“We are not Iron Men,” said PSNI officers in Craigavon, after a number of officers were hurt during attacks this week.
Posting on their Facebook page, they published a photo of the film character Iron Man and another photo of an officer in riot gear with a shield.
The emotional post stated: “This is PSNIron Man...
“No, wait, it’s not. It’s a normal man.
“He bleeds, he hurts, he gets broken bones and burns, just like you.
“It just so happens he wears a uniform. He’s someone’s son, grandson, and possibly brother.
“He could even be a father.
“Unfortunately, our bosses won’t let us get our public order gear made by Stark Industries (yet!)
“Until that time, we’re vulnerable to everything from an uneven kerb stone to a nuclear strike ... that includes bricks and petrol bombs.
“This weekend, several of our colleagues in Lurgan were injured. We are not indestructible.
“Every day we set out to Keep People Safe. Sometimes, that means physically putting our bodies on the line.
“We will continue to do that, and will not be put off by the mindless few intent on ruining their communities.
“But next time you demand action, criticise us for not arresting every potential rioter or illegal marcher, or take to keyboards to tell us what we should be doing ... stop. Think for a moment about the potential consequences.
“For the things that have been complained about in Lurgan this weekend, investigations are ongoing. We will pursue people and bring them before the courts, but we’re going to do that in a way that is best for everyone concerned.
“When it comes to #KeepingPeopleSafe that counts for us too.”