Lack of courtesy between the police and civilians leads to lethal conflicts. Justify the validity of this statement using illustrations from Meja Mwangi’s Incident in the park. (20 marks).
Across the world, over centuries, the behaviour of some of the police officers has caused dire repercussions. Sometimes this happens due to excessive use of force or simply wrongful application law and policies, but majoriy this occurs as a result of impolite
Incident in the Park shows how city dwellers, hawkers and loafers find themselves in conflicts with the police over flimsy and petty reasons often ending unpleasantly. When the two constables accost the fruit peddler, he gets startled and confused. They demand for his licence and identity card which he obviously doesn’t have. Then he offers five shillings which doesn’t seem good enough as one constable shrugs. This means that at times if the offer were attractive, they would have accepted it and left him.
The police refuse to listen to the fruit merchant and harshly shove him along the street to the city telling him he will explain to the judge. This complicates matters even more because the fruit- seller fears the judge more. It throws him into more panic as he has a case that is coming up the following week and the judge is a “tyrant”. He explains further that he is selling this time so that he can afford of me but all his entreaties fall on deaf ears. They remain unimpressed saying nothing until he breaks away and flees into the crowded city.
The situation escalates when the constables chase the fleeing man shouting for help from the passers-by. They actually betroth him unto the mob. A city man intercepts him and another man lunges for him as shouts increase. Tossed here and there as a suspect, the desperate fruit peddler stumbles and falls into a ditch. No one seems to care to find out what really is happening before taking action. No one listens as he pleads for mercy. 7his is where he meets his ‘verdict’ which is death. According to the crowd, ‘justice’ is administered. The mob universally condemn him without plausible evidence.
By the time the police arrive at the scene, it is too late. Their action is irreversible and fatal. Flie mob has already killed him for being a “thief”. They who are supposed to ensure public safety an security have aided the killing o/a hardworking hawker by their silly mistake. This should not have happened if they had treated
the man Politely. An innocent life is so unnecessarily lost. This makes the public lose confidence in the police. after investigations the truth will come out and it will be hard to trust the police.
In a nutshell, wanton conflicts and deaths of innocent citizen could be averted if the police handled matters with courtesy and sobriety.