In the News: Police Corruption, Civil Unrest, and Excessive Force

A bit of policing news from around the globe…

This year Costa Rican officials embarked upon a crackdown on corruption among the Policia de Transito, or traffic cops.  So far, 50 corrupt officers have been detained, caught by undercover officers paying mordidas, or bribes, with marked bills.  The majority of cops apprehended had been working in the police service for 10-15 years, suggesting the practice of asking for payoffs in exchange for not giving out traffic tickets may be deeply entrenched in police culture.

While Costa Rica works to rid their police of corruption, a recent Egyptian court ruling has banned Egyptian police from patrolling Cairo University’s campus altogether.  In place of police, the University will deploy civilian security guards.  Check out activist and blogger Hassam El Hamalawy’s analysis that frames the court decision within the context of civil protest and police use of excessive force here.

In France, police and protesters clash as the government attempts to regain control of oil refineries.  Just hours before the Senate vote on the controversial pension reform bill, “helmeted riot police in body armor shoved striking workers aside to force open the gates of the Total SA refinery at Grandpuits,” one of 12 French refineries that has been shut down by union strikers for days.  Protesters symbolically burned a coffin after the police intervention.


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