Sunday May 26, 2019
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Evil becoming well mannered

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By Nury Vittachi

Here’s an idea for thoughtful people. Always carry around a large number of prosthetic limbs, so if you’re assassinated the guy who does the chalk outline will be able to create a fascinating piece of conceptual art. Of course, it’s obviously better if one doesn’t get knocked off, but it’s important to be considerate, right?

The fact is a steady growth of civility and politeness is seeping into the whole evil-doer/law-enforcer paradigm. I started thinking about this when a reader sent me a news cutting about cops raiding a suspected drug house in the US state of Illinois. During the 90-minute search for evidence, a regular stream of drug-buyers turned up at the front door with cash, and police had to post officers there to politely deflect them.

The actual conversations (repeated at least 10 times) were not recorded but must have gone something like this. “Here for illegal drugs?” “Yes, please!” “Terribly sorry, but we’re doing a major police raid here. Would you mind coming back later? Have a nice day.”

The report reminded me of a robbery in Malaysia some years ago. Armed villains took over a 7-Eleven store to steal stuff from the stock room. To buy themselves time, some gang members put on staff coats and served customers who came in. Afterwards, witnesses told investigators that the only suspicious thing was that shop staff were more courteous and attentive than normal.

That tale in turn reminded one of my colleagues about a thief who went into a McDonald’s in Sydney and demanded cash from the till. The quick-thinking manager said: “Sorry, we can’t open the till unless you buy something.” The robber checked his pockets to see if he had enough cash to buy the cheapest thing on the menu. He didn’t. Again the exact words of the exchange were not recorded, but must have been on these lines: “Sorry, bit short of cash today, I’ll come back another time.” “Sure, don’t be a stranger.”

Now of course committing robberies is still illegal whether you’re polite or not, right? Maybe not. Your columnist asked a lawyer who said that a bank robber in the US last summer tried to use his civility as a legal defense. He argued that since he had waited in line, asked for the cash politely, and used the terms “please” and “I would appreciate it” on the note he handed over, the demand should be seen as a friendly request and the money handed over seen as a gift. The defense failed, but I do think he should have won some sort of award for Largest Public Display of Chutzpah.

The same goes for the prisoner from the famous lock-up at Guantanamo Bay who posted his profile on a big dating websites, describing himself as “detained but ready to mingle”. He had been locked away for eight years, so “ready” was probably a bit of an understatement. But then “half-crazed with desperation” might have come across as needy.

Always better to play it cool. Unless you work at a certain 7-Eleven, where it might make folk suspicious.

(IANS)(image-ci.rockford.il.us)

Next Story

When Can You Claim Against The Police?

It is important that you understand the occasions that you can make a claim against a police officer who has treated you unfairly

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london, climate change
Police arrests protestors at Oxford Circus in London, Friday, April 19, 2019. The group Extinction Rebellion is calling for a week of civil disobedience against what it says is the failure to tackle the causes of climate change. VOA

The police force are there to protect the general public from crime and make sure that those who need to be arrested are. Of course, it is possible for a police officer to make a mistake or to go against the rules and this is something which needs to be addressed.

Here, we are going to discuss some of the events that can lead to a claim against the police. Keep reading if you think that you have been treated unfairly and are considering your grounds for a claim.

Wrongful Arrest

Have you been wrongfully arrested? Police officers need to have reasonable grounds to be able to make an arrest lawfully but if they didn’t have this when you were arrested, then you might be able to make a claim against them. Claims against the police officers who have unlawfully arrested you and taken your freedom can often lead to financial compensation. Of course, you will need to get in contact with a solicitor who can put this request through for you and ensure that you were in fact wrongfully arrested.

Assault By Police Officer

No one deserves to be assaulted by a police officer and so if you have been a victim of an assault by a member of the police force then you might be eligible to make a claim against them. In this situation, the claim depends on whether the police officer used more force than was reasonable against you. This type of claim can be difficult to make as there is often very little proof on an event like this.

Columbine High School
School police officers look on as students leave Columbine High School, April 16, 2019, in Littleton, Colo. (Representational image).VOA

If there are any CCTV cameras that have captured the event or witnesses then you might be able to make a claim against the officer who assaulted you.

When Can You Not Claim?

It is also important to note the times where you can complain against a police officer but you will not necessarily receive any sort of financial compensation for it. This includes times when a police officer has made a false statement, they have caused loss of your property or they have used their position for private benefits. On top of this, you’ll find that you can make a complaint against an officer who has failed to attend the scene of a crime promptly if they are on duty and were asked to do this.

Also Read- A Quick Guide to White Collar Crime

Final Verdict

It is important that you understand the occasions that you can make a claim against a police officer who has treated you unfairly. There is a big difference between making a claim and making a complaint, so you need to understand this before moving forward.

If you have been wrongfully arrested or have been assaulted by a police officer, you should make sure that get in touch with a solicitor who can help you to get the justice that you deserve. Follow our advice and you should be able to respond in the right way to the situation in the future.