When you hear of police brutality, it comes in different shades, colour, and degree. The news has been awash with this anomaly this past few weeks, especially in ‘God’s Own Country’ – USA. This does not mean that it does not happen in other countries like Nigeria, where Police brutality is understood to be an integral component of policing.
Now another victim is recorded in Clairmont, Southern Dakota USA. The Medical Daily’s account of the sad event should be a wake up call to all. Let us stamp out police brutality.
Earlier this month, a young woman of color died under mysterious circumstances while being held in police custody for a minor charge.
It’s sadly a scenario that not only describes Sandra Bland , a 28-year-old African American woman from Texas who allegedly committed suicide in her jail cell three days after being arrested for a minor traffic violation, but 24-year-old Native American Sarah Lee Circle Bear of Clairmont, South Dakota.
As reported by Sarah Sunshine Manning of Indian Country Today this past Tuesday, Circle Bear was arrested and held in the Brown County Jail in Aberdeen, apparently for having violated the terms of a previous bond (She had two pending counts of driving under the influence in Brown County yet to be resolved).
On July 6, she was found unconscious in a holding cell and later pronounced dead at a local hospital. According to Manning, there were witness reports of Circle Bear crying out in pain as she was being escorted to another holding cell, cries which were ignored by jail staff. They allegedly responded by telling her to “knock it off” and “quit faking” before they took her to the cell that would later contain her lifeless body.
An autopsy performed later that Monday was inconclusive, though according to Brown County coroner Mike Carlsen, her death was likely not the result of minor injuries she sustained from a car crash earlier that Friday. Circle Bear was a mother of two sons, ages one and two. The family is currently seeking legal representation.
The relatively light coverage of Circle Bear’s death, especially in comparison to higher profile incidents like that of Sandra Bland and Baltimore resident Freddie Gray, is a familiar pattern, despite the fact that Native Americans between the ages of 25 to 34 are the second most-likely population group to be killed by law enforcement, according to data collected by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The above account occurred in one of the most advanced democracies of the world. I wonder how this would translate in a less developed economy.
The scariest part of all police brutality event is that, most of the officers are quite aware of the right of a suspect, but would rather take laws in their hand. ‘They enforce a legitimate law, illegimately’.
The human right abuses of our time seems to be on the rise. The Police Service is supposed to protect the human rights of all her citizens. If this cannot be guaranteed, then what is left of the Police service is what is better imagined.
Excerpt Is From Medical Daily.