My dad was a Chicago police officer during the riots at the '68 Democratic National Convention, where the police busted hippie heads on Michigan Avenue. I called my dad to get his perspective on the WTO riots here in Seattle.

Have you been following the demonstrations in Seattle?

Just what I've seen on the news. I don't think the police there were totally prepared for that level of violence. I don't think they were prepared for all of those crazies, and that outfit out of Oregon -- those anarchists or whatever.

What do you think went wrong?

From my experience, a crowd can always go fucking nuts. It doesn't take much.

What do you think of all the gear the cops had on here?

I went out there in '68 with a little blue plastic helmet that had a little visor on it that wouldn't protect me from anything. I wish we'd had some of that equipment back in '68.

Any advice for Seattle police officers?

You're the uniform; you're the target; you're the guy or the gal who's going to be criticized if you raise that baton and whack somebody over the head, even if they deserve it. In '68, one kid threw a bag of shit at me. You get angry. I remember the terror I felt in '68 during those riots. Most police officers would never say this in public, but most became police officers because they want to make the world safe and beautiful. [Laughs.] Cops who get caught up in this have to do several things. You have to vent among yourselves; you have to keep your sense of humor; and you have to believe you were trying to do a good thing. And you can't let all the negative stuff -- whether it's in the media or an individual citizen that calls you names -- make you feel unappreciated.