‘Arrogant’ police officers harass GhanaWeb journalists

General News of Monday, 17 February 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

2020-02-17

play videoThe police were demolishing the premises of Universal Label and Packaging Service Ltd

The popular saying “the Police is your friend” is often negated by the conduct of the Ghana Police Service, and only of decreasing minority have a good word to say about these men in uniform in terms of upholding professional conduct with the general public.

One major characteristic of a ‘friend’ is the fact that such a person has the best interest at heart, but with the Ghana police, this is marred by the ‘bad eggs’ among them.

Journalists from GhanaWeb were harassed in the line of their professional duty by some armed police officers who were at the Trade Fair Center early this morning demolishing the premises of dozens of companies including Universal Label and Packaging Service Limited.

According to the leader of the exercise who was surrounded by armed police officers, the journalists were not supposed to be at the site to report their ‘illegal’ demolition because they were operating under a supposed ‘instructions from above’.

When asked whether he can explain what exactly the armed police officers with bulldozers were doing at that ungodly hour, the unidentified man said he will not answer that particular question.

“Can you please leave…I am telling you that leave, that’s the condition and you are asking me questions,” the angry police officer told the GhanaWeb journalist.

“This is a project site and also a restricted area, you were not supposed to be here,” he added.

“He should delete it…let me see what you have recorded…I saw you recorded something…don’t tell me that,” the man screamed at the GhanaWeb camera person.

At that moment a scuffle broke out between the journalists and the police officers who were struggling to see what had been captured on the camera.

The camerawoman who was returning from an earlier assignment showed the officers the visuals she captured but the officers insisted that she was still hiding some visuals taken from the site on the camera.

“We’re not kids, don’t annoy anybody,” the unidentified demolition supervisor screamed again at the camera person who showed them [police] her assignment visuals.

Whilst some of the officers claim the camera person was hiding the visuals of the demolition, the journalist intervened and asked the police not to harass the camera person.

“If you want us to go, just speak to us…the police didn’t speak to us, he was just harassing us,” the journalist said.

The police officers then threatened to damage the camera if the visuals captured were not deleted.

“Do you think we are fools….?” The unidentified demolition supervisor asked. The journalist then rebutted: “We’re also not fools.”

The unidentified demolition supervisor who thought the law momentarily gave him power then ordered the police officers to detain the journalists.

“Please detain this guy,” he ordered.

He again ordered the camera person to delete what was captured else his men were to detain her too.

Listen to what happened below:

Background

The team of journalists from GhanaWeb had gone to the Ghana Trade Fair center upon a hint that the armed police officers were demolishing the premises of multiple tenants including Universal Label and Packaging Service Limited, a factory belonging to former journalist and businessman, Raymond Archer.

Upon reaching the place, police officers decided to deny them entry because according to them they were acting under a higher instruction and no media personnel were allowed to enter the premises.

The officer decided to use his torch to ‘blind’ the vision of the journalists and insisted that in any attempt to film what is going on, he the officer will damage the camera.

Watch how it started