Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Alleged Abuse of Chilean Players

The story about the Chilean players and the Toronto police brawl irked me. Even though I wasn't there, the story about policemen cracking heads of 19 year olds has something of an over-zealous nature. So I started to read about the various reports of the incident.

Let us not forget the some of the Toronto police are not always squeaky clean either. The case of Mr Jama Jama comes to mind. On August 4, he tried to break up a fight when the police intervened and punched him in the face. When he reported this to the authorities, the policemen involved stated that he was involved in the fracas and was resisting arrest. They in fact charged him with assaulting a police office. Unfortunately for the them, and fortunately for Mr Jama Jama, a friend nearby had recorded the whole incident on camera. [Source]

So when I saw the police chief and other officials rapidly closing ranks behind Toronto's Finest, I wasn't convinced that they were in the clear. And after thinking long and hard and reading all reports about the incident, I can only see one bottom line.

The police used pepper spray, batons and tasers to control a bunch of unarmed 19 year olds who had just spent 90 exhausting minutes running around a 100 m pitch, and not to mention were outnumbered.

Regardless of who started this, the argument is that the police used OVER BEARING force, not to mention being overaggressive and overzealous. Again, these were not rowdy drunks on a Saturday night, these were kids (some as young as 13) who were just a little hotheaded.

No, we don't need to apologize, but we need to evaluate our security and training given to policemen when controlling soccer matches, teams and officials. This should not have happened.

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