Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Covering for their own

The Christchurch police officer who used his uniform to extort sex from a prostitute has been convicted on one count of "sex with consent induced by a threat". Good. There should be no place for such people in the police - a sentiment echoed by the police:

Canterbury police district commander Superintendent Dave Cliff released a brief statement, saying it was "always disappointing when a person in a position of trust abuses that trust with the public and their work colleagues".

"A police officer is treated no differently to a member of the public in a situation such as this. A criminal investigation and professional standards investigation were begun, however the professional standards investigation was terminated when Nathan Connolly resigned of his own volition."

But then there's this:
A month before his resignation, Connolly lost a civil suit brought by West Coast man Steven Fredericks.

Connolly had arrested Fredericks as he and a friend left a Greymouth pub in 2005. He elbowed Fredericks in the face three times as he sat restrained in the back of a police car.

Fredericks complained to police after the assault but no action was taken. Fredericks successfully sued and was awarded $5000.

Judge Colin Doherty said Connolly's actions in the Greymouth case were "abhorrent" and "gratuitous".

Fredericks later appealed the amount of the exemplary damages and had his award doubled to $10,000.

So, back in 2005 the Police ignored a brutal and gratuitous assault by one of their own, allowing Connolly to keep his job. And that meant he was free three years later to abuse the power of his uniform to rape a woman. "Safer communities together", eh?