Portugal: scandal over racist posts by police

Hundreds of Portuguese police officers have openly expressed racist views on various social networks, research by a TV broadcaster has now revealed. The Public Prosecutor's Office and the Ministry of Internal Administration have announced the launch of investigations. The national press discusses causes and necessary consequences.

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Público (PT) /

Neglected officers have become a threat

A protest that was justified initially is now bearing unacceptable fruits, laments Público:

“The police have many reasons to be dissatisfied: low pay, lack of career prospects and poor working conditions. For years, no one listened to these complaints. This dissatisfaction became a breeding ground for the far right and the consequences are now plain for all to see. After fighting fairly for their rights, many civil servants and guards have now moved on to a smaller, imaginary fight that pits them against the citizens they are supposed to protect. ... Those who were supposed to protect us are now actually a threat.”

Jornal de Notícias (PT) /

Reforms urgently needed

Investigations are not enough, says Jornal de Notícias:

“The investigations announced by the Public Prosecutor's Office and the General Inspectorate of Internal Administration are absolutely necessary and should be followed through to the end, but they are insufficient. They show that the process of selecting, training and supervising police officers must also be more rigorous and subject to constant review and improvement. ... Because of the tasks it performs, because of the rights it protects, there must be no doubts about the special responsibility of the police. There must also be no excuses or leniency in the face of behaviour that violates constitutional principles.”