JMPD officer’s assault condemned

A taxi driver has been arrested after he allegedly rammed his minibus taxi into a female Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) officer who stopped him in morning traffic on Friday.
The roadside brawl began on Friday morning while the officer and two colleagues were directing traffic. According to a statement released by the City of Johannesburg, when the female officer stopped a white Toyota minibus taxi the driver began swearing at her.
“When the officer turned her back to direct traffic, the taxi driver accelerated and smashed into the officer. The female officer had to hold on to the windscreen wipers to refrain from been dragged underneath the taxi,” a statement from JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said.
When one of her colleagues managed to stop the taxi, the officer had already been dragged for several metres. According to Minnaar, the driver at first refused to get out of the vehicle, continuing to swear and locking himself inside. However, after a few minutes of arguing, the driver got out of the vehicle and took a swing at one of the male officers. While the male officer avoided serious injury, the driver then turned his focus to the female officer, headbutting her and then continuing to punch her.
As the two male officers tried to restrain the taxi driver, other taxi drivers in the area got out of their vehicles and formed a mob, surrounding the officers in what Minnaar described as a “life-threatening situation”.
“In response, the officers drew their service firearms to stabilise the situation,” he said.
However, when JMPD back-up arrived on the scene, the mob of taxi drivers fled, with only the taxi driver who had started the attack arrested at the scene. The female officer was rushed to hospital after sustaining injuries to her left arm, leg, face and back. She was also treated for concussion.
Minnaar, who spoke to the officer at the hospital, said that she initially struggled to talk because of her head injuries.
After describing the incident to Minnaar and other officials, the officer said she was concerned that a member of the public was willing to brazenly attack an officer in uniform.
“She couldn’t believe what he had done. She was also shocked that bystanders were filming her and not helping her,” said Minnaar.
Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba yesterday condemned what he described as a senseless act of violence against officers of the law.
“An attack on our JMPD officers is not only an attack on our government, but an attack on our efforts to return the rule of law in our city. It is an attack on the people of our city, who are desperate to feel safe in their homes, communities and streets.
“For years a culture of lawlessness was allowed to fester in our city and it falls to society as a whole to declare that enough is enough,” Mashaba said.
In a statement from the City of Joburg, it was revealed that the council and JMPD would be making representations to the National Prosecuting Authority opposing bail for the arrested taxi driver and any other arrests of those who assisted in the incident.
“The city condemns the criminal and cowardly behaviour of the taxi drivers involved and will ensure that they are arrested and made to face the full might of the law,” the statement read.
People who took to social media to comment on the attack said, “We need tough laws in this country,imagine being a cop and you dont feel safe?Such behavior needs to stop,” said one twitter user.
“Thank you for making time to be with her Mr Mayor, I’m sure it meant a lot to her to know she’s cared for. May the law make an example of this animal who did this to her,” added another.
“Taxi drivers r some of the most unruly drivers on our roads, the nerve n rudeness in them leaves a lot to b desired… gvnmnt mst step up, law enforcement mst hv firm hand on thse drivers, sirus.” (sic) Fumed anothed.

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