As the World is suffering from COVID-19 and it faces a potential rise in the number of coronavirus cases, where millions of people worry about how they will access basic needs like food and water during the lockdown, many citizens of various countries like India have added worry and the fear of police brutality or arbitrary state violence, even for those who are out on the streets for a good reason.
Police Brutality at the outset is a civil rights Violation. While discharging the police duty, when an officer misconducts in excess with unnecessary force, such conduct amounts to brutality. Excessive force is usually considered to be beyond what a reasonable officer of the law would use under prevailing circumstances.
Why Police Behavior is so Bad Towards Citizens in this Pandemic?
This is no doubt that it is a challenging moment for the police to tackle this pandemic situation. But it doesn’t mean police will take unbearable actions or misuse their power.
Instead of helping people in this pandemic situation why police brutality is continuous in the lockdown. The reason behind the weird behavior of police is pressure on police to perform overnight duties, along with being overworked, underpaid and under severe stress, will likely exacerbate the use of violence by police during a corona crisis of this nature.
Another reason is the lack of clear directives to the police regarding what facilities government had allowed people in the third phase of lockdown, in other words, police have not properly clarity about what is permissible under lockdown conditions along with the manifest lack of instructions on how to deal with confusions of people and anxieties in a humane manner which seem to have resulted in savagery and violence in this situation.
In short, the police are not vigilant in watching the intruders who take advantage of the coronavirus to create a mess and give a pump to people to do fight with each other.
The Indian police default to criminal law approaching and over-policing to most issues, at a time hence it is important to police with compassion and empathy instead, using non-violent means to build trust and secure compliance.
Terrible Cases of Police Brutality During Lockdown
Although the government of India has given some relaxation to the Indians after the completion of the four phases of the lockdown which was imposed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. The lockdown has been marked by incidents of police brutality from the start.
On March 24, there were reports from Hyderabad and Delhi that the police were attacking journalists, who are listed among essential services personnel and are exempted from the restrictions.
Even in the next few days, there were numerous reports of the police attacking migrant workers walking hundreds of kilometers back home, or people stepping out to buy groceries.
See what the police have done on the pretext of controlling lockdown violators.
In the next case, you will see How Police are filing their pockets instead of helping People?
On 26 March, Sonu Shah was shot by policemen.
Among the thousands of essential service providers keeping India going amid an unprecedented, debilitating lockdown of the country.
Shah also comes in the category of an essential service provider. Shah is a pickup truck driver ferrying potatoes in the northern Indian city of Patna when he refused to bribe them, policeman shot him.
“I was asked to take my vehicle to the police station. They hinted that the issue can be solved by paying Rs5000,” Shah said.
The arbitrary use of force has caused much trauma to common Indian citizen stepping out to secure his essential needs or workers engaged in delivering essential services. The police were even accused of beating a man to death for violating the lockdown rule. These dramatic measures show the overzealousness of the police and their ignorance of prevalent norms
On March 30, In the first phase of lockdown, a video has surfaced of a policeman whacking three Adivasi women in Golaghat District of Eastern Assam.
In the viral video, two women seen carrying vegetables on a bicycle were stopped, abused, and beaten with a stick by the enraged policeman, allegedly for “violating” the ongoing lockdown. Lately, the policeman walks ahead and assaults another woman carrying firewood from a field.
Another horrific police brutality case come in the public when CCTV footage of policeman assaulting the teenager.
Lately, the erstwhile legislator tweeted that CCTV footage of policemen appearing to molest a teenager with autism, who could not communicate why he was out during curfew.
This video clip went viral on social media platforms triggering extensive outrage at the police. Several celebrities and politicians tweeted demanding justice for the teenaged boy.
Police authorities have suspended three policemen involved in the incident. However, their suspension was, for having “failed to arrest the teenager. Which were quite shocking for the public.
Not in India only police brutality continuous in lockdown in other countries too like the USA.
This case is about how badly are African-Americans affected by police brutality in the U.S.?
Due to the terrible death of George by a police officer who committed this crime on his duty exacerbate the situation in the U.S.
Protests against police brutality have been raging across the U.S. following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, under the knee of a white police officer in Minneapolis.
An analysis of police shootings between 2013 and 2019 across the U.S. shows that African-Americans were disproportionately targeted. And more target in the lockdown where off duty officers kill them unreasonably.
However, for the policemen and other the government functionaries on duty, this appears to have been a hollow appeal. These cases show that the police’s actions are dehumanizing. It seems that police have forgotten that the right to live with human dignity guaranteed under Article 21 of our Constitution is quintessential to our existence.
It reflects the tendency of some to assume extra power in extraordinary times. And across the country, the victims of this brazen muscle-flexing have been poor, working-class men and women.
The government should take strict action against police brutality and warn police officers not to misuse their powers. As soon as possible these actions should be taken because the more these issues get loose, the more people will be in trouble, later which result may be many people will start committed Crimes against the police or might be the chances of horrific situation rises.