Report reveals ‘dehumanisation’ of police in Europe — RT World News
A ‘culture of extremism’ within law enforcement is deepening in both the UK and mainland Europe, think tank says
Police forces in Britain and continental Europe have developed a « culture of extremismwhich is now deepening, claimed the British think tank Institute of Race Relations (IRR) in a new report. According to the study, « dehumanisation » and one « feeling of superiorityare further aggravating factors.
In research entitled « Racism, radicalization and Europe’s ‘thin blue line' », which was published in the July issue of the journal Race & Class, IRR chief Liz Fekete argues that the racism « entrenched himself in the police.”
« Officers »feeling of impunity« combined with the assumed »a special role and status in society. leads, in some cases, tocollusion and collaboration with militarized far-right groups,she said.
« It is striking that in several countries, such as France, Belgium, Germany and Hungary, far-right candidates for mayor and parliament have been former high-ranking officers,“, she said.
According to the report, as cases of police abuse of power mount, attempts to hold officers to account are met with « a particularly aggressive response,“especially in these countries”where supporting the police and military is seen as a patriotic duty« , like France.
Fekete drew a parallel with the United States, where the anti-racism Black Lives Matter movement, sparked by the killing of George Floyd by a police officer, was met by a counter-movement Blue Lives Matter, which insisted that the attacks on law enforcement should be treated as a hate crime. In his research, Fekete notes that there is a similar trend of « recasting… the police as victims » in Europe.
She argues that even in the Netherlands, which is known for « a liberal and community model« police, law enforcement unions »react aggressively to criticism, especially to attempts to curb racial profiling through the introduction of surveillance measures.
« We are witnessing an ideological backlash from politicians, police leaders, police unions and related bodies who are aggressively intervening in the public space to advocate the use of deadly weapons, dangerous restraint and racial profiling on the streets,“, she said.
The “systematic biases– racism, a “dehumanizing mentality, » and « general feeling of impunity and entitlement” – are revealed particularly vividly in the private WhatsApp groups of the police and the Facebook message boards, which, as Fekete states, “make reading uncomfortable.”
« The current crisis in policing is symptomatic of the broader crisis in democracy,“, she said, commenting on the investigation.
The report follows a number of UK scandals over police behaviour. In February, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) called on Scotland Yard to take immediate action to stamp out racism, tackle bullying and train officers on « appropriate use of social media.” The IOPC Fund’s 15-page report set out « racism, misogyny, harassment and the exchange of offensive messages on social networksin the ranks of the Metropolitan Police.
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