Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Our racist police

In entirely unsurprising news, the police exhibit racial bias in their use of pre-charge warnings:

Pākehā are nearly twice as likely to be let off by police for minor offences than Māori, a new report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority has shown.

Figures between February and April 2015 showed 40 percent of New Zealand European offenders were given a pre-charge warning in Northland, compared to 25 percent of Māori.

In the Waikato, 55 percent of Pākehā were let off, compared to 24 percent of Māori.

An offender can get a pre-charge warning if they commit a crime with a penalty of less than six months imprisonment, such as trespassing or cannabis use.

Naturally, the "Independent" Police Conduct Authority says that this isn't racism, citing differences in previous criminal convictions. Of course, one of the reasons Māori are more likely to have criminal convictions is because they get prosecuted rather than receiving pre-charge warning. So racism perversely becomes its own defence.

This isn't acceptable. Police discrimination against Māori must end.