Theater of Cruelty

Weakened confidence

The police should themselves want an examination of their use of violence.


[15. June 2007] "The crime of violence will increase something absolutely terrible. People are going to get hurt. (…) It is getting worse and worse, ”says the young criminal“ Daniel ”to researcher Sveinung Sandberg in the latest issue of New Norwegian Journal.

It's already got worse. Van criminals like Daniel are the target of recent years' debate and expansions of police methods for monitoring and combating crime. Daniel continues his criminal career despite gnawing conscience, and profit crime and organized crime spread in a way that leads to immediate action by society. People will feel safe. They prefer to do this when the police are in control of criminal environments and know what kind of action is needed when. And as in any liberal rule of law, the state has a police monopoly on the legal use of physical force.

This confidence in the police is the reason why the debate about the police's working methods has almost been absent in the Norwegian public. Trust gives the police the legitimacy they need to defend the use of violence when needed, and gives society the opportunity to maintain order. But confidence is about to be frowned upon.

Recently, the death of Eugene Ejike Obiora and the subsequent closure of the case against the police officers who caused the tragedy, led to a series of demonstrations demanding legal treatment of the case. In the wake of the case, several known and unknown cases of brutal arrests and police violence have been swirled up. Dagsavisen has described how the Oslo police, following the death of Swedish Robert Michael Aconcha-Kohn in 2004, were fined NOK 50.000 for gross misunderstanding in the service. This illustrates that the police are also not completely outside the criminal justice system. But it is worrying that Police Director Ingelin Killengren has no credible explanation for why this case is not known to the public in the past and that Chief Arne Johannessen in the Police Commonwealth may be close to characterizing an arrest that leads to deaths as "good police work" . Killengren and Johannessen use their otherwise good speaking skills to speak the police case, but end up weakening the confidence in the police as such.

Therefore, they should listen to those who demand a judicial review of the Obiora case and to those who want an examination of police methods. The police need the trust of the community, and the community needs the police. That is not enough, the "inner cop" as Daniel describes in New Norwegian Journal. The crime does not stop by itself. But violence only breeds more violence.

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