Disturbing, in more ways than one

It has been reported that a total of 145 people have lodged complaints against the actions of police officers from several forces during the two days of G20 demonstrations.

Of these complaints, 70 relate to claims of excessive force by people who say they were victims or witnesses to brutality, 40 are linked to police tactics, including the controversial technique of corralling people for long periods known as ‘kettling’ and another 40 were made by people who saw footage on television.

The latter have, quite understandably, been discounted from further investigation because they do not qualify under the Police Reform Act. Good to hear. Investigating actual claims is one thing, wasting time and money on investigations based on armchair critics is another.

There is no doubt that some police officers acted in an ‘inappropriate’ manner during the demonstrations and, hopefully, they will be held fully accountable for their actions. Policing demonstartions, especially if they become violent, is no easy task, but that cannot be used as an excuse. The police are there to maintain law and order, not to violate it.

Violent police reaction is, unfortunately, a fairly common sight in many countries, including Spain. However, this latest incident has brought up another rather distasteful trend, making profit out of misery.

To read such things as:

Last night Miss Fisher was negotiating a lucrative newspaper deal through her agent Max Clifford. She wanted £50,000 for her story after a video of her being hit was posted on YouTube.

Miss Fisher, apparently another victim of alleged police brutality at the recent G20 demonstrations, is not only claiming damages against the police for her ordeal, but is also looking for her ‘fifteen minutes’ from the incident.

Whether this was the victim’s idea or an agent waiting to pounce, who knows? Maybe she’ll end up on one of the reality TV shows as a ‘celebrity’!

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