What we’ve seen from rioting police, in other words, is an assertion of power and impunity.

In the face of mass anger over police brutality, they’ve effectively said So what?

In the face of demands for change and reform — in short, in the face of accountability to the public they’re supposed to serve — they’ve bucked their more conciliatory colleagues with a firm No.

In which case, if we want to understand the behavior of the past two weeks, we can’t just treat it as an explosion of wanton violence,

we have to treat it as an attack on civil society and democratic accountability, one rooted in a dispute over who has the right to hold the police to account?”