If the police ever come for me – not that I’m expecting them – I hope it’s with the blues and twos blasting, loudhailer shouts of “Police! Open up!”, a battering ram bursting through the front door, flash grenades, and a smoke-choked mess of chaos and confusion.
I’d know what was happening; I’d be forewarned that things were serious and this was just the beginning of difficult times ahead. Sadly, in my homeland of Australia, the long arm of the law is choosing to track down alleged wrongdoers in a banal, sinister way that to me is far more terrifying.
The police are turning up on people’s doorsteps with a neat little manila folder containing details of crimes and, to them, what must count as incontrovertible evidence in the form of screen grabs from Facebook.
In one instance filmed and uploaded to social media, two officers bear A4-sized printouts from the police station computer of the suspect’s social media account. The evidence comprises images of a protest, along with the caption making the apparently inflammatory accusation, “Your government does not care about you.”
The suspect is asked if he can confirm he took part in a protest six months ago, which had been deemed an illegal gathering in contravention of lockdown laws – and that’s when the absurdity escalates.
Australia has fallen. pic.twitter.com/iQnlCokZT6
Vacillating between anger and incredulity, the suspect realises that this is not, in fact, a joke, but that these two police officers have been sent to his house with the intention of arresting him for attending a public protest that he had almost forgotten. Sensibly, he winds in his disbelief enough to provide a “No comment” and “I don’t recall,” awake to the risk of unintentionally dropping himself in what is clearly considered a serious police matter.
For if it’s not serious, then why are two officers standing at his front door at night trying to coerce him into a confession of wrongdoing?
It’s the everyday courtesy of the officers, the faux-friendly attitude, the line of questioning, the self-assurance and, most of all, that neat little folder, that makes this encounter so unsettling. And it’s patently obvious that they believe they have their man and he can “No comment” all he likes but this conversation is certainly going to continue down at the station. So you better grab your shoes.
Someone, apparently unknown, reported this ‘crime’ to the police, giving the Facebook details to. Brinkwire Summary News. For more information, search on the internet.