Nicked

I saw a post last night which talked partly about something which happened in the UK about a week ago.

A la George Floyd, a policeman subdued a suspect by kneeling on their neck. Fortunately, in this case, the suspect did not die.

The incident took place on the street, outside somebody’s house. The householder heard a commotion, realised what was going on, and filmed the incident.

The film made the news channels. At this time, of course it would.

I didn’t see the incident as particularly worthy of comment, because at the time, the wheels seemed to be moving in the right direction. The policeman was suspended within a couple of hours – purely for the reason that the police’s instruction manual states, apparently, that kneeling on a suspect’s neck is not permitted.

The post last night made the point that video cameras only ever give us a partial view, which is of course correct. The movie I saw on the news, somebody will have hit the start button, somebody will have hit the stop button, somebody might well have edited out the middle bit, which they decided was unimportant. So it had been deliberately decided what I would see before the clip was even aired. I understand that. All news is like that. Evidence from a single camera would instantly fail the legal test of being the whole truth.

But we live in an age where every smartphone has a video camera, and so many of us all have smartphones. We film all sorts of crap. So how could somebody do this, and think that nobody would capture it?

Second, George Floyd was killed on 25 May. That single incident sparked protests around the world. So how could anybody think it would not be newsworthy? And more fundamentally, putting the Floyd murder to one side, how can anybody think that using their knee to suffocate another human being is acceptable? You know, are there any reasons, ever, why this is acceptable?

Now, bear in mind that the policeman in this case has been hired at great public expense, has been trained at great public expense, to uphold the law. Has more than likely been armed, for that very same purpose. So I have one more question – how much do we trust this guy’s judgement, to do this for us?

You know, it is absolutely true that cameras do not tell the whole story, but how much more of this story do we need to know?

Author: Mister Bump UK

Formerly Stroke Survivor UK. Designed/developed IT systems for banks, but had a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Returned to developing from home, plus do some voluntary work. Married, with a grown-up, left-home daughter.

5 thoughts on “Nicked”

  1. I should have put this in the original post, but published too soon.
    When we say that the camera only gives us a partial view, we are also saying, by implication, that something else might have happened at the scene, unfilmed, which might have exonerated the policeman.
    What, pray tell? What makes this justifiable?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My point in saying that instant ‘news’ (which you mention yourself can be edited at the filmer’s whim) and cell phone footage only shows a partial picture of the thing being filmed is what I put in my post. That kind of footage (admittedly any kind of news footage that’s filmed) does not add the human component to the picture. That’s my point only. At least with professional journalists, there is some commentary (which can be biased) about what’s happened and being reported on. With cell phone footage that mostly doesn’t happen.

      Policecommander, the original post-ee, said it himself “The LOOK on the British policeman’s face wasn’t angry or upset, he looked determined.” The guy over here in the USA looked angry and killed George.

      I agree with you that kneeling on someone’s neck is excessive force and should be treated just like your policeman was treated – with suspension and possible dismissal for breaking the law. The cops are supposed to be upholders of the law, not above it.

      It’s not about what was unfilmed, it’s about what’s actually going on. Does the public KNOW that? Nope. In fact, no two people reporting on such things will agree (probably) on what happened. We can see with our eyes the footage given us and form our own opinions, but only the victim and the perpetrator(s) – whether it’s a criminal doing a crime against a citizen or the cops doing their job against someone they deem is criminal – actually know for themselves what happened. We saw the kneeling on necks bit; that’s not in dispute. My question remains WHY did the cop do that? What was the suspect doing that made the cop react like that? Your suspect over there had a knife on him apparently. The one over here (George) didn’t APPARENTLY do anything except try to pass some bad paper. What’s behind the actions is something that the courts have to decide on. That was all I was trying to say, not to defend someone committing a crime – whether they have a badge or are knelt on.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We had a similar case here. While I read it on main stream media (BBC) not the whole story was told. I understand that these topics make news now but also – shame on people who ‘exploit’ this to ‘make’ news.
    In ‘my’ example what was told in BBC: man dies after officer puts his knee on his back. Case is under examination. Link to G. Floyd is clearly told.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53478230?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/cz4pr2gdgrdt/belgium&link_location=live-reporting-story

    Our media: man wounded and intoxicated in cafe. Threatening other costumers and throwing chairs around on the terrace. Police was called. During arrest they saw that man was wounded + intoxicated. Called an ambulance. Man resisted arrestation + any medical help. Man was put in ambulance and died in hospital. Cause of death is being investigated. Could be: drugs, alcohol, pre-existing conditions, the wound, the arrest, a weak heart, ….

    I wasn’t there and I don’t know but in my opinion every case should be looked at from a complete perspective (as complete as possible). It’s easy to judge but we don’t know what we would have done in the same position.

    Just to be utterly clear: I don’t condone cruel, violent behavior towards anybody and I don’t believe ‘having’ authority gives you that right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think in this case it certainly appears that the suspect was lying helpless on the ground, and was in that position for the duration. Actually I think the one situation where you might justify this behaviour is where people are being threatened.

      Liked by 2 people

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