Editorial: Severe blow

POSTED: 05/31/12 12:46 PM

The police force suffered a severe blow in the Court in First Instance yesterday due to the acquittal of a defendant who stood accused of drunk driving, ill-treating a policeman and resisting arrest.

The judge ruled on all counts in favor of the defendant and, as a parting shot had this to say about one of the officers involved in the tumultuous arrest: “I think he went too far.”

The attorney for the defendant has filed a complaint with the police’s internal affairs department to investigate the officer’s behavior.

She also accused police officers outright of lying in their police reports, a statement to which the public prosecutor objected. But apparently it found a willing ear with the judge.

The police management will have to get to the bottom of this case – not three months from now, but as soon as possible – and, depending on its findings, send a clear signal to the community. A good first step would be to monitor all places where police officers come in contact with people that are arrested with video cameras. At least, that would offer fair and unbiased recordings of what is really going on at the police station.

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