"I wouldn't suggest that," he said. "I don't know that it would be good for their health."
Who knew Perdue was so hilarious? And as it turns out, so are the police.
Three days after Perdue's knee-slapper, the state invited the media to watch a few hundred cops from throughout Georgia undergo a 40-hour crowd control course at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center, a sprawling compound north of Macon.
The event had been pegged as an "opportunity to view field training exercises" in preparation for the June summit of the world's eight most powerful heads of state. It's expected that 20,000 security personnel will be deployed for the event.
One reporter asked the training commander, Capt. Hiram Bremby of the Georgia State Patrol, if part of the training would involve mock scenarios pitting police against would-be protesters.
"Why, do you want to be a protester?" Bremby said, as his trainees marched up and down an asphalt driveway, wearing face shields and clutching batons. "I don't think you want to be a protester."
Everybody's a comedian.
Officially, of course, the police will be on hand in large numbers this June to "keep the peace" and protect the First Amendment rights of the peaceful protesters, Bremby said. The training, one state spokesman said, was so that police would know when and how to "step in and aggressively enforce the peace."
Minutes later, after evading a few more questions, Bremby looked at his watch and kicked the media out.
G-8, after all, is only three months away. There is much peace training to be done.
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