Thursday, July 17, 2014

Police just don't learn

Meanwhile, in case you're not angry enough over the IPCA's whitewash over GCSB spying, there's this: police in Stratford responded to a late-night assault complaint by raiding a local marae full of sleeping kids:

Maori elders have filed a complaint with the Independent Police Conduct Authority over the way in which two Stratford officers entered the Stratford marae around 2am on Saturday and woke 25 children sleeping there.

The police were looking for a suspect after a 61-year-old man was assaulted earlier in the same part of Stratford. The suspect was not found.

The children, aged from 4 to 17, were shaken and upset at the aggressive, rude treatment they received from the two officers, Whakaahurangi marae spokeswoman Lovey Read said.


"These kids were made to get up out of bed at 2.30am. They were lined up in the wharenui in their pyjamas and made to show their hands to the police to see if they had blood on their hands, so to speak, then some were photographed."

Because naturally, if someone's been assaulted, you search the local marae...

But its not just about police racism. In a series of posts over Twitter, lawyer Graeme Edgeler struggled to work out how it could be more illegal:
1. It's a personal search conducted without warrant, for an offence not serious enough to conduct a personal search without warrant. (2)

2. It's a consent search, conducted in circumstances where a consent search cannot be conducted. (3)

3. Consent to consent searches cannot be obtained from people under 14 (unless it's consent to search a car they're driving alone) (4)

4. Photographs were taken of suspects(?) in circumstances where photographs cannot be taken. (5)

5. Entry was effected without consent, in circumstances where warrantless entry powers are unavailable. (6)

6. (not enough information, but I'm going to guess this is true) Children/young people were questioned without following correct procedures.

I'll stop now, but I'm not 100% sure that, given a little more background, I couldn't write a statement of facts for aggravated burglary.

And indeed he could: " Unlawfully entry, while carrying a weapon, with the intention of committing an assault on a child. Aggravated Burglary".

But we know how this will go: the elders will complain to the IPCA, the IPCA will sit on it for two years, then they'll issue a whitewash excusing the police. Or possibly they'll criticise the police, who will refuse to accept the IPCA's findings and do nothing. Either way, victims will have been given the false hope of justice, while in practice being denied it. The sole effect of the system is to whitewash and excuse police wrongdoing, while denying people the opportunity to pursue more effective remedies (such as private prosecution or a BORA case).

Our police are rotten, and the system to oversee them is rotten. People should have no faith in either.