Bricks, fires, frozen bottle projectiles: the organized tactics of America’s violent rioters

Police say the current riots are the most sophisticated and coordinated in years with supply lines, medics and communications.

Last Updated:
June 3, 2020 - 4:37pm

Law enforcement officials across the country say the anarchists who are inflaming peaceful demonstrations honoring George Floyd and transforming them into violent riots are more organized, better coordinated and supplied than any militants seen in civil discord in years.

Police intelligence units have uncovered encrypted and walkie-talkie communications as well as social media postings that coordinate the delivery and hiding of weapons and projectiles and the direction of anarchists to specific locations at specific times.

In essence, these professional rioters have created command-and-control apparatus as well as supply chains unseen in prior riots that followed the deaths of Michael Brown (Ferguson, Mo.) and Freddie Grey (Baltimore) and the verdict in the case of those officers who beat Rodney King (Los Angeles).

One federal law enforcement official told Just the News, “The anarchists have upped their game.” 

U.S. Park Police Acting Chief Gregory T. Monahan said Tuesday one of the most troubling tactics seen near the White House is anarchists trying to grab police weapons during clashes. Other weaponry, he said, was being hidden in areas for perpetrators to pick up to use against officers.

“Intelligence had revealed calls for violence against the police, and officers found caches of glass bottles, baseball bats and metal poles hidden along the street,” he said.

In other cities, stacks of bricks have been discovered in staging areas that end up being slammed against store windows by looters. 

In New York City, rioters appear to have developed a scouting system to pick targets for fires and looting or to exploit holes in police protection. In the Big Apple, two lawyers were arrested after tossing a molotov cocktail into a police van

The anarchists have "developed a complex network of bicycle scouts to move ahead of demonstrators in different directions of where police were and where police were not for purposes of being able to direct groups from the larger group to places where they could commit acts of vandalism including the torching of police vehicles and Molotov cocktails where they thought officers would not be," John Miller, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for terrorism, disclosed this week.

Miller added that pre-planning by the anarchists included the preparation of supply lines for such items as gasoline, bottles and rocks as well as medics who could care for injured rioters.

"Before the protests began, organizers of certain anarchist groups set out to raise bail money and people who would be responsible to be raising bail money, they set out to recruit medics and medical teams with gear to deploy in anticipation of violent interactions with police," he said.

The most intense instigators share similar language, blaming capitalism, globalism, chauvinism, oppression, and America overall, police officials said.

Spray painted graffiti messages, signs and chants commonly seen by the cops range from “F**k Capitalism” to “Death to America.”

“This time they are more organized, more strategic, even angrier,” said one Midwest law enforcement official, “and this is beyond criminal justice.”

“Now, we have older local citizens who have protested peacefully for decades calling us and telling us, ‘I am not going out there because there is going to be violence.’ That is where this has gone.” 

In local meetings where demonstrators strategize their objectives, which is a normal demonstration plan, the outsiders are hijacking the peaceful demonstrators’ objectives with little to no regard for the local communities, emphasizing a call for a violent revolution, officials said. 

The goal of the anarchists appears to be to instigate large numbers of locals to create chaos and additional violence and looting. About one out of every seven people arrested by the NYPD were outsiders aligned to such anarchist groups, officials have said.

Law enforcement officials told Just the News that anarchists are dispersing among the crowds in two or threes, draped with backpacks, hoodies, walkie-talkies with telltale signs of instigating violence or panic.

Former Ferguson, Mo., police chief Tom Jackson, who lost his job after the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown and subsequent rioting, said the anarchists’ tactics in 2020 appear more organized and more widespread than what he experienced in Ferguson. Brown’s death was ultimately ruled justified.

“What it seems like is organized anarchy,” Jackson told the John Solomon Reports podcast on Tuesday. “These folks seem to be well-coordinated and well-funded. I think there is some sort of logistics support. This has really evolved into a sort of an insurgency that is hiding behind protesters and people exercising their rights.”

Jackson said police will need to adapt their tactics to mirror those used by the military during wartime insurgencies overseas, particularly psychological and communications operations on social media.

“We had no idea the power of social media. We do now. It is how these folks are communicating in these riots,” he said

The challenge is most police departments, especially smaller ones, don’t have the resources to staff a full-time social media operations team, he said.

So instead, Jackson is recommending a special reserve unit be created — from paid to volunteer — to parachute in or be activated when rioting crises occur.

“What I was kind of recommending is having a major case squad of social media people, who could be called up as volunteers or otherwise who can attack the social media attacks on the police so for everything the streamers are putting out the police department is putting out the truth and its own story line so you can at least fight back,” he said.

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