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National Policing Institute Releases Protest Handling Guide

The National Policing Institute has released "21st Century Protest Response: Promoting Democracy and Advancing Community and Officer Safety," which makes recommendations to law enforcement agencies responding to mass protests. It is intended to add to the ongoing assessment of and dialogue about best practices concerning protests and mass demonstrations. The recommendations help guide state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies in their response to mass demonstrations. The institute hopes the guidance will help law enforcement agencies protect constitutional rights while prioritizing community and officer safety.

Law enforcement agencies play a critical role in preserving the fundamental right to peaceably assemble and in facilitating demonstrators’ safety and security as they exercise their First Amendment rights. At the same time, law enforcement must identify when law enforcement interventions are necessary in order to maintain safety and public order. Officials must protect the rights of citizens to protest, while simultaneously safeguarding property and preserving officer and community safety. The report urges that policing strategies be in place "by which law enforcement engages community members; prioritizes community partnerships; and understands the issues, social structure, and context in anticipation of potential protests."


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