Sunday, 19 April 2009

How Do We Want To Be Policed?

With more videos surfacing showing police brutality at the G20 protests, there are questions being asked about how the police are operating in this country.
Firstly the case of Ian Tomlinson who died minutes after being the victim of an unprovoked attacked by a masked Police Officer with his identification number removed. A second postmortem on Ian Tomlinson showed he died from internal bleeding, not a heart attack as was first announced. The officer responsible is now being questioned under suspicion of manslaughter.
Then the Sergeant seen to slap a female protester around the face and knock her to the ground with his baton has been suspended. Now video of a riot officer smashing his shield into the face of a protester and officers punching demonstraters surfaces and these are just the ones that have been caught on camera.
Complaints of police beatings away from cameras at the sleep in Climate Camp abound and with the other footage to gauge opinion by, you have to come to the conclusion that police thuggery was rife at that event also .
Days after the G20 events, police carried out a pre-emptive raid on environmental campaigners and arresting 114 people believed to planning action at a coal-fired power station. Seems you don't even have to break the law to be arrested in this country anymore, you only have to be thought of doing something wrong at some point in the future.
Of the 12 students arrested in a blaze of publicity recently, 1 has been released without charge and counterterrorist sources admitted that despite intensive surveillance and exhaustive searches of addresses, they had uncovered no definite evidence for an alleged plot.
In 2006, Police apologised to two brothers wrongly arrested on suspicion of terrorism, one of whom was shot during the raid on their home and this came just after the tragic police debacle which ended up with the death of the innocent Brazilian Jean Charles De Menzes.
Yes police do have a tough job but the thought that the police are going to start arresting people pre-emptivly or removing their identification numbers and cover their faces to hand out brutal beatings when they think nobody is watching is frightening. As is the thought that when they do get it wrong, they apply the whitewash and cover up any wrongdoing.
The head of the police watchdog, Nick Hardwick, has called for a national debate about police tactics in the light of all these events saying: "It's got to be a democratic political question about how do we want to be policed?"
Not with incompetence and brutal thuggery would be a great start.

8 comments:

Cody Bones said...

How do I want to be policed? The same way I want to be governed. With restraint, and a very light touch, and I will be willing to live with the consequences (i.e. Higher Crime). As I am very fond of saying, the greatest natural law isTanssaafl . I always find it ironic when people who call for greater government control over our lives, and less freedom find out that the only tool that they have to implement their new world order is the police. Police states are created by reaching too far left, as well as right, and I think that we would well served to remember that.

Noah "Nog" said...

You know, they'd never pull this crap in the states on a peaceful mob. Well I guess they do at times but they don't get away with it.

And Cody Bones is quite right. The only way to expand government is to keep meaner cops around. And it is touching that Hardwick is calling for a "national debate". I have noticed that lots of times when they want to do something that screws the public over, they call for some "public forum" on the issue.

I went to a meeting years ago when I was a kid with my folks about the city widening the road in front of our apartment complex. There was no reason to widen the road and all it did was damage the property values of the homes and businesses on the street. And they, I kid you not, imminent domained land from a public school. I didn't even know they could do that.

But in any case, they spent the whole time telling us how dumb we were.


Hopefully you Brits won't put up with getting talked down to by slimy politicians.


And a note on the video and the officer in question. Y'all's real problem seems to be the cop bosses and the cop ethos. This cop seems to be but a small-time player if what you say is true.



-Nog

Lucy said...

I share the blame between those at the top who seem to heartily endorse this switch in tactics from 'reacting' to incidents to 'initiating' them. In the case of the terror suspects, there really does seem to be a scattergun approach where they just grab bodies (all of asian appearance you notice) in a blaze of publicity and then quietly let them go weeks later without charge. It happened with the Ricin plot, then Forest Gate and now in Manchester.
As for pre-emptive arrests, that is an Orwellian nightmare in the making.

Cheezy said...

Sad to say, I don't have much faith in the Met anymore.

It's not so much the violent incidents that have caused this (although the ones caught on camera look bad - and possibly are bad, or certainly warranting an investigation)... This is because I think the occasional controversial moment is probably inevitable when you have a large police force confronting an angry mob, many of whom are specifically trying to provoke them.

Rather, it's the sleazy and half-baked attempts to cover them up that really erode the confidence of the public. And really piss me off.

It's a damn shame, because watching the live pictures at the time, it looked like they were doing a good job of protecting innocent people and property, under pressure from some real low-down pikeys (one of whom I saw hit a copper with an iron bar). It's a pity that (at least) a couple of loose cannons have dragged their reputation through the muck again. The one who covered up his ID number is a particular disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Lucy,

about 200 years ago this was happening daily in the colonies... that is why we have guns in America today... sounds like yawl need some as well...

Q

Kvatch said...

...but the thought that the police are going to start arresting people pre-emptivly or removing their identification numbers and cover their faces to hand out brutal beatings when they think nobody is watching is frightening.Nothing new under the sun. During the Iraq War protests in Sodom by the Sea, our 'organizers' (wizards at crowd control) kept us one step ahead of the police, tying up intersections one right after the other, for 6 hours.

Meanwhile, away from the cameras and reporters that were focusing on the main group, the cops were busy beating the crap out of stragglers who couldn't/wouldn't listen to the instructions from our organizers.

Cheezy said...

"sounds like yawl need some as well..."Arming the fellas who are currently having to make do with bashing people with batons?

Erm, I think weezawl might give that one a miss, thanks all the same!

Anonymous said...

Cheezy,

I meant arm the criminals and citizens so they can fight back...

Q