Earlier in December 2017, a student of the Delta State Polytechnic was killed by policemen over some insubstantial arguments. This is just one among hundreds of cases when overzealous police officers become murderers, for no justifiable reason. While some of the perpetrators are brought to justice, many others often escape the law. Just recently, a team of three officers who killed a youth in Lagos were dismissed and are to be arraigned in court.
Some of them evade justice by accusing the victim of a fabricated crime, and more unfortunately, they usually enjoy the support of some senior officers. Considering how incessant these killings have become over the years, we’ve not addressed it the right way. We can’t push for a no-gun policy, but regulating the use of metal bullets will reduce the incidents. We should adopt rubber and plastic bullets, except for special squads like the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and the Intelligence Response Squad (IRS).
Rubber bullets are simulations of real bullets that can be fired from either standard firearms or dedicated riot guns. They are intended to be a non-lethal alternative to metal bullets. Policemen can use them against errant citizens without causing grievous harms. Either their provocation is justified or not is left for the court to decide, but we can be sure that no life will be at risk.