Gothamist is going to work on getting our hands on the NYPD reports about how to quell protesters, because today's NY Times article about how the NYPD has used tactics like "proactive arrests" and bringing in correction buses to scare protesters is fascinating. It seems that proactive arrests are used when protesters use "hard-core, violent" tactics (metal pipes, for instance, to rush the police), which can make sense, if you're thinking strictly in terms of public safety. But then there's this:
The reports also made clear what the police have yet to discuss publicly: that the department uses undercover officers to infiltrate political gatherings and monitor behavior.
Indeed, one of the documents — a draft report from the department's Disorder Control Unit — proposed in blunt terms the resumption of a covert tactic that had been disavowed by the city and the federal government 30 years earlier. Under the heading of recommendations, the draft suggested, "Utilize undercover officers to distribute misinformation within the crowds."
Aha! So those protesters who are paranoid about cops being in the midst? Totally true, as mentioned in an earlier Times article. We'd also like to note that the Times' coverage of the messy convergence between the police and protesters, be they Critical Mass rides or political protests, has been especially good.
Other posts about police tactics: The NYPD using using videotape surveillance and even police officers are upset.