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The Wrong Arm of the Law

KRAKOW TOURS – Imagine you have a little business, a kiosk at the station. You pop out for a moment to look at a new advert for the kiosk on the side of your car. You take out your phone and start framing a photo, but the car is too far away. Then, suddenly, a burly police officer appears and demands your phone from you, or he’ll arrest you.

This is exactly what happened last week in Konin. The man refused to hand over the phone, so he was thrown to the floor, held in a half-Nelson and frogmarched to the police van. There then began a process of intimidation, he was taken to the station and handed a PLN 500 fine, for obstructing the law. He refused to pay and the matter will go to court.

First up, let’s establish one thing in black and white: there is no law that says you cannot take a photo of a uniformed officer.

So, the officers were already on shaky ground. But the man, having not taken a photo of them in the first place, did use his phone to record his own arrest.

In this film one of the officers, in reply to the victim saying he had been detained without just cause, said,

“Yes? Then I’ll find something to charge you with.” The officer is clearly suggesting falsifying a charge against the man in an act of pure spite.

So, in a single incident we have wrongful arrest, physical assault, false imprisonment, intimidation, demanding money with menaces and an attempt to pervert the course of justice by trumping up charges.

With police officers like this, who needs criminals?

It’s an offer unique to Poland – you take the photos, the police will do the framing.

Graham Crawford writing for NPE

June 27, 2010 - Posted by | News | , , ,

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