The police stand in service to the people. They stand also in service to the law. At times there is heroism, at times there is error. But at all times there must be accountability.
This week there was.
An officer was sentenced 15 years in prison for the killing of an unarmed protestor. The case of Shaima al-Sabagh, carrying flowers to lay at Tahrir Square for the revolutionary anniversary, took both media and presidential attention. Perhaps he did not mean to kill. Perhaps there are others needing accountability beside. Perhaps this ruling is an exception. Perhaps it is a precedent.
A human rights organization released a report implicating police in implicitly endorsing the forced displacement of Copts from their homes. The case of Copts in Beni Suef, where a Facebook post by a relative in Jordan resulted in 18 forced from their home, took both media and presidential attention. They have returned home, but so far none have been held accountable, either in the mob or the police.
Perhaps it is an exception, but perhaps media accountability can also set a precedent.
But in Luxor, the police foiled the plans of a suicide bomber to kill visiting tourists. Intercepted beforehand, he blew himself up but few suffered injuries. Positive accountability is in order.
God, honor the police. Equip them to do their job faithfully. Give them the support necessary, both popular and legal.
Deal justly with things go awry. Deal justly with superiors. Deal justly with the system. Preserve the faith of the people and the rule of the law.
Comfort the family and colleagues of Shaima in this verdict. Reconcile the Copts of Beni Suef to their neighbors. Let freedom of expression be received without bullets. Let community justice be issued without exile.
And amid all the controversies, help the police in the hard job against terrorism. Spare Egypt further tragedy. Stabilize the nation, bring back tourism and investment, and help Egyptians to live in peace.
May the police enable as they serve the people. But hold them—and all—accountable, in service to the law.