Police Service Must Exhibit Professionalism In Handling Demonstrators

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The high level of impunity in the police service and the extent to which some officers, who are trained to protect the citizens and uphold the law breaks it, is alarmingly worrisome.

But more frightening is the fact that the unfortunate scenario appears to be seen as the norm.

In Ghana, it is becoming practically impossible to organize peaceful protest. Our trigger happy and overzealous police officers, who are trained in the art of crowd control, seem to be led by emotion.

On Monday, law students embarked on a peaceful demonstration against “archaic legal education system in Ghana”.

The demonstration which was to protest against mass failure recorded in last month’s Ghana School of Law entrance examination was dispersed by the police with rubber bullets and spraying of water from cannons.

Instances like this, where the police, instead of acting professionally, choose to show force, showed clearly that the police service needs to purge itself of bad officers, who are bringing the name of the service into disrepute.

These action by the police erode public sympathy, support and respect. Time was when even criminals steered clear of their targeted victims once an armed policeman was in the vicinity.

These days the policemen themselves are the victims, it is because the police have also turned against the people.

Not long ago, Ghanaians sympathized with the police service, when two officers were shot at Kasoa, we all condemned the brazen and deliberate attack.

Peaceful demonstrations are part of the democratic process, and everywhere in the world sane people use it to register a protest or call on authorities to act on a particular subject.

.Police officers are not above the law, the unwarranted attacks on unarmed civilians, still persist because no officer, is held accountable for his or her actions.

The just confirmed Inspector General of Police (IGP), James Oppong-Boanuh, in acting capacity, put his best foot forward.  As a newspaper, we expect him to sanction officers, who decided to behave like Ghana is a jungle.

This newspaper believes that with the incessant attacks on peace-loving Ghanaians threatening the security of lives and property in the country and the daring manner in which these police officers act, we might just be sitting on a time bomb.

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