Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Our rotten police

Yesterday, Giovanni Tiso posted an excellent piece about the police raid on Nicky Hager's home, which highlighted its ordinaryness. Intruding into innocent people's homes and upturning their lives is just how the police do business. It's raid first, and refuse to answer questions later.

That article has become horribly relevant this morning, with the news that the police are raiding the home of another journalist - this time 3News' Heather du Plessis-Allan. Like Hager, du Plessis-Allan is "guilty" of nothing more than doing her job as a journalist. But like Hager, that job embarrassed those in power - this time the police themselves, who had to explain (and close) a major failure in their oversight of gun laws which allowed unlicensed people to buy firearms. And in light of that, its difficult to see today's raid - supposedly to gain handwriting samples - as anything other than revenge and intimidation. If they actually wanted handwriting samples, they could have got them at du Plessis-Allan's office. But they might have encountered lawyers (and cameras) there, and it wouldn't be intimidating enough. So, they raid her home and go through her private life and underwear drawer instead. The message is clear: in New Zealand, journalists who do their jobs get their homes raided. Our rotten police will only tolerate a compliant, unquestioning media.