Friday, July 19, 2019

More police misconduct

Why do so many people mistrust the police? Because they pull shit like this:

The police are flouting the rules on breath testing, carrying out tests in people's homes to catch them out sometimes up to two hours after they were last seen driving, a Dunedin lawyer says.

Dunedin barrister Marie Taylor-Cyphers said in many cases the supporting evidential paperwork claimed the tests were taken roadside, though officers would later concede on the stand that was not the case.

She was concerned police were taking advantage of a naive public to catch them out.

"The breath testing very commonly occurs in private residences, in people's homes, most commonly in their lounges - this happens all the time," she said.

"In some cases there's very clear evidence that the police reference in their case that they can see that the person's got a glass of whisky or a gin and tonic in their hand when the police enter their home."

This happens by "consent": a person with a gun and a uniform "asks" to enter and "asks" to perform a breath test, relying on people's fear or respect for their uniform and position to gain compliance. And they get away with it because people don't challenge them - its just easier and cheaper to take the ticket or plead guilty than to mount a defence. They get a conviction, their stats look good, maybe they get a bonus for meeting their KPIs. And meanwhile, someone has their life ruined because of police intrusion.

As for what to do about it: just don't talk to the police. If they ask to "talk" to you, refuse (or at least, refuse unless you have a lawyer present). If they "ask" to enter your home or perform a search, ask if they have a warrant. And if they quibble, ask for their badge number, and issue a trespass notice. Make it clear that in this country, policing happens by consent - and when they abuse that consent for any, it gets withdrawn by all.