Police want to set themselves above the law

Worrying story here:  Sir Paul Stephenson, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and the most senior police officer in Britain, has been secretly lobbying the government to make it harder to take police officers to court.

Stephenson says the move is necessary to stop public money from filling lawyers’ pockets, so the police can spend it on more important stuff, like CCTV cameras and expensive lunches, instead.

But human rights lawyers and civil liberties groups don’t believe him.  Most court actions against the police are for wrongful arrest and brutality.  So opponents to the plan say it’s just a ruse to set the police above the law.

If Stephenson’s idea is taken up, it will be much harder for poorer people to take action when the police do something wrong to them.  One law for the rich, another for the poor.  Some might say “So what?  That’s how things work right now.”  And that isn’t wrong.  But the possible threat of legal action is just about the only thing keeping the police under any sort of control.  The police will be able to do anything they like.  Goddamn pigs.

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