The Problem with Pigs.
by Chelsea Carter
Since September 2012, the British general public have been swept away by the notion that a member of parliament might or might not have gotten cross with a police officer and subsequently called him a “pleb” (noun; informal, derogatory. An ordinary person, especially one from the lower social classes.) A real humdinger of an insult, as you can tell, no wonder the story still frequently rears it’s ugly head.
Except, today’s news has revealed it’s probably all a big fat lie, and for a change it wasn’t the politician doing the lying. It was an actual law abiding, law enforcing police officer falsely claiming he’d bared witness to the whole stupid incident. This, of course, is problematic as the police force’s job is to be trustworthy, and what if we can’t trust them? What if we reject them?
August, 2011. 29 year old Mark Duggan got in a minicab, he picked up an illegal firearm, he got back in said minicab, he made his way to a drug deal, the police intercepted the minicab, Duggan got out and was shot once in the arm, and once in the chest. The police fired both bullets. They killed a man. In the days to follow, rioting would spread across the UK, 5 people would be killed and 16 would be injured as a direct result of the chaos.
This week, the courts ruled Duggan’s death as lawful on the grounds that “he posed an immediate threat to public safety”, although the majority of the jury believed that when he received the fatal shot he did not have the gun in his hand. It appears no attempt was made for a standard arrest. Although the police may have acted on the grounds of “immediate threat” they inadvertently put the lives of thousands of people in danger due to the consequent riots.
Most disturbingly is this vicious cycle of mistrust. They mistrust us, they pull the trigger too fast, in return we mistrust them and we drop the petrol bomb without hesitation. This cycle then produces it’s own culture; a culture of hate; a culture of judgement; one that undoubtedly produces anarchic gangs such as Duggan’s Tottenham Man Dem, and police officers that would rather be lying pigs than honest plebs.