Friday, September 19, 2008

Better work stories

For the past few years, the police have been advertising for recruits with the slogan "get some better work stories". I wonder if they'll turn this into an ad?

An internal police investigation is under way into an alleged beating in the Christchurch Central Police Station cells that left a man with a fractured eye socket and ribs, putting him off work for 11 weeks.

Self-employed fencing contractor Jason Brougham, 35, was arrested for wilful damage to a vehicle on the night of December 30 last year.

Brougham said when he left custody the next day he had two fractured ribs, a fractured eye socket, concussion and bruising, including a boot imprint on his forehead, after a beating he said was inflicted by five officers over a 20-minute period while his hands were cuffed behind his back.

Apparently Brougham had been slightly uncooperative, and talked back to the officers processing him. The police are allowed to use "reasonable force" to conduct a search. But I challenge anyone to claim that a 20-minute beating by five officers resulting in grievous bodily harm is "reasonable". This is thuggery, pure and simple. And the fact that it is at the hands of the police, people who are supposed to uphold the law and be our protectors, makes it worse. These officers should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and stripped of their positions. And if the police are unhappy with that, they need to learn that they are there to serve the public, not abuse us.