Thursday, March 20, 2014

Protecting their own again

Back in 2011, an off-suty Christchurch police officer randomly beat a teenager with his baton. Rather than being charged with assault with a weapon, the police treated it as an employment matter and refused to prosecute. Now the Independent Police Conduct authority has ruled that they were wrong to do so:

Police were wrong not to charge an off-duty cop who used his baton to bash a youth he thought had smashed his letterbox, a review has found.


In releasing today's report, IPCA chairman Sir David Carruthers said despite the serious nature of the off-duty officer's actions, a criminal prosecution was never undertaken.

"In investigating the police decision not to prosecute, the Authority found that the decision not to interview the officer as part of a criminal investigation was a departure from the proper process," he said.

"The authority also found that the decision not to prosecute the off-duty officer because it was not in the public interest to do so was made without proper consideration of the prosecution guidelines."

How did this happen? The usual story: police looking out for each other, minimising complaints for the public to protect their mates. And it has worked: the officer won't be prosecuted, and has kept his job. And the police think this is how they restore trust. Yeah right.

This officer is a brutal thug who launched an unprovoked attack on a member of the public. There should be no place in the police for him.