Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The State's your mother, your father, the totality of your interests

This footage has been doing the rounds. Although it's upsetting, if you haven't seen this yet, then you really must watch the video (which we've obtained from our friend Dick Puddlecote's blog).The sound's not great, but it's good enough.
In sum, the police turn up mob-handed at a man's home just before Christmas, and tell his son that he's being taken into foster care. The boy, happily sitting in the living room, doesn't want to go. For the rest, the footage speaks for itself.


Whilst I appreciate that the police have a hard job to do in these cases, I would simply make the following points:
  • The police tell the boy, "you can come out with us civilly, or we'll handcuff you and take you." Is this really the way to talk to a child who has offered no physical resistance at all?
  • Tellingly, the police seem to whack the camera so that they can't be recorded as soon as soon as the real confrontation starts - but from the sounds recorded it seems plain that they fulfil their promise to apply force to the family if they're not obeyed, and moreover - it would seem - that that violence was done without provocation.
As you can see, the family has titled the video "child kidnapping in process". Albeit the police come with the law on their side, it's hard to disagree with that title. And you'll find it hard to lose the sound of that boy's screams.
By Alex Deane