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Police Brutality in High Definition

I am still racking my brains to rationalize the behavior of Mr. Frederick Amanor, that burly police officer who was seen in a video last Thursday viciously pummeling a defenseless nursing mother in the lobby of the Midland Savings and Loans Bank in a suburb of Accra.

The entire incident makes you feel sad, angry and appalled all at once, in addition to making you wonder where our country is headed. Officer Amanor’s brutal and inexplicable action — reducing a wailing mother clutching her baby to a punching bag was utterly unprofessional and profoundly unethical.

Why a towering, muscled young man would visit such physical mayhem on a poor bank customer whose only sin was to trek to a financial institution to retrieve her meager 270 Ghana cedis remains a mystery and completely baffling.

Was Officer Amanor power drunk, on an ego trip or did he just feel too big in his shoes? It is hard to decipher or psychoanalyze, but one thing was abundantly clear in the video, Officer Amanor was out of his element, he was unhinged.

No matter the diagnosis, this much can be said; wearing the police uniform has this intoxicating effect; in fact, it has a way of making you feel invincible, to make you feel on top of the world and ultimately, it propels you to act as if you are above the law.

I think that in all probability, Officer Amanor felt this way while he was beating the living day lights out of poor Madam Patience Osafo.

While provoking public outrage, Officer Amanor’s violent and crude behavior has at the same time brought the police service into disrepute, tarnishing its image and eroding the little confidence Ghanaians have in the service.

And, this comes at a time when the police service is trying desperately to explain away why seven young men from Asawase in Kumasi were shot dead in an alleged confrontation with officers.

These events and other recent incidents of police misbehavior and brutality have torn the service’s reputation into shreds.  Frankly, the police service now has a high mountain to climb in terms of restoring public confidence in officers and doing what is right by Ghanaians, that is, providing citizens the protection they need in the face of mounting armed robbery and other forms of crime.

There is no denying the fact that our police service is a veritable national institution, full of good and dedicated officers who put their lives on the line every day to protect Ghanaian society from criminals and other deviants.

But, it also has a few bad apples who consistently violate the service rules and regulations. Something has to be done to preserve the hard earned reputation of the police service and it must begin with the institution of stern disciplinary measures to curb the behavior of rogue police officers like Mr. Amanor.

Madam Osafo’s ordeal was a betrayal of huge proportions. In fact, it was a major let down by the state who recruited a jack booted thug in the person of Office Amanor and by the private sector which hired his services. Both should be held equally responsible.






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