Editorial: Police brutalities becoming the norm?

It is said that people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. The rough men here are the police personnel who are supposed to work on behalf of the people.

Frank Herbert, in the God Emperor of Dune, said, “police are inevitably corrupted…Police always observe that criminals prosper. It takes a pretty dull policeman to miss the fact that the position of authority is the most prosperous criminal position available.”

Raymond Chandler, in The Lady in the Lake, said “police business is a hell of a problem. It’s a good deal like politics. It asks for the highest type of men, and there’s nothing in it to attract the highest type of men. So, we have to work with what we get.”

The above quotes readily come to mind when one attempts to analyse the extrajudicial killings by the police, which, according to the Nkoranza South Member of Parliament (MP), Mr. Emmanuel Agyekum, is now becoming a norm in this country.

The Chronicle is alarmed about the increasing cases of personnel of the Ghana Police Service killing citizens suspected to have engaged in one crime or the other without due legal process.

We share in the fears of the Legislator and other well meaning Ghanaians that the practice of extrajudicial killings is gradually becoming a norm.

The development, if not handled properly, could jeopardise the confidence we have in our security and judicial systems.

The Chronicle recalls police brutalities in Ashaiman, Ejura, Techiman and other parts of the country. Attempts to investigate and find solution to police brutalities have not yielded any positive results.

We find it extremely difficult to understand why the police always claim they have suspects, but do not seem to want them (suspects) to be given a chance to be prosecuted at the courts.

Why are the men in black uniform quick to offer excuses when they commit errors in their line of duty?

The killing of a trader, Albert Donkor, and a student, Victor Kwadwo Owusu, by the police at Nkoranza, once again, raises credibility questions about the conduct of personnel of the Ghana Police Service.

The account of the Service of happenings so far does not add up, and we call for independent investigations.

We are calling for an independent inquiry because whenever there is an extra judicial killing, the likely story line by the police will be that there was an exchange of gunshots.

This time, The Chronicle is calling on stakeholders to ensure that the story is narrated to reflect what actually happened.

All around the globe, the general belief is that the police are the public, and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interest of the community’s welfare and existence.

Again, we all expect that police officers know that each time they put on their uniform, they are taking on risks to protect others, and not to kill them.

Unfortunately, the conduct of police officers and other public officers has made people lose trust in them.

To us, at The Chronicle, if we, indeed, wish to have a safe nation, we must begin to address some of these issues in a holistic manner.


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