By: Lumi Lintunen
A shockingly high number (85%) of Citizens living in Hathian find the police to be untrustworthy, with only 5% responding they would trust the police and 10% not having an opinion on the matter. Hathian has seen a string of protests and escalating tensions between the citizens and their police force, with demand increasing for the police to be defunded.
Perhaps even more shockingly, 65% of the people of Hathian feel under threat by the police. Not feeling under threat did not stem from a feeling of safety in those respondents who denied feeling under threat, but rather apathy. “Under threat? Like personally? Noo. I don’t give a shit, I just think they are a waste of time and when I hear in the news about one of them getting it, I honestly don’t care” One man said.
Even people who seem to have sympathy toward the department seem to be fearful of them. “The ones I do know that are some of the good ones, or have seen that seem honest, they really seem like they are over their heads and are stressed out. I feel bad for them. But really they need to clear out the bad apples.” A female responder lamented when asked about their feelings toward the HPD. She admitted to not feeling comfortable with officers she does not personally know: “If see an officer walking towards me on the street, I can say I’ll likely turn the other way, especially if it’s a male officer and I am alone.”
80% report being harassed or abused by the HPD
“Carole King has made it her personal mission to destroy my life. Picked a fight with me in front of Lou’s on St Patrick’s day at a party. There is likely CCTV of her assaulting me. That’s just the most recent incident.” Said one respondent when asked if they’d been harassed or abused by the police. This follows a trend with 80% of the respondents claiming they’ve been harassed or abused by the Hathian police department. Multiple respondents seemed to take issue specifically with Detective King, with one responder claiming “HPD are the biggest and best-equipped gang in Hathian and they have taken a personal interest in me and have subjected me to a witch hunt led by Detective Corporal King”
The lack of trust in HPD within the citizenship is so profound, that only half of all Hathianites would feel comfortable reporting a crime to the HPD. If the department does not fix the trust issues, this could mean that the majority of crimes go unreported. With crimes going unreported, the police also miss out on gathering useful intel on the criminals they wish to catch. Returning the trust of the citizens should be high in the list of priorities for the HPD for the officers to be able to operate effectively.
Additionally 25% of the citizens would report a crime that was lesser than a felony. Most explaining they would not want someone to draw the ire of the department for something small.
These however did not seem to worry officer Wolff. In a public tweet he said “Perfect. Let’s make it 100%” in response to being questioned if he knew half of Hathian were unwilling to report crimes to the HPD. It would seem resolving crimes or having them even reported is not high on the list of priorities for all Officers.
Is the impact of the HPD causing societal issues worse than crime itself?
Some people voiced concerns about the societal impact of HPD’s actions. “In a city like Hathian, having the police throw you in jail or even make you pay a fine for like, $500 or something when it’s fake- like, that is how people get fired from their job, or like, miss paying rent and get kicked out of their place. Like, I’m sure some of the homeless people you see, that was the first step in them losing housing.” With accusations about increasing the poverty and homelesness in HAthian, this should not be something for the police to ignore.
Others went as far as to consider the HPD just another gang, and implied people must choose which gang to support and go to for assistance in times of need. “You can look at support the Jackals, DOMC or similar, you kinda get the same benefits, I choose to support the PD as the saying goes, better the devil you know”
Unacceptable conditions in HPD cells
A small number of responders admitted to having been arrested. The descriptions of the HPD cells were unnerving. “I surrendered peacefully and I was still abused in the cells. I was already severely injured when I entered jail but a Sergeant, without provocation, sprayed me with a high pressure hose. This aggravated my injuries. To add insult to injury I was left in soaking clothes in a soaked cot in a soaked cell overnight with no opportunity to dry myself or medical attention. I was told that I should consider myself lucky that I was not there a week prior since Hurricane Ida had flooded the cell block because otherwise I would have been left in floodwater. I was only fed sporadically and when I asked for a vegetarian meal I was denied because Sergeant Ritter and HPD did not hold stock with commie liberal values…”
The trust in our police is at record low. Citizens fear they may end up in a jail for no good reason, where conditions are appalling and abuses of power are reported to be even more rife than on the street. What needs to be done? Can the change come from the authorities, or are the citizens of Hathian being pushed to a breaking point? We’ve come close to full scale riots multiple times recently, with the latest one inches away from causing a catastrophic explosion. What action needs to be taken, by whom?
We will be interviewing the police and local legal experts in future articles as we continue to explore the decisions and options Hathian faces.