I don't know what to think about police behavior, or lack thereof, in various cities I have no experience with.
Here in Bellingham, there were quite a few pro Black Lives Matter protests, last summer, that were peaceful and the police had a soft presence, if any presence at all. At least from what I gather.
Holly Street was blocked a few times which didn't seem to bother the police and neither did it bother me. I don't drive. Pedestrians were able to wonder around on Holly Street.
I think actions can bring on reactions. Heavy policing and violent protests; like a vicious cycle. Protests on the right versus protests on the left.
I prefer civil and thoughtful discussion that can, hopefully lead to our society's evolution.
There was some vandalism, in Bellingham, aside from the actual protests. Some individuals that broke windows at other times. After one protest was winding down, some people graffitied City Hall.
Seems like most liberal activists distanced themselves from those things. Spoke out critical of those actions on local media.
I didn't participate in the BLM marches, in Bellingham, though I have friends who did.
There were folks who thought mass gatherings, during this pandemic, would be a bad idea. Turns out spread of the virus wasn't as bad as first feared with gatherings being outdoors and masks worn, for the most part.
I still wasn't a big fan of those protests thinking, myself, "if we are giving up the fun things, like the gay parade that also help culture evolve, why gather for the more angry, serious stuff?"
Culture also evolves by the way we lead our lives and the things that we consume.