Letter To Zezemuze-part 4

ZEZEZeze, do you feel safe with the heavy police presence in town? I dont because l dont know when a police man will decide l am a “landgaurd” and either brutalize or shoot me dead.

It is increasingly becoming a very worrying trend the way our police officers, supposedly one of the most professional in the world, make excuses just to assault or kill civilians.

Last year we lived through several of such incidents in Ashaiman, Tema, Osu, Twifo Praso and this year the police have given us a rude awakening with this brutality at Adenta.

Zeze, I will come to the Adenta issue but l dont think l need to remind you of the lawless, obscene, crude, primitive and most unprofessional conduct of the police at Osu Cantonments. The whole world was assaulted with the scenes of classical police brutality on armless, harmless and unretaliatory elders of Osu Stool who had gone to defend a parcel of land at Cantonments.

Zeze, the police, on that occasion rudely concluded that the armless stool elders were LANDGAUARDS and pounced on them based on that conclusion. The last time l heard, the Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur sent a delegation led by the Greater-Accra Regional Minister Julius Debrah to plead with the chief and elders of Osu. The Osu stool also sent a petition to the regional minister and the president but nothing has come out of it, Zeze, absolutely nothing.

Again, at Twifo Praso, every evidence from eyewitnesses, and the Central Regional Minister’s investigations showed that the police shot and killed a galamsey operator who jumped into a river to escape. The deceased did not attack the police. He tried to get away and the police thought the smartest thing to do to someone escaping and not weilding a weapon was to shoot him dead. Zeze, l am not a police man, but the fact that Police PRO Freeman Tettey sat in Accra and told journalists the man drowned to death and was not shot even tells you he is aware that it was wrong for the police to have shot the man. Meanwhile at the time he spoke, the Central Region Police Commander who had jurisdiction in the region was also saying he was yet to be briefed. So who briefed DSP Tettey the PRO?

Zeze, Adenta is just a matter of routine. The police had been invited by a private person claiming to have approval from the Adenta Municipal Assembly to demolish structures on a parcel of land. The police had the opportunity to investigate the man’s claim and ensure he actually had approval for that demolition exercise. Eventually it emerged that none of the Adenta Assembly members, the Presiding Member, Coordinating Director and the MP had no idea of any approval given to that man. This is the approving authority saying they have not clue. So who gave the man the approval, and upon what evidence did the police follow the man to the scene and eventually killed a supposed Landgaurd.

Zeze, it is amazing how the police have mastered the skill of being able to instantly determine that anyone laying claim to a parcel of land against whoever goes to the police first is a landgaurd. At Osu, they concluded instantly the stool elders were landgaurds and brutalized them merciless. Zeze, everybody who has spoken from Adenta says the deceased, shot in the head was the brother of an Assembly member and not a landgaurd. But the police alone say they have information he is a landgaurd. And Freeman Tettey said the young man had a machette “ready to slash a police man.” He did not say the man attempted to slash a police officer. Hmm. Zeze!

Zeze, l am told some police officers are on trial for the Osu brutalities, while those involved in the Twifo Praso shooting and others are also under investigation pending a possible trial. This alone should tell Police PRO DSP Freeman Tettey to tone down on his repetitive and unrepentant claim that the police rightfully killed the young man at Adenta. Such talk make me feel very unsafe with the heavy police presence in town lately, Zeze, what about you?
Story by Samuel Dowuona.

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