A philosopher distinguishes between cathartic violence, tactical violence, and looting.
He's talking about violence associated with demonstrations, but I'm thinking about the tactical/cathartic distinction for police. I've seen people defend police for using violence against disrespectful people, and the arguments seem to be more along the lines of "it's unreasonable to expect the police to just endure insults" rather than "insulting the police is an offense against public order".
Link thanks to vvalkyri.
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