Stott and his coauthors report on findings from their study of the police response to protests in Hong Kong. Their analysis is based on the Elaborated Social Identity Model (ESIM), a powerful framework for understanding the dynamic interplay between protesters and police. They find that by responding in an overly forceful and indiscriminate manner, the police triggered psychological changes among protesters that intensified these events and led to greater levels of disorder. In this reaction essay, I comment on the findings of Stott and his coauthors. I also note how the coercive policing practices used by Hong Kong's police during the protests harm their relationships with the public, diminish the perceived legitimacy of the police, and undermine human rights.
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