POLICE BRUTALITY, A CRIME AGAINST CRIMINALS: WAIT! WHAT?
When looking for some film reviews of Nibunan, I came across this article “Police brutality as heroism: 8 Tamil films we didn’t question” which is very disturbing in my opinion.
It would be a perfect topic for the second volume of Connecting the Dots. Connecting the Dots is a series of opinion pieces on selected topics sharing the journey of waking up hoping to inspire others to wake up as well.
It takes a serious issue such as police brutality and instead of looking for examples where they go against the public, civilians, they choose to focus on the social acceptance of police brutality against criminals. CRIMINALS! They show a list of films that according to them is problematic because they add to the social acceptance of crimes against criminals. Wait what? Are we in another dimension where black is white and white is black? Asking for a friend.
ABOUT THE ARTICLE
At least we can thank them for the list of films to definitely check them out as part of our search for alternative entertainment in foreign cinema. It is an Indian article focusing on the Tamil Film Industry, one of the many film industries of India. The main issue they have is portraying cops going against the law in films to punish criminals that based on their investigation in an uncorrupted system would be found guilty. There is no discussion of innocence in these stories, they even show you the crimes in the films. If there was then my take would be different. These are not innocent people.
MAKING NO SENSE
I would have supported the discussion about police brutality if they had expanded with other examples where a fair trial would make a difference in the case such as the Telegu film Temper presented it, the original Ayogya is based on. The police lost the video, the only crucial proof they had to sentence the rapists. In a fair trial, they would have gone free and found the next victim. What did the police officer do?
He took the blame and said he was an accomplice and described what he saw in the video. All the accused along with him were sentenced to death. He sacrificed his life to bring justice to the victim’s family. The original film Temper had a more satisfying ending where most of the accused faced their death in the most gruesome ways leaving the last one to voluntarily commit suicide.
AN EASY TARGET
Another issue with the article is the targeting of one of the smaller Indian film industries that have been trying to stand on its own. The biggest Indian film industry, Bollywood, also has similar stories such as Rohit’s Shetty Cop Universe but the writers here are specifically targeting one of the little guys.
The Tamil film industry is one of the smaller film industries in the South. Bollywood and the Independent Hindi Film Industry represent the North while the South has many smaller Film Industries with the Telegu Film Industry being the biggest. The global audience would not fully understand what is going on without further research.
THE NEPOTISM DEBATE
The difference between the North and South film industries is clearly seen in how the Bollywood media treat the actors and filmmakers whose families have been part of the film industry for decades. Nepotism is there in the North and the South but there is a clear distinction.
While in the North you will find media darlings that never do anything wrong but still can “improve”, in the South they are criticized from top to bottom and have no other option but to work hard on their craft. The criticism and support of their fans also make them humbler and are celebrated when they are successful. They train physically and mentally to perform without stunt doubles. Artists who work hard on their craft despite their background should be commended and encouraged to grow more.
And, in the South, outsiders have a bigger chance of succeeding within the film industry because of it. In the North, if you are an outsider, you need a connection, a godfather or godmother, to launch your career otherwise you will struggle to gain notoriety. Further down the line most outsiders establish their own production companies in order to make their own films, otherwise they would never get any work within the industry.
More importantly, stars in the South now are more grounded and know where they stand because of their fans, and they choose to cater to their fans, not the media. The brilliant rise of the South is based on content first. The stories from the South in my opinion are more real, emotional, and relatable. It’s not obvious that a wealthy actor or actress is portraying a character from the lower working class, you can’t say the same for Bollywood. There is a distinction between the elite stars and their fans. There is a clear disconnection when they answer the media and their sponsors and wonder why the fans are not supporting their films. Shows like Coffee with Karan and The Kapil Sharma Show clearly showcase the difference between the rich and poor.
A DISTRACTION FROM THE REAL ISSUE
Police brutality generally refers to the excessive or unnecessary force used by law enforcement officers during an arrest or other interaction with civilians. This article equates criminals with regular civilians such as protestors. Protestors are civilians that gather to use their right to manifest their discontent usually with the government. Police brutality against protestors is wrong and there are Tamil films such as Sarkar that showcase them, but you don’t see it on the list, do you? It doesn’t fit the narrative here.
Police brutality against someone they randomly arrest is also wrong, you don’t know what is happening in their mind so the best-case scenario would be to remain neutral even when they are aggressive. According to the article police brutality against criminals, who are the scum of the earth, is a crime. Do criminals have the same civil rights as civilians? They remain with some basic rights including the right to appeal but once convicted they lose certain rights when they choose to commit a crime and are treated differently in the prison system, especially for crimes against little children. Sometimes when justice is not served by men it’s served by the universe.
In today’s climate criminals are not even afraid to admit their crimes publicly when they have good lawyers and are able to influence the fractured corrupt justice system. A fair trial in some cases never happens. In such cases even the officers get frustrated. If not the police, would it be ok for the civilians to take action, then? Do you want to have the issue of dealing with vigilantes like the Punisher or John Wick?
Or maybe they would like more stories like the 2009 film Law Abiding Citizen, wherein a frustrated man decides to take justice into his own hands after a plea bargain sets one of his family’s killers free. He smartly does everything within the confines of the law. Maybe we need more remakes of this story in several countries.
The main issue is that people have lost faith in the justice system; a fair trial is almost impossible in some countries where a good lawyer can do the miracle of getting an innocent verdict when the proof clearly shows that the accused is guilty. Corruption has made it very difficult for the victims to obtain justice.
The Corruption Perception Index I believe doesn’t reflect the actual level of corruption considering the stories of how some of the high-end criminals, who are usually influential & wealthy individuals, get acquitted and receive their liberty back to roam free and continue their illegal business activities when they should have been convicted and sentenced to jail.
THE EPSTEIN CASE
Or they receive a low sentence such as Epstein in 2008 where he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of solicitation of prostitution involving a minor, and was sentenced just to 18 months in prison; he served 13, and was granted work release, which allowed him to commute to an office outside the jail six days a week. He was also registered as a sex offender.
Now we know that he continued business as usual with several banks and corporations and his contacts with the government, the royals, and Hollywood. His crimes continued and in 2019 he was arrested again for an even bigger crime. On July 8, 2019, federal prosecutors charged financier Jeffrey Epstein with one count of sex trafficking of a minor and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.
Following the indictment, Epstein pleaded not guilty on both charges. He was denied bail and remained in jail until August 10, when several media outlets confirmed that Epstein had died by apparent suicide. His death was officially ruled a suicide by the New York City medical examiner. Unfortunately for the victims, he will never face justice for his crimes.
In July 2020, his ex-girlfriend and longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell, who once advocated for maritime passports, the digital TerraMar passports, was arrested on charges relating to Epstein’s sex trafficking operation. She was found guilty of 5 out of 6 charges, and in June 2022, she was sentenced to 20 years in prison. It is frightening to think how far she could have gone with trafficking people using her digital passports and trapping more people and their businesses by associating with TerraMar. She was considered so upstanding to even give TED Talks.
Decriminalization is the process through which the legislature removes criminal sanctions against an act, omission, article, or behavior considered a crime. Decriminalization means it would remain illegal, but the legal system would not prosecute a person for the act. In the case of criminals, they lose certain rights when they are sentenced but before that happens, they still have their civil rights.
In a normal society where the justice system works as it should you see cases where the police are exonerated when the criminals receive their sentence or enough evidence is brought up to clear their case. Now in the upside-down world, we are living we see how certain groups are trying to decriminalize criminals such as pedophiles.
We can several examples such as the U.S. where you will find pornographic images in children’s books, in any other case a Playboy would be forbidden in a children’s library, why are these kinds of books any different than Playboy magazines? It gets worse in several states such as California where theft is tolerated to the point that nothing gets done by law enforcement. Shoplifting is basically legal in California.
Not to forget how pedophiles are convicted for a few years and come out to commit the same crimes again. Thieves openly take what they want. In Australia, there is a movement to make pedophilia acceptable since 2014. On social media they are grouping pedophiles and ephebophiles into Minor Attracted Persons (MAPs) in order to normalize sexual relations with minors. Is it wrong for the community to defend itself then and make sure it is safe for everyone under 18? Well, apparently in some places it is. In the United Kingdom, the authorities arrest vigilantes that were trapping pedophiles. Even though pedophile hunters are effective in their work and they are heroes to the children they save, they are villains according to the system.
The idea of a global criminal ring of human and sex trafficking is not that farfetched. Not surprisingly the site WordPuplationReview still has 2010 rape statistics showing the United States (84,767 incidents) and South Africa (42,289) with the highest rates followed by India (22,172) and the United Kingdom (17, 316). I wonder why they haven’t updated their numbers. It would be very different if you included the countries with thriving sex tourism and destabilized countries such as Haiti and Ukraine.
Other sites such as Statista report France with the highest number of rape cases in Europe. But overall, it is challenging to find realistic statistics to illustrate the problem of sex tourism which is often based on human and sex trafficking having involuntary women and minors involved. The illegal drug trade industry is also linked to human and sex trafficking.
It seems as if there has been a global effort to corrupt the justice system in democratic countries, and separate law enforcement from its pledges to serve, protect, and defend the people. Instead, they serve, protect and defend the government and corporations influencing the government. There have been many examples of this mostly in the U.S. (BLM Protest, Airline Companies & more), Canada (Truckers’ protest), and France (The Yellow Vest Protests). during the pandemic. It appears that law enforcement is being used as a tool to do the government’s bidding that in some countries is sponsored by multinational corporations and wealthy personalities.
It is also true that there has been no investment in the well-being of law enforcement officers. They need to be healthy physically and mentally to be able to efficiently serve, protect and defend the people. Since that seems not to be the main goal many do have not the perfect physical condition or are mentally capable to deal with difficult situations. Even if on paper there are funds allocated for training, you don’t see any effective results in practice.
Unfortunately, law enforcement officers have become marionettes of the government and some most probably struggle to get free. I do believe that there are idealistic good officers that get influenced by the system voluntarily or by force. Law enforcement and Firefighting are the closest things to becoming a national hero. The police serve their community, fight the bad guys and save the people. They also have regular lives with family and friends and by association they become targets. I do believe that there are many bullies within law enforcement that corrupt the good ones voluntarily or by force.
When an officer chooses to protect and defend the people it’s a crime. When it’s done on behalf of the government and corporations it’s not a crime. In some sexual assault cases when the victim (a female) chooses to protect or defend herself she is turned into the villain, the criminal, and the criminal becomes the victim.
The separation between law enforcement and the people makes it easier for the government to implement laws that will increase their control and give them more power over the people, especially when it’s done for security reasons. Unfortunately, it seems that the process of separation in many countries, such as the U.S., Canada, France, and some Latin American countries has been successful, the police no longer serve, protect and defend the people.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
It is natural for people, especially the family of the victims, to seek justice but what can be done when justice is bought? It is a difficult question that society has to deal with and its starts with not blaming the victim, and having proper due process when there is proof society needs to have a retrospective on how the criminal came to be because sometimes the negligence of family, teachers, neighbors, and even the police failing to act timely at a certain point in time ignites the individual to ignore his/her principles and morals. Other times people are just evil, there is no other explanation like the villain in Imaikkaa Nodigal.
Most of the themes in the films I watched that were mentioned in the article revolve around rape, drugs, and dealing with serial killers. It all comes back to human trafficking, sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, and the lack of morality and principles. Why advocate for a fair trial that will never happen? The global rings have the power to sentence or save criminals, they are above the law and have a presence in most industries.
The system needs to be cleaned to let equal justice prevail, the government and its leaders must also obey the law. Clear standards for due process need to be applied to everyone of all classes equally. No elite should be above the law. And the police need better physical and mental training to be able to respond appropriately.
In the meantime, civilians need to support the police, the uncorrupted ones, and nonprofit organizations such as Operation Underground Railroad that are working alongside law enforcement, governments, and caretakers to stop these criminals from doing more harm. The difficult question is how do we clean the justice system and restore our faith? Should the law enforcement component be restructured to ensure proper chance?
As a reader, they lost me with their presentation and how they judged the films. It seems as if they have no sentiment for the victims and tries very hard for the reader to gain sympathy for the criminals and condemn the police for this particular crime. It’s very disturbing when you see the real police brutality against innocent people, they should be the main topic of discussion. Instead, we are advocating for fair trials for criminals in a corrupt system that doesn’t offer fair verdicts and where due process is not applicable to all.
With high-profile criminals, a heavy hand is needed, and it seems that unfortunately the mainstream, not only in the West, is promoting more tolerance for extreme criminals, and is completely forgetting the victims, the innocent. The Epsteins of the world have been getting away for too long.
It would be great if people were afraid to commit crimes because they fear the law very much like the ending message of Ayogya that the article also criticizes “All men will now fear an immediate death sentence if they ever molest a girl.” Instead of molesting, I would be more specific to add rape but in any case, wouldn’t it be great to have that?
It would clearly reduce the cases, just like community policing used to do. Thieves were afraid to act in the neighborhood because they were afraid of the beatings they would receive from the community. Of course, the rule of law should be restored to what it is supposed to be, and law enforcement should be restructured and reunited with the people. The question is how do we get there?
Maybe getting rid of the facilitators of corruption, such as the current laws & regulations that have loopholes and laws that are missing in the system that facilitates corruption, such as having access to the financial market data when you are a government official and taking advantage of that information to sell or buy shares.
The above notes are my opinion based on life experiences and sources referenced in the text with links. I’m not sure if the links will be working in the future but just in case you can always check them if they are broken using tools such as the Wayback Machine on Internet Archive, a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. The date of the article or a week before should be timewise a good place to start.