Sunday, March 11, 2007

Police Brutality ?


20 year old Toni Comer is taking out a civil action against the police for using unacceptable force when she was being subdued during an incident where it is stated she was under the influence of alcohol.

Any civilised person among us who watched the video footage could not help to be shocked at the scene before us. Shami Chakrabarti director of Liberty, who I have a lot of time for, called it stomach turning. Was she right ? I guess so, for whatever the excuses the police give, every picture tells a story.

In any event, we have to take into account the very fact that some police officers love their job, love the power that goes with it and the very fact that they can bully and verbally abuse the general public almost at will. How many of you watch the programme Road Wars on Sky One ? It's pretty compelling viewing I have to say and some of the public who are the stars of the series are some of societies worst detritus.

However, what is also apparent from the police who operate in the Slough, Windsor, Reading areas is that they just love their jobs. They are so happy when they get into a situation where they can prove their macho image. Their language at times is very provocative, particularly with those under the influence of drink, and you could almost say that they coerse their victims into aggressive behaviour by way of their not so customer friendly language and their swaggering body language. This invariably creates a situation which allows them to maximise their posturing in front of the camera.

There is one officer who just loves to refer to the public they stop in their cars as "fella". OMG, if someone referred to me as fella instead of sir (remember that they are public servants) I would pretty well want to raise my game with him too! It's outrageously patronising and extremely ill mannered !!

Also, whenever the police do use too much force in a situation the commentator in the background invariably makes a comment to excuse this by bringing in an element of possible risk, which normally is not there anyway. I personally think the police in this series come over as very arrogant and love posturing in front of the camera but that's not to say that the people they deal with daily are not the dregs of society.

Getting back to Ms Comer, I don't think that the situation she found herself in was racially motivated but certainly there is a question mark over whether or not the officer who rained blows on her was acting within the bounds of acceptable force. We should all be a bit worried about this, and not hide behind the assertion that "they do a difficult job".

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