By Dr. MUNYONZWE HAMALENGWA
The real reason why the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) behaves the way it does towards police who kill Blacks has never really been articulated. This article will put forward a thesis.
First of all, it is important to examine the choice of the Director of the SIU since the office and agency was created in 1990. The Director has always been a White male As if this was not bad enough, the White male has always been a prosecutor from the criminal courts or other agencies involved in the prosecution of people.
Furthermore, these prosecutors have always been working with the police who charge people and gather the evidence the prosecutors rely on for convictions. The trend is that the very investigators working for the SIU to investigate police officers are former police officers. How can any objective person or government expect such a composition of prosecutor-police turned SIU investigator – investigating police misconduct produce a report that is not biased towards the police? This trio works in unison. The result is police impunity. And it is not an accident. It was deliberately set out by the government to be this way.
There is absolutely no reason why the post of Director of the SIU could not have been rotating between prosecutor, defence counsel, female and male, Black or other minority and White, or retired judge or human rights advocate. Everybody these days sings about diversity but why not in the position of Director of the SIU?
Isn’t it apparent as to why the SIU operates and produces the results that we are complaining about? This is a case where when there is billowing smoke, there is clearly a fire.
Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa is a Professor of Law and has written extensively on police matters including initiating the first class action law suits against Ontario police for racial profiling and carding when he was a lawyer for 25 years in Toronto, Canada.