By Leapy Lee • 01 October 2020 • 12:25
I cannot help feeling that if many of those stopped by the police would only comply a little more with their requests we would not see many of these ‘street’ situations become so confrontational.
With a growing number of these occurrences now showing on social media, it’s easy to see that police can sometimes be a mite overzealous, but more often than not, it is the citizens involved that cause these situations to escalate; often with tragic results that could easily have been avoided.
One post recently showed a perfectly respectable looking African American woman standing near her car. The police approached and politely asked if the car was hers? There was no colour issue involved here, merely an enquiry as to the owner.
When she subsequently affirmed it was indeed hers they asked for her ID. Instead of complying, she belligerently retorted ‘why’? The police man reasonably and clearly then informed her that the car had been reported stolen and reiterated his request to see her ID. The women immediately exploded.
Screaming obscenities and jumping around she smashed her fists on the car and rushed about creating such general mayhem that finally a threatening crowd began to gather. Ultimately she had to be physically restrained and put into the police car, where she continued to scream that she was being arrested ‘because she was black’ and that she ‘couldn’t breathe’ (sound familiar?).
All this unpleasantness could have been avoided if she had simply produced her ID when requested. It’s not exactly rocket science.The same scenario also occurred in the (often omitted) first section of the filming in the George Floyd affair. Floyd actually escalated that confrontation by refusing to comply with the officers for almost a half an hour before the final tragic outcome. If he had simply got in the car when first instructed he would still be alive today.
I also believe these attitudes are part of the reason for this latest Croydon tragedy. Through their prior experience of similar situations, the police, in an attempt avoid these dangerous circumstances getting out of control, including possible attack from baying by standers, want to get perpetrators into the vans as quickly as possible.
For this reason, I believe the body search of this suspect was rushed and resulted in the gun being over looked, leading ultimately to the tragic murder of Officer Matt Ratana.
These attitudes and the lack of respect for our police have to change. Simple compliance with police requests would go a long way to avoiding these unacceptable and often disastrous outcomes.
I am actually writing this on Monday, three days since the officer’s murder.The police have had this man on their terrorism watch books for some time. Apparently he was in line for some kind of de radicalization process-Ha!
My point is however, they must therefore know who he is and most certainly have pictures of him. Why then have we not seen any published? Just asking!
Keep the faith
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Thank you for reading this article, “Respecting police more”. For more columns by Leap Lee, visit the Euro Weekly News website.
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Like Marmite, you either love Leapy or hate him. His controversial views and long-standing column make him one of the Euro Weekly News´ most-read columnists.
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