Hold onto your seats this is a long one...
A friend of mine was arrested yesterday, see the link for turning left in an area of the road where she should have used the slip road. She said she had indicated left up till the end of the road and no one let her in so she simply went forward and indicated to turn left once the traffic light had turned green and it was clear of no other vehicles. Once she had done so a Metro cop stopped her and told her she was under arrest! Yet surprise, surprise could not tell her what she was arrested for.
This is frightening for many reasons but mostly because, a more law-abiding citizen you would not find!
She was arrested at 6.50am [thrown into the back of the metro police 4 x 4] and was only released last night after 9pm…to appear in court at 8.30am this morning to be told at 11pm by the Prosecutor that all 17 charges have been thrown out!
Her experience is horrific to say the least. 17 People altogether were arrested and they were humiliated in every way possible from things like:
• Getting thrown into a cell with real criminals (not to mention puppy size rats).
• Police were totally disorganized, arguing with each other completing the documentation incorrectly etc.
• Doing things like full body searches, for what?
• Laughing at them and saying things like 'you people just think you can pay your fines and get away with it, we are going to teach you a lesson’??
• One cop even said 'you are lucky you are in a group as we would have tortured you if you were on your own'.
• They were not offered food and drink from 7am-9pm. Is that what we call dignified, humane, democratic treatment..?
Ironically, not once in the whole ordeal did anyone ask to see her ID/license? What bothered me the most about her story is the horrific power trips and revolting bully behaviour of the police and how we as civilians can be treated like hardened criminals and these so called ‘protectors’ get away with it.
Is this what we are going to accept as the norm in this country? I feel more afraid of the police now than ever before…
Some of these people are now laying a civil claim, but why should this kind of thing happen in a country that already has such limited policing resources? It almost feels like the police targeting regular people to make an example…? We are sitting ducks and the poor are in a worse situation I am sure. Some of these people are now so traumatized they have to seek physiological help. Sadly those that could not afford a lawyer had to stay longer... Why should people have to spend money fighting the country’s public servants for insignificant things, when it is really real crime and HIV/AIDS we should all be fighting together.
Surely police resources would be well spent actually catching people that are harming others? It is interesting though when you hear of how the police seem to try and cover their tracks when the journalists arrive and how they try and change the story making up what the charge is... like not wearing seatbelts which is a total lie.
To me, when I hear things like this it sounds like we are a lost and lawless society where civilians are not protected from their own police force.. is this sounding familiar to anyone?
It is really depressing and we need to stop this apparent God complex happening within the Metro police [they are clearly doing nothing to help their PR] they also need to remember that they are really servants of the country. I am also tired of hearing that this is an 'isolated incident', how many of those do you need before you have a state if emergency??
No person deserves the kind of treatment these people got, that could have been your wife [with your children], daughter, son, mother or father.
It’s so sad that these kinds of incidents give the country such a bad name. Good luck to us all for 2010 arrives…. Can you just imagine it? Lets hope we have our act together by then and the Metro police are actually protecting and not arresting civilians for ridiculous things. I agree that we need law on the roads but come on! Lets have some balanced policing 2!
[UPDATE: This morning 16/11/07 I heard 702 talking to one of the senior JHB Metro people about this 'incident'. As someone listening from the outside I agree with zero tolerance see my post its a looooong road BUT from the outside the 'operation' looks 'clean' and organised and it was far from that. I simply don't agree with the inhumane way these people were treated- only when experienced by someone you know do you realise the extent of the treatment. If you also checked out the reason that some of these people where arrested you would afraid.....like in this case - the cops themselves didn't know - wrong place, wrong time. There was no driving on a white/yellow line here! Excessive in my opinion and totally unacceptable. This round up and arrest strategy is not at all democratic and ruins peoples lives. I hope the Human Rights people do an investigation on this one and then 702 can bring that Metro okie back for another round.!]
Thursday, 15 November 2007
Hold onto your seats this is a long one...