Review: 'The Code: Reporting police misconduct to the police'

Posted Jun 6, 2012 by Alexander Baron
If you are the victim of a crime, you should call the police. What though if the perpetrator is a police officer? According to this video, you might as well not bother.
Mark Duggan  the man shot dead by armed police in Tottenham on August 4  2011.
Mark Duggan, the man shot dead by armed police in Tottenham on August 4, 2011.
This video by the Libertarian Cato Institute can currently be found on BrassCheck TV. It is short, a shade over 21 minutes, but it tells a tale which many people will find depressingly familiar. The video is in two parts, the first and longer part involves a number of men walking into police stations and each asking to make a complaint against a police officer, or an official form to do so. Unsurprisingly, they are asked to provide some details: their own names, the nature of the complaint and so on. This seems eminently reasonable, though it remains to be seen if it is quite so reasonable for a complainer to be arrested for refusing to answer these reasonable questions.
The second, and shorter part of the video is far more disturbing because it proves that the privilege money can't buy works on both sides of the Atlantic, and of course, by implication, the world over. In America, it is known as "the code". For a fictionalised account of this sort of thing, check out the excellent 1994 film One Of Her Own. For the UK version of the real thing, check out the execution of Mark Duggan by the Metropolitan Police. Sadly, there are many more of these in the USA with its gun culture.
The most noticeable feature of these thugs in or out of uniform is their sheer arrogance, on one occasion, an off-duty police officer laid into a small woman in a bar for no apparent reason, administering her a battering, and when the police were called, they didn't even bother to look at the CCTV evidence that was proferred.
Fortunately, things in the UK are not quite so bad, but let us not kid ourselves that filing a complaint against a police officer is worthwhile unless the victim has been raped or something nearly as serious.
The Cato people have also set up a new website to monitor this sort of thing.