Riot police

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Minnesota State Patrol during the George Floyd protests on Friday, May 29, 2020, equipped with bullet proof vests, helmets with face guards, and large wooden batons for defense against violent protests.

Riot police are police who are organized, deployed, trained or equipped to confront crowds, protests or riots.

Riot police may be regular police officers who act in the role of riot police in particular situations, or they may be separate units organized within or in parallel to regular police forces. Riot police are used in a variety of different situations and for a variety of different purposes. They may be employed to control riots as their name suggests, to disperse or control crowds, to maintain public order or discourage criminality, or to protect people or property.

Riot gear[edit]

Canadian Toronto Police Service officers in heavy riot gear—including riot helmets, body armor, gas masks, riot shields, and riot guns—during the 2010 G20 Toronto summit protests
American Beverly Hills Police Department officers in light riot gear, consisting of just riot helmets and batons, during a Trump 2020 rally in 2019

Riot police often use special equipment termed riot gear to help protect themselves and attack others, oftentimes simultaneously. Riot gear typically includes personal armor, batons, riot shields, and riot helmets. Many riot police teams also deploy specialized less-than-lethal weapons, such as: pepper spray, tear gas, riot guns, rubber bullets, stun grenades, water cannons, and Long Range Acoustic Devices.

List of riot police organizations[edit]

Swiss Kantonspolizei Zürich riot police officers attempting to control May Day riots in 2008
Russian OMON officers advancing on protestors in Moscow during the 2021 Russian protests

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "«زنان یگان ویژه» پلیس ایران برای مقابله با معترضان زن وارد میدان شدند". Retrieved 2022-10-18.
  2. ^ Rauch, J.; Storey, D. (1998). "The Policing of Public Gatherings and Demonstrations in South Africa 1960-1994". The Commission on Truth and Reconciliation (TRC).