Tag Archives: police use of force

South African Police Kill 3 Year Old Child.

south african police

A recent shooting of a  three year old toddler  Atlegang Phalane wielding a pipe who was shot and killed and other shootings of young persons have made the public and authorities question the justification and authority of South African Police. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8354961.stm  and see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/southafrica/6539648/South-African-boy-3-shot-dead-by-police.html 

Rightfully so the public is outraged at the incident and are justifiably questioning when police may discharge their guns in the performance of their duty.  The father of the child is quoted from the latter article stating ” the cop just stood bye sucking a lollipop as if nothing happened.”  To hear that account makes is chilling, and assuming such an account to be true  would be evidence of a gross indifference to human life. If such non verbal communication was displayed it is evidence of a cold, mean, wanton and dangerous agency not accountable to the public they serve and it’s leaders should be removed.


The most difficult decision that a Police Officer may have to make is whether to shoot or not to shoot. In the NYPD and most other cities and state we have strict guidelines which supercede the N.Y.S. and Federal Constitutional laws governing justification in shooting an individual. ( N.Y.S. Justification law see http://ypdcrime.com/penal.law/article35.htm )

In South Africa the police may shoot at fleeing persons,  ( see http://www.news24.com/Content/SouthAfrica/Politics/1057/6b50c2cf0c1940a5a24feff9efabfdc1/12-11-2009-06-06/Zuma_SA_crime_more_violent )which is not permissable in New York. 

In 2008 107 South African Police Officers were murdered during the performance of duty. This is an extremely high number of fatalities and directly correlates with the violence the nation is experiencing. ( see http://allafrica.com/stories/200909070585.html ) In 2008 in all of the United States 138 Officer’s died in the line of duty ( see http://www.odmp.org/year.php?year=2008 ).

In 2008 South African Police encounters( custody and actions ) resulted in the death of 912 persons.The murder rate in South Africa is 5 times that of our nation. ( See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate ) South Africa has seen an unbridled increase in violence which is reeking havoc and as a result the economic well-being of the nation is eroding.  For if folks don’t feel safe they won’t live or work in a city, state of nation. 

Symbolic of the terrible crimes in South Africa a female lesbian national soccer player Eudy Simelane  ( see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eudy_Simelane )was the victim of a “corrective rape” she was stabbed over 12 times gang raped and thrown in a river. see http://www.newser.com/story/70068/s-african-gets-life-in-rape-killing-of-lesbian-soccer-star.html

Nothing good can come from the death of a three-year old. However, it appears that as a nation this death, and that of the soccer star reflect a national anomie which if goes unchecked will be a fatal carcinogen to the nation. In the Christian Science link below even the Ambassador to the U.S. was stalked coming home from the airport and gunfire was exchanged with his attackers.

Topical Sites to Visit:

One website displays graphic images of farmers who in the post apartheid decades were murdered. See http://southafrica-pig.blogspot.com/2008/06/sas-agricultural-sector-under-siege.html 

Human Rights Watch http://www.hrw.org/en/node/79205

African National Congress http://www.hrw.org/en/node/79205

Christian Science monitor on crime in South Africa and the dreams of post apartheid not realized http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0824/p09s01-coop.html