The public response following the recent death of George Floyd at the hands of police officer Chauvin follows the pattern of public unrest in Hong Kong.
What begins as a legitimate public gathering very quickly turns into an unlawful riot. Scenes in the US cannot be called a display of democratic right to lawful assembly.
It cannot be in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, according to the signs in the hands of protesters. The scenes reveal vehicles and buildings being set alight (in addition to police cars and police stations), looting, assaults on journalists and people of all colour going about their daily business.
A number of those rioting in Minneapolis are from out of town professional rioters in fact – also identified in Hong Kong. This is the criminal element which quickly spreads amongst the masse leading otherwise everyday individuals to loot shops and destroy the hard work and livelihood of others.
The rule of law
As in Hong Kong, the rioters in Minneapolis undermine the legitimacy of public assembly and weaken all protections guaranteed by the Rule of Law.
Four days ago, police officer Chauvin used brute force, not reasonable force, to detain George Floyd who later tragically died. What’s followed is the exercise of the mob’s brute force which in turn will be met by brute force by police and military personnel deployed to restore calm. Doesn’t really make a lot of sense does it?