Monday, May 27, 2013

Police brutality

It was like a bad movie. A man was chained to the back of a van and dragged through the streets. In broad day light. By the police.

I guess being chained and dragged is a crime big enough to lose faith in humanity, but that it was done in broad daylight and then by people who are supposed to serve and protect the citizenry is just plain demonic. I don’t care why it was done, it simply is wrong. And as if fate just chooses to take a pee on all of us while smoking a Cuban cigar with a James Bond villain laugh, the reason for all these? He was wrongly parked! 

Not nice. Not nice at all.

Mido Macia, a 27-year-old Mozambican, was dragged close to 30 miles by the South African police for parking on the wrong side of the road. He later died from being beaten inside the police station. Simple enough fact! The question then is, if those you are meant to report violent crimes to are the ones perpetrating it, who do you report them to? The authorities? Well, in South Africa, think again. In 2008, with racial tensions high, South African Deputy Police Minister Susan Shabangu urged a shoot-to-kill policy, insisting, “I want no warning shots… You have one shot and it must be a kill shot. You must kill the bastards if they threaten you or the community. You must not worry about the regulations. That is my responsibility. Your responsibility is to serve and protect,” Shabangu told police in Pretoria. The argument can be made that he was carried away with the zeal of protecting indigenous south Africans, but is that just cause for a man in authority to spew put so much venom with the backing of his high office?

We are fortunate enough that the GardaĆ­ are not exactly that rough-handed in their approach to any form of crime fighting but with the world increasingly becoming a global village, what if anyone goes holidaying in other parts of the world?

Rodney King become sort of the poster boy for police brutality in 1992. King was tasered twice. And he was beaten. Well beaten. He was surrounded by 5 LAPD officers. In a country where freedom and justice is meant to be prevalent. Yea. The land of the free and home of the brave. Where democracy is supposed to be the watchword and shining light. That, I suppose clearly shows police brutality isn’t some third-world syndrome. 

Rodney King: No caption needed

A point of argument to justify this method of policing is that it serves criminals right. That criminals can’t be treated with kid’s gloves. That I do agree with. But policing like a bunch of heroin fuelled evil clan from a sci-fi movie, treating everyone in the community like animals in anticipation of crushing the activities of a bad few can be likened to killing a rat with a bomb. Yes, the rat dies, but so do a couple of human beings and valuable property. Won’t we all be better served using a club of chemicals to kill the rats instead? Why go all GI-Joe on people who are just trying to live through what is already a difficult economic environment? It’s wrong. Very wrong. Like we say where I’m from. There’s only one way to describe what’s wrong; It’s wrong.

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