch rush hour in DC with a lot of people on the street already.

I (green line and arrow) left a favorite resturant and began walking NE up the ave to get back to work. When I was about 3/4 of the way up the block the two protest groups (red arrows) came from N and S and merged to march SW towards me. I turned around to walk away and the advancing police cordon had already moved NE past the yellow line, effectively blocking me from just going back the way I came.

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/zespectre/Protest.jpg

MTT TL
March 14, 2010, 06:54 PM
Better late to the party than never I suppose.

Excellent thread Ze BTW. Here is a situation that anyone in a city could well find themselves in quite unintentionally. Let me answer your basic questions first:

What if you were open carrying?

Bad Ju-ju. The last thing you want to be in a mob with police around is armed. If you are allowed to carry concealed it is now time to do so. Shifting to conceal might be difficult without being noticed. Still it is better than carrying open, where you could get mixed int to the fold and targeted by the police for threat elimination. Even if you are not allowed to carry concealed I would make the switch anyway. An explanation if you get arrested might be helpful. This is one of those time that it really is better tried by 12 than carried by six. (Sorry mods, I know I am advocating breaking the law here but it is better than likely being killed by the police)

What if you were carrying concealed?

Keep it concealed, avoid contact and be ready for retention drills. You do not want to be responsible for introducing a weapon into a mob situation.

So if you were just walking down the street and suddenly found yourself in the middle of this mob that swept out of nowhere to clash with police, what would you do to maximize your own safety?


A true mob is fairly well leaderless. I think your best bet in a true mob is to blend in and but at the same time hang back and drift towards the rear or side to make an escape. Don't run or you might trigger some kind of predatory response. Try to be non-completely non-confrontational with the crowd or police. Prepare for your personal space to be violated.

If you can't blend in (wrong color, gender etc) then you are stuck, now aren't you?

Nnobby45
March 14, 2010, 09:16 PM
So if you were just walking down the street and suddenly found yourself in the middle of this mob that swept out of nowhere to clash with police, what would you do to maximize your own safety?

LOL, well, I'd ask the first mob member to slap me hard upside the head for being so tuned out and unobservant that I let a mob, which by definition is loud and unruly, creep up on me like that.:p

MTT TL
March 15, 2010, 08:08 AM
LOL, well, I'd ask the first mob member to slap me hard upside the head for being so tuned out and unobservant that I let a mob, which by definition is loud and unruly, creep up on me like that.

A peaceful protest can turn into a mob in seconds with the proper motivation. A riot can expand in an direction that does not face stiff resistance. This can happen quite quickly if you are not expecting it.

sakeneko
March 15, 2010, 01:30 PM
What MTT_TL said. A "crowd" and a "mob" are different animals, but in some cases the first can turn into the second very quickly. I'm always very alert in any sort of crowd, and at the first sign of any type of group think or "crowd action", I usually leave. Not all "crowd action" is bad, of course, but I'm not comfortable with that sort of thing even when it's benign.

cubesmoothie
March 20, 2010, 06:29 PM
The smartest thing to do is run up to the line of police, yell "THIS IS SPARTA!"

But if you're carrying a gun, you cant allow yourself to have that kind of fun and you need to be a man and force your way to peaceful solitude as quickly as possible. Do not dilly dally.

teeroux
March 20, 2010, 09:11 PM
This is something that no Ninja should be without.:D

http://www.defensedevices.com/foxpespgr.html