This is apparently an earnest question by Collins, if not a somewhat naïve one. Insofar as I am somewhat easy to caricature and will be at odds with that caricature here, do note that in this missive there will be no confusing attempts at irony from me.
It’s not obvious that policing in this country isn’t abysmal these days. Here, the police say the suspect was shot in a tussle for the gun. Eyewitnesses say the suspect was running away, quite possibly with his hands up.
If the police are lying, there’s a typical, systemic potentiality that the county prosecutor and internal review boards will sign off on that lie and not pursue action against the officer. And this potentiality would probably withstand the contact and monitoring of the victim’s family alone.
But if the community riots, they have ‘raised awareness’, and made it hard for the prosecutorial apparatus to credibly acquiesce to a police cover up.
It’s like whistle blowing, and these people in this community don’t have much leverage with their local political institutions. I’m not sure rioting isn’t a completely rational response.
Updated to add: They started out the first night with some looting, and that was probably spontaneous. But it’s been followed by some very effective street theater and protest.