G20: Protesters are wannabe murderers, says Police Super

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 18:30 | Filed in Crime & Policing, Media, Politics

…in related news, David Davis MP comes over as a thoroughly reasonable chap.

By some rather bizarre leap of logic, Derek Barnett, vice president of the Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales, says about the police violence reported and the general unease with the policing methods that…

we ought to put that in some sort of context of violence and the circumstance of thousands of protesters with the sole intention of causing damage to buildings and at the worst injuring and killing police officers.

Derek Barnett on The Today Programme

Derek Barnett, without any justification, so far as I can see, has assumed that thousands of protesters went with the intention of damage and potentially of killing police officers. Again, if you ask the police protester = criminal.

They are really missing a key point here, because in the eyes of the law (you remember that, that’s the thing they are supposed to uphold) protester ≠ criminal. A protester might be a criminal, just as a policeman might be a brutal thug (a violent criminal) but the second does not automatically follow from the first.

Derek’s assumption that because some protesters caused violence, thousands must have gone with the sole intention of this sort of thing — with the possibility of it leading to killing police officers — leads me to assume that just because it didn’t happen doesn’t mean he doesn’t think the intention was there. In which case it would be equally fair to assume that thousands of police officers wanted to eat the babies of protesters, but, in the end, and for whatever reason, didn’t.

It’s nonsense. You could also use his logic, with less of a leap, to infer that because some police officers used excessive force, most of them set out with that intention.

I think our police force are, for the most part, better than this. Sadly, it appears those leading them are not. That is where the trouble lies. Rather than churning out excuse after excuse after excuse, why can’t the police come out and say those particular officers were in the wrong? They were, we all know they were, and pretending otherwise only makes you look stupid — or worse, that you feel thuggish tactics are appropriate.

This sort of behaviour, this sort of sentiment is precisely why there was violence. This is the sort of person who should be drummed out of the police force just as much as those officers on the ground who decided thuggery was appropriate policing.

Compare this with David Davis MP:

Policing demos is very difficult. It is made a hundred or a thousand times more difficult by a minority of troublemakers, and let’s accept also that most police do a very good job. [...] We don’t know what the level of provocation was, but remember for a trained police officer that provocation is not justification

In fact, listen to the whole segment while it is still available. It’s worth it. (Hat-tip: Chicken Yoghurt, who have a nice selection of 2000AD pictures)

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1 Comment to G20: Protesters are wannabe murderers, says Police Super

  1. Shermaine says:

    September 5th, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Got it! Thanks a lot again for hpeling me out!

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