We know. A post about safety tips during civil unrest in the United States is not something you’d expect to either be searching for or otherwise come across. Unfortunately, after decades of seeing an excitingly sharp decline in violent crime — FBI numbers note that violent crime fell 51% between 1993 to 2018 and that property crime fell at least 54% between that same era — pent-up issues stemming from the coronavirus lockdowns, the election, and social justice concerns have bloomed into civil unrest. This all has led to an unanticipated uptick in every segment of crime.
Today, civil unrest is something every American should be aware of and should prepare for. The following are a few tips on how you can keep yourself and your family safe. You never know when you might find yourself in the midst of a community undergoing sudden unrest. Preparation is key.
Stay tuned to local and regional news from various sources.
If you don’t know what’s happening in your community, then you are apt to be blindsided. For example, on the Friday before Labor Day, Pittsburgh activists organized a BLM protest march in Downtown Pittsburgh. Restaurateurs not aware of this march were blindsided and some assaulted in clashes where they ate and drank. While no one was seriously injured, that has not always been the case this year.
According to a Forbes article released on June 8, 19 people were killed within the 14 days of protesting that occurred in the wake of George Floyd. On Saturday, July 4th, an 8-year-old girl was fatally shot in a parking lot. Her mother tried to enter and turn around in the parking lot protesters had barricaded as a memorial for Rayshard Brooks. They were no threat, but had entered the wrong place during the wrong politically-charged time. While every American should have the right to enter every publicly-accessible space without issue, one must play smart during times of civil unrest. Be aware, and ensure your family is aware of what is going on locally and nationally. The more you know and understand, the less likely you are at becoming a victim of civil unrest.
If driving in an area and you see unrest, either turn around and drive away or park and leave your car.
Even if you are in the right and you are obeying all traffic laws, you can find yourself in poor situations. If you want to stay safe, you should avoid driving in, near, or otherwise through any protest or march. Protesters and drivers are getting into increasingly violent confrontations. Too often, violence is the result of something as innocent as a wrong turn and getting caught in a crowd. The mob won’t wait to listen to your explanations if they think you’re in the wrong.
While following these safety tips will help you avoid such confrontations from occurring, there are times when protests seem to pop-up without notice. If you find yourself suddenly in an area with protesters, go back the way you came. In the event you can’t turn around, park your car and wait until it’s safe again to drive.
If You’re a Peace Keeper, Get the Right Gear
At the end of September, two officers were shot. This was during the protests and riots following the grand jury decision withholding charges in the Breonna Taylor case. They have not been the first officers injured this year in civil unrest and they will likely not be the last. If you are out in the streets keeping the peace, make sure you are protected. Your gear should be lightweight, durable, and offer plenty of mobility. Protect yourself with Haven Gear.
Our team at Haven Gear was shocked when we saw how little riot gear had changed from the 1970s. Suits were bulky and heavy, making them hard to put on and even harder to be mobile. When you are facing a crowd that outmatches you 100 or more to 1, then you need to be able to move quickly to protect the public, your team members, and yourself. That’s why we have redesigned anti-riot and crowd control suits. Haven Gear is here to provide you with the protection you need to stay safe. Our riot suits will give you the mobility and joint flexibility you need to do your job efficiently and effectively. Contact us to learn more about what makes our riot gear the best in the business.