The Post Office-Police
Once upon a time, the Post Office provided the most anonymous service of all state institutions. No matter, whether you were a communist, capitalist, colonialist or anarchist, an atheist, theist or humanist, your letters or packages were accepted, indifferent its destinations, and fixed pre-set rates were charged for stamps. Whom you knew, or whose cousin you were, made no difference. The Post Office was an anonymous, all-inclusive institution and a bright shining example for all other state institutions.
Unfortunately many state institutions are not perceived as, either inclusive, or anonymous. Law enforcement, especially the Police Forces and the Public Prosecutor’s offices, is perceived by the public, at best, as highly selective, none transparent and not very respectful of all citizens. Which important person at the institutions of the Police Forces and Public Prosecutor you know, makes all the difference, when you file charges. Nobody is surprised anymore when police officers are exposed as insiders, directly linked to crime. For the public, Law Enforcement institutions are shrouded in heavy cloaks of evil conspiracies, brutalities, cover-ups, and services to friends and family.
That emotion of deep distrust spilled over last week in public protests when an Aruban tourist died in a scuffle with law enforcement officers during a music festival in Holland. Many immigrants in the Haaglanden region originate from, either small island communities in the Caribbean, or from countries where the police is often one of the most corrupt institutions of State. To witness an arrest, executed by Haaglanden-law enforcement officers, of a drunken man who threatened the public with the claim a weapon, as a “post-office” like, anonymous professional action, was inconceivable. Social media reactions ranged from, “ the officers were sent out on purpose by their superiors to create havoc,” and “ premeditated murder by racist police brutality” to “ discrimination of Arubans and all colored visitors.” Interests in the details of the incident, the circumstances, and the outcome of a thorough investigation, were minimal.
In the court of public opinion, policemen, who assisted in the arrest, were murderers. Riots in the Schilderswijk and extensive destruction of public property were justified in the eyes of the angry masses.
No matter how this case will be settled, in, or out of Court, the distrust of the public, and especially amongst immigrants of the Police Forces is a fact and only deepened after this incident.
It is the task of the Government and the Parliament to direct, supervise and control the workings of the State’s bureaucracy and its Institutions. Only the State has a license on violence, and it is to invoke all possible rules, regulations and bureaucracy to safe guard the citizen from abuse. Whether the violence in this incident was real, accidental, or only perceived, makes little, or no difference. State institutions need to clean up their act, get rid of any suspicion and become more “ Post Office –like”.