The Chronicle would like to condemn the rough treatment the police meted out to some law students who demonstrated on Monday.
The law students and their hundreds of sympathisers planned to march to the Presidency in a peaceful protest dubbed ‘#OpenUpLegalEducation’ to push for reforms to open up legal education in the country.
The Chronicle is at a great loss as to why a simple democratic activity by these harmless students could trigger the Police Service to unleash such brute force on them.
To us at The Chronicle for the police to have fired live cartridges and sprayed hot water on the demonstrators is a most barbaric and brutish display of force.
We have in previous publications chastised the public for attacking police personnel in the line of duty. We further admonished the public to respect the police as peace keepers who need the support of citizens to effectively execute their mandate.
Other individuals and civil society organisations have equally called on the public to desist from attacking the police, since they are our friends.
It, therefore, comes as a big worry that the same police we are making frantic efforts to support in order for them to do their job well, would, at the least opportunity, use the ammunition we buy from our sweat against us.
We are glad that the National Youth Authority (NYA), which is aimed at supporting the welfare of the youth in the country, has assured the students of engaging all key stakeholders to create a solution to this problem.
The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has also condemned the action and demanded a full-scale enquiry into the circumstances that led to the use of force against the protesting law students by the police.
The NPP General Secretary, John Boadu, condemned the action of the officers and called on the police administration to investigate the matter. That tells it all – the police over reacted.
However, The Chronicle is worried at the attempt by the Ghana Police Service to justify the use of what it calls reasonable force to disperse the agitating law students who protested to demand reforms in the legal education system.
The Deputy Police Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Accra Regional Police Command, Inspector Kwabena Danso’s submission that the protestors did not follow laid down procedures, is most irritating, to say the least.
The fact that the students attempted to march to the Presidency does not call for the brutal response from the police.
We believe that in as much as the police has a duty to protect property, let us not forget that it will amount to a lack of sense if we kill our citizens in an attempt to protect non-living property.
The action of the police was unnecessary, unprofessional and barbaric, and they would soften matters with a simple apology so we move on with our lives.