CRIMINOLOGIST, Dr. Jones Opoku-Ware

A Criminologist at the Department of Sociology and Social Work, KNUST, wants a quasi-judicial body to investigate police infractions at the Islamic Senior High School in Kumasi.

Dr. Jones Opoku-Ware says rather than allowing the police to investigate the matter, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) should take up the issue of police brutality.

His comments follow the clash between the police and students at the Islamic SHS that led to the hospitalization of 38 students.

Already, there have been calls for reforms in police management of unlawful assembling to minimize casualties.

The police saw the demonstration by the students as unlawful, hence stormed the school with ammunition.

Speaking to David Akuetteh on Luv in the Morning, Dr. Opoku-Ware said proper assessment of the crowd was not done by the police before attempting to control the crowd.

“Once they get to the scene, the first respondents are to observe the crowd from a distance. This lets you have more knowledge and know the mood of the crowd. You will be able to assess whether there is the presence of a deadly weapon.  You can also use that to assess the population of the crowd.

“Based on these assessments, you call for backup. The backup is the response to the assessment the first respondents have done. Most of the time, the police do not do that kind of analysis. They are only ordered to quell disturbances. Whether people are armed, or the situation demands force, they do not mind,” he observed.

According to Dr. Opoku-Ware, the patterns of crowd management by the police indicate personnel often charge at crowds with a warrior mentality.

“The police are supposed to operate with these two principles in criminology. They are the guardian and the warrior mentality. With every demonstration, the essence is to protect lives and properties. If the police put on a warrior mentality, they rather fight people at the scenes.

“In dealing with a lot of policemen, I realize they believe inflicting pain or injury on people gives them joy. We have raised a bunch of sadistic policemen who derive ejaculative pleasure inflicting pain on others. I have information about some commanders who order their men to beat people who misbehave.

“Over the years there have been plans to reform the police. But their actions and inactions show they do not want to reform. They have been dominated by this warrior mentality. That is why we record such casualties during crowd control,” he revealed.

The incident at the Islamic Senior High School has been described as a civil disturbance.

Dr. Jones Opoku Ware expressed displeasure at the style of the Inspector General of Police in fighting crimes. He wants crime fighting to be decentralized.

“It is becoming a popularity contest. The Acting Regional Commander should have been at the scene. At least the people will see what the authorities at the localized level are doing,” he said.

The Ministry of Education has already deployed a team of educational and clinical psychologists to the Islamic Senior High School.

Psychological help will be given to affected students.

“The clinical psychologist from the police unit visited the school. Their session will end soon. Afterwards another set of psychologists from the Education Unit will be at the school. Much importance will be placed on the 38 injured students,” said Yaw Opoku Bediako, a Deputy Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Education.