Community fears police, metro police

A bruise on the left side of Mr Sean Rowely's face after the March 12 assault.

Community members have expressed fear of the EMPD and SAPS members in Edenvale.

These fears and concerns were highlighted by the public after reports of two cases of assault in one week.

Last week’s front page article, UK man left shaken (March 22 edition) resulted in community members raising their voices and stating their outrage, fear and mistrust of Edenvale’s police and metro police officers.

Two metro police assault incidents in 4 days reported in Edenvale

The UK tourist previously told the NEWS he was assaulted by an EMPD officer on March 12.

In the article he recounted the ordeal and how he has been left fearful.

He was left battered and bruised after the incident.

In the same article the NEWS reported on a second incident opened against an EMPD officer later the same week.

Mr Diederick Stopforth posted a video on Facebook of the incident. In the video Mr Stopforth said he was stopped by an unidentifiable officer who took his licence disk away.

UPDATE: UK tourist left battered after assault by metro police officer in Edenvale

Mr Stopforth can be heard asking the officer his name when his phone is knocked from his hand by the officer.

Since the article was published online and in print, many readers have expressed their concerns about the behaviour of law officials in Edenvale.

Comments posted on the NEWS’ website, Facebook page and those sent via Twitter show a sense of fear and mistrust between community members and law enforcement.

Comments on Facebook and on the online article show the outrage of the community towards officers in Edenvale.

Carla Ginsberg wrote “Absolutely disgusting behaviour and as everyone says – nothing will ever happen because the cops are not wrong. I truly hope they show this overseas. It’s a total embarrassment to this country for tourists. He did nothing wrong. He offered to pay but of course not in the way they wanted it, so rather beat the man. If they wear blue and a badge they think they own this place.”

Abusive EMPD officers target CBD shop owners

Carmen Boxall wrote, “[There is] no excuse for battery and violence. If a citizen is uncooperative, then arrest him without assaulting him. Edenvale metro cops are a law unto themselves.”

Gloria Isaacs wrote, “These police officers are shameful and not true to the oath they have taken. I hope they get dismissed.”

George McDonald wrote, “That is the problem these days – certain cops think they are above the law! He should be fired, jailed etc.”

Louisa Pugh wrote, “This disgusts me. I’m also from England – just moved here a few months ago – and I have to say this would never happen in the UK. The police should be trustworthy, law-abiding officers who shouldn’t be feared.”

Norman Payne wrote, “We must all stop being submissive. Do not allow them to bribe you and secondly if you are assaulted don’t be the nice guy – retaliate in self-defense if necessary and go to court thereafter because you are going to spend that same amount of time in court if there are trumped-up charges.”

Robbed by EMPD

While some social media users expressed their anger, some explained, on Facebook and in the comments in the online article, how they feared and did not trust law enforcement officers any more in the Edenvale area.

Marie Simonato wrote, “[I am] petrified when my daughters are driving. The harassment is beyond a joke. Get the lawless taxis in order instead of beating and bribing taxpaying citizens.”

Doreen Warren Skeggs wrote, “To a certain extent my [is] life ruined as I’m scared stiff to drive at night. You hear so many terrible stories of hijackings and real or bogus police intimidation and brutality. [They are] the people you should turn to for help. I make sure I leave friends by 5pm – I can’t stay for dinner or even go out for dinner if I have to drive myself.”

Nadine Spires wrote “[They are] criminals, not law enforcement.”

Tamlyn Eksteen from Durban wrote, “Edenvale traffic cops have had a bad reputation for many, many years now. I know when we stayed in Edenvale there were forever incidents of abuse by them. They have been getting away with it for years and nothing has ever been done about it. I seriously doubt anything will be done now.”

On Twitter the reaction from social media users was quite similar.

Details of alleged assault by metro police officers still unclear to EMPD

Twitter user, @laraborland tweeted, “[This is] why I don’t go out to Edenvale night spots anymore. Edenvale cops are the worst.”

Twitter user, @kblkhunou, tweeted, “Not surprised at all, my driver was beaten on the N12(Edenvale off-ramp) because the truck lost a back light cover and he didn’t have bribe money.”

Besides the anger and fear expressed by many on social media, some individuals offered their condolences and apologies to the UK tourist.

Martie Fourie commented, “I am so sorry that this happened to a tourist.”

To report incidents involving EMPD members, contact Lieutenant Col Wilfred Kgasago on 083 652 9914 or wilfred.kgasago@ekurhuleni.gov.za

To report incidents involving SAPS members, contact the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) at City Forum Building situated at 114 Madiba Street, Pretoria, go to www.ipid.gov.za or call 012 399-0000.

UPDATE: UK tourist left battered after assault by metro police officer in Edenvale

Also read:

Details of alleged assault by metro police officers still unclear to EMPD

Two metro police assault incidents in 4 days reported in Edenvale

UPDATE: UK tourist left battered after assault by metro police officer in Edenvale

Abusive EMPD officers target CBD shop owners

Robbed by EMPD

  AUTHOR
Stephan Lehman

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