Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Corruptly protecting their own

How corrupt are the New Zealand Police? This corrupt:

On 10 February 2019, Police attended a family harm incident. The suspect attempted to run the attending officers over in a driveway with his car, narrowly missing them, before fleeing the scene. A short pursuit followed, ending when the suspect stopped his car.

The arrest was captured on CCTV and the footage shows the suspect getting out of his car and lying face down on the ground with his hands behind his head. One of the officers is then seen firmly placing a foot on his head, kicking his body several times and punching him to the head before he is handcuffed and arrested.

The Police found the officer's use of force was excessive but decided not to charge him with a criminal offence as they did not believe it was in the public interest to do so.

The IPCA disagrees. They noted that the police officer was aggressive from the beginning, threatening the victim with a taser without justification, and that they then lied in their report about what they had done. Unfortunately, they don't get to make prosecution decisions - police do. And as usual, they use that power to protect their own, refusing to lay charges even when abuses of power are captured live on camera. And then, they wonder why nobody trusts them.

The police are clearly not willing to enforce the law impartially. as for the solution, it is obvious: give the IPCA prosecution power, so they can do the job police refuse to of holding their own to account.

(And meanwhile, this practice of anonymity for violent, abusive police has to end. Why should they be protected from the reputational damage they deserve to suffer for their thuggery? And how many times has it hidden the fact that we have repeat offenders still wearing a badge? In the US, where police records are public, it has allowed abusers to be identified and driven out (if only because no-one will insure them anymore). We need to do this in New Zealand too.)