Above you’ll see a picture of Scott Olson, the Getty photographer who’s brought us many of the most striking images of protests and police crackdown that followed the shooting of Michael Brown.
The other two men in the photograph, despite presumably being police officers, are not identifiable at this time. Unlike normal police officers, they are not wearing name tags or badges with visible numbers on them. When police arrested the Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery and the Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly, they weren’t wearing badges or nametags either. Reasonable people can disagree about when, exactly, it’s appropriate for cops to fire tear gas into crowds. But there’s really no room for disagreement about when it’s reasonable for officers of the law to take off their badges and start policing anonymously.
There’s only one reason to do this: to evade accountability for your actions.