The Curmudgeon


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A Hard Nut to Crack

Officers in the Southend branch of the best police force in the world have been vindicated over their treatment of a darky type with a mental illness. While apparently suffering a psychotic episode, Faisal Al-Ani was pinned to the ground in a manner which even the Independent Police Complaints Commission thought carried a "high risk for injury to the upper spine", but which is nevertheless "in contravention to all guidance". Al-Ani was then taken to a patrol car, beaten senseless and placed in custody in a police station, where he apparently collapsed while attempting to escape and died despite the best efforts of numberless police medics who tried to save his life despite the inevitable hail of bottles from local anarchists. Perhaps because of the budget cuts necessary to equip every officer below the rank of superintendent with a taser, the closed-circuit television camera in the custody area happened not to be recording that day; but the police made up for this by writing their report of the incident with such meticulous care that they took twenty-four hours to finish it. In fact, they seem to have worked so hard to get it right that their memories were affected, since the initial investigator's report stated that Al-Ani had walked into the station by himself, for all the world like an innocent Brazilian going for a ride on the Tube.

The inquest jury found that Al-Ani posed a risk of injury to himself or to the sort of police officer who cannot tell walking from being carried, and that therefore the police acted appropriately in harming Al-Ani before he could do anything rash. The IPCC, after four months' intensive examination of CCTV footage showing Al-Ani being carried into the station, has decided that the story about his walking in under his own power must have been a mistake. Perhaps thanks to some recent errors by a different branch of the best police force in the world, Britain's leading liberal newspaper cannot conceive of any other explanation. After all, like so many other deaths in police custody, this one turns out to have been nobody's fault; and why should officers lie if they had nothing to hide?


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