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Sep 30, 2004

…while minister minimizes brutality issue

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And while mobility may be at an all time high, police behaviour on the job remains a sore point, with a number of officers around the country being accused of seriously abusing their authority. Fonseca says while he does not condone such behaviour, in most cases, the policemen are simply overreacting to the stress of their jobs.

Ralph Fonseca, Minister of Home Affairs

?Well you know today there is a lot more coverage as it relates to everything that the police does. There is coverage in general, everyone is under a microscope and the police have challenges, they are challenged. It?s a very small percentage of the police that really at times, if you like, loose their cool. And I would like to suggest to you that in some of the circumstances that they find themselves that you too would loose your cool. But we are trying to tech them that you can?t loose you cool. And the only way to do that is to penalize them of course when they do. But in most cases that I have looked at are cases where they guys are really having to defend themselves. And then of course we are human beings, so we then loose our temper, and then the discipline goes out the door.?

What Fonseca failed to note is that many cases go far beyond the loosing of temper and include officers who are drunk or involved in systematic acts of extortion or extreme brutality.

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