Thursday, February 20, 2020

The blue wall of silence

Another day, another IPCA report on criminal conduct by policy. This time they kicked a child in the head when he was handcuffed:

Police chased him and yelled out for him to stop. When he turned to face the police, he threatened them with a hammer.

That's when the officers tasered and restrained the boy but once they had him on the ground, he said they kicked him in the head.

A nearby witness also saw the boy being kicked and reported it because he was "disturbed" by what he saw.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority found that the use of a taser was appropriate, as the boy confronted the officers with a hammer.

But Judge Colin Doherty said that threat diminished once the boy was restrained and there was no reason to kick him.

"This was an excessive use of force," he said.

There's more in the report: they also attempted to intimidate a witness filming the arrest on a phone, suggesting they knew their behaviour was criminal. But the IPCA was unable to determine which police officer delivered the kick. In other words, two of these three police officers covered for their criminal colleague and perverted the course of justice. And that is simply not acceptable. The police must be accountable under the law, and prosecuted when they break it. When they cover for each other, they are acting like a gang with fancy uniforms, not a police force under the rule of law.