Thursday, April 23, 2020

Child-beating police should be prosecuted

In 2007, New Zealand finally banned child-beating. The message was clear: hitting children was criminal, and there was no excuse for it. But over a decade later, the police just don't seem to have understood that message:

A police officer who punched an Auckland teenager multiple times in the ribs during an arrest was not justified to do so, a new report says.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority did not accept the officer's explanation that it was necessary to punch the boy and said he could have taken more care to avoid the injuries the 13-year-old boy sustained.

Was the officer prosecuted? Were they sacked? Of course not! This is the New Zealand Police, where cops who commit crimes - and the unjustified use of force is a crime - face no consequences whatsoever. As for the IPCA, this line says it all:
[Counties Manukau District Commander Superintendent Jill] Rogers said police conducted its own investigation into the incident which found the arrest and force used on the boy was justified.

And as a result, they're not going to do anything. Which means letting a child-beater continue to wear a police uniform, and continue to beat children.

Which just shows what a joke the IPCA is. Their "oversight" of police misconduct has no practical consequences, and therefore it is meaningless. All the institution does is lie to the public that there are effective checks and balances on police behaviour. That lie is dangerous, and it needs to be ended. The IPCA needs the independent power to prosecute, and it needs to be vigorous in using it, to root out police who abuse their power and fail to live up to the standards we expect from them. And they should start by prosecuting this child-beating thug.

(And meanwhile, while we're on this subject: it turns out that the police are instructed not to record evidence when one of them has shot someone. Which seems to be a formal instruction to pervert the course of justice. There needs to be some accountability for that, as well as mandatory body-cameras and mandatory sacking whenever they "fail" in a use-of-force situation).