The American psychologist Laurence Miller, specializing in particular on the psychology of the police, commented on the actions of the Belarusian police to disperse the protesters. According to him, the rigidity of law enforcement due to the fact that when threatened, they first think about their own safety.
“the Average COP expects from a citizen that he will listen to him and obey him. (…) And when they are not respected, when they are opposed, (…) in the head come two things. First, the natural anger that we experience when faced with disrespect or when they don’t take us seriously. And the second is the issue of security. Every COP knows that he can easily knock down, to hurt him, the crowd may become violent. (…) They are not wrong in fearing for his safety,” said Miller in comments to RIA “Novosti”, after reviewing video of the protest in Belarus.
The expert noted “a certain level of restraint” and noted that the media and the Internet spread, recording the conflict issues, but behind the scenes there is much more situations where escalation can be avoided.
According to him, the police feel like a single group with a specific mission. “They believe or not in all the principles of government, but they government agents, their job is to ensure the integrity of the unit and to fulfill its mission, which in this case is to subdue, to suppress or to deescalate unrest,” – said Miller. He also pointed to the existence of a mentality of “us versus them”, which becomes the basis for confrontation.
“I was struck by the Parallels between what I saw on those videos from Belarus, and videos that we see every day here in the United States. If you do not know what country, it would be practically interchangeable,” said the psychologist.
Mass protests began across Belarus on 9 August, after the presidential election, the results of which the acting head of the Republic, according to the CEC, gained 80.1% of votes. Actions harshly suppressed by security forces, used tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets and stun grenades. Protesters pelted Riot police with Molotov cocktails.
According to the interior Ministry, during the riots injured hundreds of people, among them 103 law enforcement officer. According to official data, one protester was killed.