They're on my mind, but probably because I'm reading Melville's excellent White-Jacket: The World in a Man-of-War.
But with regards to the protests and the NYPD... I don't see the problem of the "white shirts." (And before you go there, Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna has been taken off the street.) This is one of the very rare times the military-like structure of a police department, usually so counter-productive, actually comes in handy.
Do we really want every cop at a protest making independent judgments about arrest and the first amendment willy-nilly? This kind of protest isn't an everyday occurrence. And the 1st Amendment is kind of important. Isn't it better to have experienced supervisors, in direct conference with experienced lawyers, making such decisions?
It's also smart of the NYPD to release some of their own videos. Eight times out of ten, their natural inclination to secrecy does not help their cause.