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Clashes between youth and the police, where did we get it wrong?

Clash Scene A scene of a clash between residents and police personnel

Tue, 12 Apr 2022 Source: Akumbobe Robert

There have been reports of clashes between the police service and the youth of communities within our country. Sadly, most of these clashes always leave irreparable damage and even death in their wake. The most recent case is the clashes between the youth of Akatsi and the police there.

Two people lost their lives in that exchange between the youth and the police service.

The Municipal Chief executive explained on Eyewitness News on Citi FM that the clashes started when a man's bag was snatched from him by three young men. The man reported the case to the police, who happened to spot three young men matching the man's description. The young men refused to stop when the police asked them to, and this resulted in a chase.

The police side of the story is that the young men fell off the motor, and the young men also said they were knocked down by the police vehicle. This led to the death of one of the young men, and that is how the clashes started.

We will not go into the details of the matter as it is being investigated. There was a similar incident at Nkrofu in the Western region recently. This also had to do with the arrest of some young men at a "galamsey" pit. A young man also sadly passed away in that incident.

Is it that we don't understand the operations of the police or that we feel the police prefer not to understand their job?

Must we always resolve our grievances through violence?

All these are questions begging for answers. It is always said that two wrongs do not make any right.

If the police, for example, commit a mistake by leading to the death of a community member, will our violence bring this member back to life? It is very painful to lose a loved one, especially when we feel the life was taken by people who should have known better or were paid to protect us.

The best way for us to resolve issues is to follow the due course, though we think that path takes so much time and does not always lead to our desired outcome.

In all the scenarios of these clashes, there are always casualties in the form of death or maiming of part of one's body. We can start from the famous Kaaka case to date. The disagreements or clashes between police and youth always lead to deaths.

It is time to take a second look and find a new direction in response to these instances. The police are not always right, and there are countless instances when the police have to discipline their own for wrong moves taken. As long as they are humans, some of these mistakes may occur from time to time, but the best option is not to retaliate.

Many have also called on the police to review their curriculum and mode of training to bring out the best in recruits. Until that is done, we must be cautious about what we do.

Columnist: Akumbobe Robert
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