This issue goes far beyond the Occupy movement, though. Over the last several years we've seen an almost siege mentality come from the police, which extends to seizing cameras containing valuable documentary evidence from bystanders and destroying them in plain sight of the persons they're supposedly meant to be protecting. The brutalized response to the Occupy movement seems to be a natural - almost inevitable - consequence of the increasingly hierarchical relationship of the gendarmerie to the public.
Oh, absolutely. They're an expression of power over
the people not of
the people now. They protect the interests of the powerful above all else in nearly all circumstances. And their word is treated as the gospel in court, they're protected from within despite wrongdoing, and politicians fervently demand the police be respected.