As the media team entered the Boroko Police Station juvenile office around 4pm, there were about 16 students inside, most of them females.
They were a bit intimidated by the media groups’ presence but after much reassurance, they were able to talk to media about how they ended up there.
The TV Wan reporter says after the interview, one of the students asked her if the officers could give them their phones back so they could call their parents.
She firstly asked the Superintendent for Operation Brian Kombe. He sent an officer to tell another officer holding onto the phones to give the students’ phones back. However, after 30 minutes, the students did not get their phones back.
“I later walked in and kindly asked the civilian officer why he had confiscated their phones when they haven’t formally arrested them yet, and if he could give their phones back so they can call their parents to come down to the station,” the journalist says.
“He told me that he would not give back their phones and that I will have to step outside and do my job so he can do his job.
“I told him that I heard clearly from the Superintendent for Operation, there were no arrests made yet and that they were still waiting for the Commander to come and an arrest can be made, therefore the students must be given back their phones to contact their parents.”
It was then that the civilian came towards the female reporter and tried to manhandle her out of the office, breaking her shirt in the process.
He then kicked her in her ribs, where she fell down. He later went outside and started assaulting two other female reporters from NBC but Kombe came in time to stop the officer from doing anything further to the reporters.
TV Wan chief editor Glenda Popot condemned the action of the civilian officer as her police reporter was only doing her job and she should not have been treated in such a manner.
Popot says this is police brutality against journalists and the media industry will not tolerate these type of actions from the police officers. We will not be intimidated.
She calls on the police hierarchy to do something about this, adding that they have the freedom to report, ask questions that need to be asked and that they should let journalists do their jobs without fear or favour.