Thursday, August 20, 2015

The IPCA is a lie

On 29 December 2014, police arrested an alleged burglar in Mangere East. In the course of the arrest, one of the arresting officers violently and brutally stomped on the suspect's head. His fellow officers though that this was unjustified, and reported him. And today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has formally found that it was an unjustified and excessive use of force. But don't get your hopes up - because while the IPCA thinks that this cop used force unlawfully, they don't think that that means they should be prosecuted:

Although there are variations in the descriptions of how Officer E acted, it involved, at a minimum, the violent application of force on at least two occasions, to gain compliance, which was not justified in the circumstances.

This conclusion has been reached on the civil standard of the ‘balance of probabilities’. This standard sets a lower threshold for proof than that required for criminal liability, the threshold for which requires evidence sufficient to demonstrate guilt ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. Therefore, the Authority’s finding does not necessarily mean that the threshold for criminal prosecution has been met in this case.

Which is just bullshit. To point out the obvious, the standard for prosecution is not the same as the standard for conviction. If the police had reached the conclusion on the balance of probabilities that you or I had violently applied force unlawfully, we would almost certainly be prosecuted. The police must hold their own to the same standard. Failing to do so simply makes it clear that they're nothing but a gang with different colours.

As for the IPCA, this is more evidence that they're just a PR exercise, there to excuse police misconduct rather than eliminate it. They are a scam to create consent, not just unable, but unwilling to promote higher standards. And that being the case, there is simply no reason for the organisation to exist. Give me a real IPCA, or give me nothing - but don't expect me to pay any attention to a lie.