Food for thought:
Years ago in Boston, during a verbal dispute, an unarmed teenage boy was forcefully hit in the head with the butt of a rifle by local law enforcement. Word of the incident spread quickly and, in a city already roiled by recent examples of excessive use of force by local authorities, and concerned about reports of bias in the justice system nationwide, even though it was cold and there was snow on the ground, a large number of locals gathered in the street where the incident had happened to protest almost immediately.
As the crowd grew, angry protesters shouted slogans and blocked the street; some business owners, fearing property damage, shut their doors. The local authorities called for uniformed backup; backup came, well armed.
The assembly was deemed “unlawful,” and the crowd was ordered to disperse. The protesters began to throw snowballs in response. (Eyewitness accounts vary as to whether a few of the protesters also hurled hard chunks of ice toward the men in uniform; accounts also vary as to whether some protesters may have been armed with sticks.)
In response, multiple uniformed law enforcers fired on the crowd. By most accounts, the first protester to die was a black man. (Though he did not have a gun, authorities would later try to justify his shooting in court by asserting the men who shot him were terrified by his large size and “mad” appearance, which, a lawyer for the law enforcement claimed, was “enough to terrify any person.”)
The year was 1770, the authorities were British soldiers, the protest would later be called the Boston Massacre (during which five protesters were killed, and six wounded), and the first protester killed in that conflict was Crispus Attucks, considered by many to be a heroic American patriot and the first casualty of the American Revolution.
If, while reading this story, you found yourself siding with the authorities and thinking that the crowd should not have blocked the street, that the protesters should have dispersed when ordered, and/or that the protesters armed with snowballs and sticks deserved to be met with deadly force by armed law enforcement, be aware that you chose the side of the tyrant King George III not the American patriots. Ponder that.