The Krofrom youth, aware of the proverb which teaches that an egg does not fight a rock, would defy the wisdom of an old sage to face the Ashanti police.
The angry youth poured out onto the streets like water gushing out of a burst pipe.
It became an interesting development that got all the Ghanaian media platforms capturing it. Even on social media, it was keenly contested.
The youth’s argument, according to them, was simple. That, some police officers in the region had [allegedly] manhandled their brother and colleague and abandoned him to die at in the hospital.
The victim, Osei Tawiah, was said to have attended to nature’s call at a public toilet close to his house only to be arrested by a team of police. He was taken for a criminal.
Reports had it that he was handcuffed, beat up, shocked with tasers and pushed to the ground to crash his head.
This got the Krofrom youth annoyed and blistering. They burnt car tyres, held placards, blocked roads and chanted songs in protest against the Policemen involved in allegedly brutalising to death Osei Tawiah.
The Ashanti regional Police Commander, DCOP Kofi Boakye, and Mayor of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Kojo Bonsu, met the youth, who had thronged the streets. The meeting was to assure them of justice.
Justice in that, he who would be found culpable of the alleged police brutality would be dealt with without fear or favour.
Along the line, when the autopsy report of Osei Tawiah was released, it was revealed that the man died of heart failure. This, the Member of Parliament for Manhyia North, Collins Amankwa, was on media platforms stating emphatically that he, together with his constituents, was not convinced by the autopsy report.
For the MP and his constituents, the report seemed to have absolved the three police officers involved in the alleged maltreatment of Tawiah.
Expected as it was, the irate youth of Krofrom this time round came onto the streets with a horse-power momentum calling for justice.
On the side of DCOP Kofi Boakye, he saw no reason why the youth would think the police would connive with health officials to concoct a report.
“It’s rather unfortunate any well-meaning person can make that unfortunate allusion especially when somebody like Dr. Osei Sampene is concerned.
“The question is, what do I even personally gain in conniving with a doctor or a pathologist to change the report in favour of who? I think anybody thinking like that is not a right thinking person,” he said.
DCOP Kofi Boakye is one of my respected policemen in this country. Nonetheless, I didn’t like his approach in handling the Krofrom youth’s protest. Some of his comments, for me, were not words that could calm hearts.
It is all right for one to be a vegetarian. Yes! Nevertheless, for such a person to assume his vegetarian status wouldn’t cause the bull to attack him is neither here nor there.
Indeed, it is right for DCOP Kofi Boakye to defend his integrity. However, he should have expected that the Krofrom youth would question his integrity in this instance and that the youth wouldn’t just let sleeping dogs lie because he is a good person.
I am not in any way encouraging the Krofrom youth’s action. My argument is that, for family and friends to have their son and colleague dying, their protestation was as predictable as the annual floods in Accra.
What the Ashanti police could have done was to entirely dialogue with the bereaved family and friends rather than posing as a scare crow to them.
The autopsy report may not have indicted the police officers involved in Osei Tawiah’s alleged brutality but some questions remain paramount. Did the police maltreat him in any way? Could he not have been tried at the law court to prove his innocence or otherwise? Can we entirely blame the Krofrom youth for their protests?
Of late, the number of cases involving police and military brutalising civilians are becoming rampant. In not a distant past, it was reported of some two soldiers in Tamale tying a 16-year old to a tree and beating him up till he fell unconscious. The rest of the incident is not nice. But if your ears are itching to know the crime the boy committed, he was alleged to have stolen a Techno phone!
Is this the way to go? I had for long thought rule of law is the way forward in Ghana. Are things being changed? Have these security men forgotten civilians gave them their uniforms and guns to protect them? In protecting us, they shouldn’t bring a knife that cuts, instead, a needle that sews.
Osei Tawiah has been buried. He was, however, not just buried but with ammunitions in his coffin. In his right hand was a machete among other weapons also in the coffin. This was a message the family sent out that he should fight whoever had a hand in his death.
The police are because we are and we are because the police are. No security man/woman must brutalise any civilian because they see themselves above the ordinary citizen. When one is arrested for commiting any crime, let us allow the law do the talking.
By Solomon Mensah|3FM|3news.com
The writer is a broadcast journalist with 3FM 92.7. This piece remains solely his opinion and not that of his media organisation.