Wednesday, October 02, 2019

A criminal gang in blue

Its the usual story: a police officer beats a handcuffed suspect so hard they break one of their own fingers. The IPCA investigates and concludes that the use of force was unlawful. And the police refuse to do anything about it:

A man punched repeatedly in the face by a police officer while three others restrained him is considering legal action.

The police watchdog found a constable punched the man "at least six or seven times in the face while holding a torch in his hand" during the arrest at Red Beach, north Auckland, in late 2018.

When the punching happened, the 35-year-old was restrained on the ground by three officers in a headlock and unable to defend himself, according to Judge Colin Doherty of the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA).

The man was left with a concussion, a broken nose and ongoing physical, cognitive and psychological effects, Doherty said in his finding.

But police disagreed with the IPCA's finding, after their own investigation found the use of force was justified, and no further action will be taken against the officer involved.

Given the injuries, this seems to be at least injuring with intent, a serious crime. But the police are refusing to prosecute because it was committed by one of their own. And that is simply corrupt, the actions and mindset of a criminal gang, not a law-abiding police force.

As for the solution, again, if the police refuse to do the job they're paid for, we should give it to someone else. And specifically, we should give the IPCA an independent power to prosecute, because the police will clearly not hold their own to account. In the interim, we can only hope that the victim's private prosecution succeeds.