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Round up all suspicious characters and search them for stolen documents. Casablanca 1942 ***** starring Humphrey Bogart & Ingrid Bergman & Paul Henreid & Claude Rains & Conrad Veidt & Sydney Greenstreet & Peter Lorre & Curt Bois et al, director Michael Curtiz, rozzer
May I see your papers? ibid. rozzers
Realizing the importance of the case my men are rounding up twice the usual number of suspects. ibid. Louis
People say we need religion when what they really mean is we need police. H L Mencken
In America the policeman is a working-class hero. In England the policeman is a working-class traitor. Martin Amis
In spite of what the police tell you, beating the shit out of somebody is not a sport. George Carlin, Napalm and Silly Putty
If it suits their purposes, people are going to lie in court. The police do it all the time. All the time. Yes they do. It’s part of their job. To protect, to serve and to commit perjury whenever it supports the State’s case. George Carlin, You Have No Rights
They stalked through a crowd of peaceful protesters along the parade route beating and pepper-spraying people. You can see the man in the red jacket shaking a can of pepper spray in his hand which is government-issued pepper spray. You can see him use the pepper spray – spraying it in close range in people’s faces and eyes. You can also see him spraying it in wide berths. And this is into a crowd of peaceful protesters. People standing along the parade route. People engaged in a classic first-amendment-protected activity. And being attacked by the police department. Unconstitutional: The War on our Civil Liberties, 2004
In 2003 Tony Blair and George Bush started to spread this freedom to Iraq. Three coaches of day trippers set off for the US military base at Fairford, Gloucester, to protest against the war. On the way there [they] were pulled over for a routine traffic stop by over a hundred police in riot gear. The officers held them for two hours and searched every nook and cranny. Taking Liberties, 2007
Mia and Milan held a memorial service outside Downing Street. They were reading out the names of Iraqi civilians and British soldiers who had died since the invasion of Iraq. Luckily, fourteen policemen were on hand. ibid.
In June 2001 Brian Haw started his peaceful protest against sanctions placed on Iraq. Over the next four years the government repeatedly arrested Brian and took him to court. But Brian won every time. So the Home Secretary David Blunkett changed the law ... 78 police paid Brian a visit. ibid.
For liberty there is a cost – it’s broken skulls and leather cosh,
From the boys in uniform – now you know whose side they’re on –
With backing – with blessing,
From earthly gods not heaven,
A stone’s throw away from it all.
Whatever pleasures those who get – from stripping skin with rhino whip,
Are the kind that must be stopped – before their kind take all we’ve got –
With loving – with caring,
They take great pride in working,
The stone’s throw away from it all.
Whenever honesty persists – you’ll hear the snap of broken ribs,
Of anyone who’ll take no more – of the lying bastards’ roar –
In Chile – In Poland, Johannesburg – South Yorkshire,
A stone’s throw away: Now we’re there. The Style Council, A Stone’s Throw
I would say somewhere between a hundred officers and two hundred and fifty officers. And if you are talking about officers who are actually committing criminal acts while having all the powers of police officers, then I believe that is totally unacceptable. Sir Paul Condon, evidence to parliamentary committee
The terrorist and the policeman both come from the same basket. Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent
When constabulary duty’s to be done,
A policeman’s lot is not a happy one. W S Gilbert, The Pirates of Penzance
Reading isn’t an occupation we encourage among police officers. We try to keep the paper work down to a minimum. Joe Orton, Loot
You know, the police are doing a very difficult job in the face of some appalling violence. Spitting Image s1e12, Mrs Thatcher at window, ITV 1984
Coming soon to a cinema near you: quite an unlikely pair of police officers who initially dislike each other but who ultimately surprisingly manage to get on together and beat the corrupt judicial system with unorthodox methods … Part 28. Spitting Image s14e5, ITV 1993
Support Your Local Police.
Time starts now. Bullitt 1968 starring Steve McQueen & Robert Vaughn & Jacqueline Bisset & Don Gordon & Simon Oakland & Norman Fell & Robert Duvall & Georg Standford Brown et al, director Peter Yates, bumper sticker politician’s car
The macho culture in the police force is now almost entirely dominant. This is not just reflected in the racism and sexism which are so often written about and so permanently obvious, especially in London.
Its effect on detection is to make a mockery of the very word. Crimes are ‘solved’ not by any process which can be called detection but by ‘information’ bribed from the underworld, the pampering of supergrasses, confessions extracted by threats, blackmail or (in extreme cases) good old fashioned torture. Paul Foot, article 23rd January 1993, ‘Morse Code’
The Broadwater Farm case was worse than all of these. At least, in the Birmingham case, an explosives test (recently discredited) had proved positive on two of the six men’s hands. At least in the Guildford case one of the defendants had apparently voluntarily, spilled out the names of the other people who later confessed. At least, in the Bridgewater case one confession led to another, and back to the first one again.
The importance of the Blakelock case is that police now know that if the press is on their side and if the crime is dramatic enough, they can get a conviction just by picking on anyone in the street and taking notes of a conversation which can be construed as a confession or a part-confession. It is the random nature of the arrests of all six people who allegedly ‘confessed’ to the Blakelock killing which has the most chilling consequences.
The power and confidence of the police has increased hugely since the case. Until the Blakelock case, a jury would have insisted on some corroboration before sentencing anyone effectively to life in prison. Now that a jury has so obliged the police, the police have responded with a renewed public relations campaign to take away the powers of the jury. Paul Foot, article 1987, ‘Confessions & Repressions’