In Grapes of Wrath police violence and rioting comes out to be a main theme. Many of the altercations, especially in chapter 20, is solved by violence. The police seemed disgusted by all the people put out of work by the depression and seem to just want them to leave town. I can totally understand their prospective as the people from the dust bowl headed out west and set up new camps and communities in their towns.
Hungry people are dangerous people. In the struggle to survive humans get desperate. Some of the riots from the depression era included around (A small community of unemployed
60,000 rioters. This made these communities very dangerous. people in the depression)
The polices would usually respond with violence fearing their
city be thrown into chaos without any preemptive action.
Besides riots most police officers of the time were cruel in general. They were hit with the depression hard and most have had accepted bribes from local gangs and had become mostly corrupt. This was something the felt like they needed to do to survive the depression.
(A large riot with police responding to the unruly citizens)
Usually we like to think that something as unpredictable and dangerous as riots have mostly left but truth is they still exist. The middle east experiences riots on a day to day basis still because wherever there is political unrest riots follow. In America with the advancement of modern media protests are no longer met with real police violence needed to cause an all out riot but there are still the unsettled fans from sporting events burning couches and the street parties thrown by numerous colleges. The modern world is slowly phasing out civil unrest but can never fully. Its too hard to please everyone in a large modern society so their will always be a small group ready to stir up the crowd and start riots.