Thursday, April 04, 2019

Why police should not be armed

Need a reason why the New Zealand Police should not be armed? Just look at how they behave with weapons:

A police officer was not justified in shooting at a stolen police car in Murupara in October 2017, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has found.

The Police officer, working alone in Murupara, was driving two young children home when he stopped to arrest a man believed to have been involved in a recent armed robbery.

The officer placed the man in the front seat of the police car, with his hands handcuffed in front of his body.

When the officer dropped off the children he got out of the car and left the keys in the ignition and the engine running.

The arrested man moved over to the driver's seat, locked the doors and drove off.

He shouted for the man to stop and fired two shots at the police car's tyres with the Glock pistol he was carrying.

Police are supposed to use firearms only when an offender poses an immediate risk of serious harm or death (classicly, pointing a weapon at someone or something similar). Firing at someone who is simply fleeing does not meet that standard. Instead, it appears to be a clear cut violation of s198(2) of the Crimes Act, discharging a firearm with reckless disregard for the safety of others. Which leads to the perpetual question: will this police officer be prosecuted? Or will the police continue to look the other way and protect their own when they engage in criminal behaviour.

The good news is that the gun law currently going through Parliament will remove the major police "justification" for routine arming. And once it has passed and the semi-automatics are all rounded up and destroyed, we can disarm them as well, and leave firearms where they belong: in the hands of trained, specialist units who don't pull cowboy shit like this.