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Citizens wailing, not police bashing

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23.DEC.08

Editor: I feel compelled on behalf of all persons who have suffered or experience some form of police brutality to respond to Shirley Dewar’s letter “Police Bashing unacceptable”. For all those who would have suffered at the hands of the police, I can imagine that this letter simply added insult to injury. Reports of police abuse are becoming so frequent that it now seems to be acceptable.{{more}} Thus writing a letter to chastise the citizenry and the media for highlighting this ill in our society reads like a politician’s attempt to glaze over an oozing sore.

Many of the alleged victims of police brutality are poor and seemed not to have any other avenues of redress except to “wail” through the media. The police response is almost automatic in all instances. Either no formal complaint has been filed, or they are investigating the matter. However not once, can I recall the police reporting that its investigation found a complaint to be without merit.

I was even more saddened that the letter writer used the IPA case as some form of vindication against the media. The reports on the case stated that it was thrown out on a technicality. I am at a loss to understand how this vindicates the police. The tone of an organization is set at the top, thus it is crucial that the managers and leaders send a clear message to subordinates of what is acceptable conduct.

In a democratic society, it is the truth that makes us free. Pretending this is a not a real problem will not make it go away. The reestablishment of the police oversight board is a positive first step. Let us all begin our search for truth of this unnecessary societal ill.

S.P. Haynes

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