Kettles Are Used for Teas, Kettling is Used for People
The traditional method used by police to control riots or crowds is dispersal. This is effected in many ways like using tear gas or even water cannons. No more people, rioters, protesters, or crowds. Pretty simple.
The U.S. has a combined jail and prison population of 2.3 million of its citizens. If rioters, protesters, or just crowds of people disburse, there is no way to enter them into the nation’s ever-growing ranks of criminals. Kettling solves that problem.
The idea is to confine the rioters, protesters, or crowds in an area from which they are unable to escape. For residents caught outside their homes or passers-by caught up in a kettling operation, they become collateral damage. Even if they are not later convicted of anything, they now have an arrest record.
In early June, a group of over 600 peaceful protesters in Dallas, Texas, were effectively kettled for several hours on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. KUT radio’s Texas Standard Newscast reported that everyone was required to lie face down on hot pavement, then had their hands zip-tied behind their backs. Most received misdemeanor tickets. Some were arrested and jailed, swelling the population of the incarceration nation toward the 2.4 million mark.
On June 11, KUT radio’s Texas Standard Newscast reported that Houston, Texas, police Chief Art Acevedo actually marched with protesters in the city. After Acevedo left the peaceful crowd of protesters, teams of cops moved in, surreptitiously separating small groups from the larger crowd of protesters, kettling the smaller groups for identification to issue tickets or for trips to jail. Acevedo’s marching with protesters appeared to be a tactic designed to lull the protesting crowd into complacency then bait them into an area of the city where the geography facilitated this type of maneuver.
This crowd control technique fuels feelings of being trapped by those kettled and often leads to violent reactions. Holding kettled people in such close proximity to each other during the outbreak of COVID-19 only exacerbates infection rates and needlessly endangers lives.