Victoria University of Wellington’s Simon Mackenzie, Trevor Bradley, Angus Lindsay explain why armed cops in cars is a bad idea
The new trial of Armed Response Teams (ARTs) in Counties Manukau, Waikato and Canterbury involves sending at least three armed police officers out in patrol vehicles to be constantly available to respond to crimes involving firearms. Currently, police do have armed offender squad officers, but they are dispatched from base to respond to serious firearms incidents rather than being continually present in the community.
The police commissioner has given two justifications for this trial of roving armed cops in cars: community safety and the safety of police officers themselves. The second reason is the real driver, but it will inevitably come at the expense of the first. Cops in cars with guns makes communities less safe, not more. Let’s look at the evidence.
Does the prospect of armed police officers dissuade criminals from using guns? No. In fact, the opposite may be true. This is the mutual escalation argument: where cops carry guns, criminals think they need to as well, and more shootouts ensue. The more criminals respond in this way, the more police think they need to arm themselves, and so on. In the United States, this pattern has become so problematic that there is a growing argument for de-escalation by disarming police, but disarming an armed police force is much more difficult than not allowing arms to be routinely used in the first place. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it is hard to put back in.
Okay, so arming police doesn’t actually make us safer, but do armed police nonetheless make communities feel safer? The evidence is mixed. While some people may feel safer when they see police with guns, some feel less safe. They worry about being shot by accident or unjustifiably, and the ambience created by seeing guns on the street is to some people an oppressive, rather than a liberating, one.
Does police use of firearms have a racially disproportionate impact? Yes. In a recent article for RNZ, ex-police officer Tim McKinnel pointed out that in the 10 years from January 2009 to January 2019, 66 percent of all New Zealanders shot (fatally and non-fatally) by police were Māori or Pasifika. Around 23 percent of New Zealanders identify as Māori and Pasifika, so that police shooting statistic is quite an indictment.
In the US, around 30 percent of people fatally shot by police are black Americans, while black Americans make up only 13 percent of the overall population. This is explained less by police officer racial bias, although in some cases that does exist, and more by differences in rates of exposure to police. ‘Exposure’ here means visibility and contact, whether through committing crimes or being ‘over-policed’, as we know indigenous and minority populations around the world are. In other words, the fatal shooting statistic is a form of indirect discrimination rather than outright racial bias by individual officers. But the effects – more dead black Americans – are the same. Those differences in rates of exposure to police are also what Māori and Pasifika experience in New Zealand, where Māori are almost eight times more likely than Pākehā to suffer police violence. The likely racial footprint of armed police in the community is there for all to see.
Are police entitled to protect themselves at the expense of citizen safety by carrying weapons? Surely not. The police sign up to be put in harm’s way. It is a reasonably foreseeable part of the job, where the job involves resolving conflict in society in a direct way and in circumstances that are often challenging. Policing is not an inherently safe business. It is sensible to manage those risks as much as possible, of course, but at some point the measures police might take to protect themselves spill over into making everyone else less safe. ARTs bring police guns continuously and routinely into communities and increase the danger to innocent civilians of being shot by police. They will also increase the risk of police shooting unarmed offenders and those carrying weapons other than firearms.
In fact, the evidence shows that, perhaps contrary to the common-sense expectations underpinning the ART trial, carrying guns or other weapons like TASERs doesn’t make police officers safer in the line of duty. The way to make officers safer is to reduce rates of violent crime, especially crimes involving firearms. Prevention is the key, not more shooting.
Does the New Zealand experience with TASERs give us reassurance that, contrary to the apparent international experience, more police guns in the community will enhance community safety here? No. TASERs were touted as a less lethal alternative to police guns. Yet they have not reduced the number of police shootings, and they have been catalysts for the escalation of police aggression. By a simple multiplication effect, more police weapons in society has led to a greater likelihood that they will be used. That much is simple statistical probability but there is also a so-called ‘weapons effect’, studied in social psychology. This finds that carrying weapons affects police behaviour, increasing aggressive responses to challenging situations. It can also increase the aggression of the offender being apprehended. A study in the United Kingdom recently found that the presence of a TASER was causally linked to a 48 percent higher incidence of force being used by police and also that assaults on police doubled where they had a TASER. This study shows the weapons effect in action: the presence of a TASER leads to increased aggression for both the public and police.
New Zealand is a society in which the liberal democratic traditions of policing should be absolutely at the forefront of decisions about how the police carry out their mandate. Those liberal democratic traditions involve policing by consent, in other words with the support of the population. This support and co-operation is the source of policing’s legitimacy. Trust and confidence in the police may be broadly evident in the Pākehā population of New Zealand but police–community relations are often strained and in some cases tenuous for Māori given their disproportionate entanglement in criminal justice. Studies in the US show that militarised police tactics, including the use of firearms, fuel historic tensions between police and marginalised communities rather than reducing those tensions. Think, for one example, about the riots in Ferguson, Missouri after police fatally shot Michael Brown and the ensuing civil disobedience campaigns.
The cutting edge of policing research internationally is about increasing the trust and confidence communities have in police, which supports the liberal democratic consensus about police legitimacy and pays dividends to police in terms of community safety and improved results. The Police Minister has even recently set as one of the key goals for the police that 90 percent of New Zealanders have trust and confidence in them. Where the research is telling us a high level of militarised policing erodes public trust and confidence in the police, while simultaneously failing to enhance officer safety and reduce crime, it is concerning to see ideas like ARTs being developed. This is especially so for a police force that, like so many internationally, has an ingrained problem with racially disparate effects.
Professor Simon Mackenzie, Dr Trevor Bradley and Master’s student Angus Lindsay are in the Institute of Criminology at Victoria University of Wellington.
FROM AN OBSERVER AT THE TRIAL:
WAYNE WILLIAMS WAS AT THE COURT IN THAMES FOR THE WHOLE TRIAL – THIS IS HIS VERSION OF THE PROCEEDINGS
“Right from the opening statements the prosecution was painting a picture of Graeme Sturgeon as a real hell-raising rebel. Twisting facts, pressuring for mistakes. It’s pretty obvious in the security video if you look at the continuation of ( security guard ) Richard Lane’s movements. After wrenching the door open he lunged inside, punching Graeme at this stage. Completely disorientating him.
Now Lane commented here that he thought Graeme was reaching for a weapon. A convenient statement to justify his illegal entry. At no time did he stop and/or say anything to alert Graeme. This was a cowardly ambush. Even the judge repeatedly picked up on this heinous omission.
Why were better options not taken ? His reaction was “Basically I assumed he ( Graeme ) was trying to arm himself”. The fact that Lane was unlicensed at this point was factored in, but not emphasised enough as to have a big bearing on it Just noted. The truck driver who was within a few metres distance repeatedly claimed that he could see Graeme punching Lane and kicking him in the stomach. But this was proven to be inaccurate because of very limited light and because Lane was actually obscuring his viewpoint. This witness repeatedly fumbled replies, trying to stick to the rehearsed fabrication. He even made the statement that he was afraid Graeme was going to actually drive into his truck. Panicky at this point, he was. But yet he was still considered a credible witness later in the judge’s summing up.
Next up Graeme Sturgeon took the stand. He was very firm in his recollection of events up to being assaulted by Lane. Then understandably shaken up. He denied kicking Lane. And the video does clearly show him swinging punches in defense. I only saw one actually connect with Lanes head. A glance. We watched this video probably 20 times, and at slow speeds as well.
Lane claimed he had a sore jaw for a month, and a sore stomach for a couple of days. Now at no time was any first aid offered to Graeme.
Lane was on a mission, also harassing Dr. Wendy Pond and Diana Halstead. Lane also claimed there were half a dozen protestors with placards out the front so he was expecting trouble. This was another wildly inaccurate statement used to justify his actions. In fact there were onlythree people and it was not obvious that they were protestors. They had no placards.
So that was the the end of Day One and the subsequent unprofessionalism of the reporter there meant Graeme Sturgeon got a roasting in the news report – trial and conviction by media. Before the verdict. We just want fair representation from media. That’s not too much to ask.
Onto day two. Little big Wendy. First up. Very well spoken. Knowledgeable. Accurate. And she wouldn’t let the prosecution rattle her, actually calling the officer ridiculous.
And our next witness Diana Halstead also spoke very well. She stuck to her points even when the prosecutor repeatedly tried to twist her version of events and timing of headlights etc. Her reason for being there was being with Graeme. She was shocked by Lane’s thuggery. And then she told of the police officer who attended – and getting a very mediocre response. He spoke to DoC staff first and did not even check Graeme’s injuries. He was just there to basically take down time sequence events, and to organize statements at a later date, as the security detail had disappeared with the 1080 poison-loaded trucks by this time.
So overall it was a complete fabrication to try and make the case. But I don’t think this was a clear cut result, as it could easily have gone the other way. So those three seconds of door opening ( Graeme Sturgeon’s vehicle ) which were hidden from view were critical to the point that the judge was quite correct in summing up. There is no evidence that either threw the first punch and Graeme undoubtedly was acting in self defense against an extremely savage attack from Lane. Case dismissed. Victory for us.”
Photo – Graeme Sturgeon after being punched by Richard Lane
An interview with awesome Auckland activist, anti corruption campaigner, whistle blower and three times Mayoral candidate, Penny Bright. This strong and caring woman is like a dog with a bone on issues of justice and anti corruption.
From Radio Live
She’s loathed by many councils and government officials.
Loud, relentless, persistent, annoying, opinionated and independent – all words you could use to describe anti-corruption campaigner and veteran activist Penny Bright.
She’s the Auckland woman in a decade-long fight with Auckland Council. They’re looking to sell her home to recover $34,000 in unpaid rates and penalties.
Penny Bright spoke candidly to RadioLIVE’s Ryan Bridge about her life and why she’s so annoying.
READ MORE & LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW
Published on Dec 15, 2017
From the Nelson Mail
A Golden Bay couple suing police for being wrongly targeted in a 1080 blackmail investigation have been shocked to discover their home was bugged.
Rolf and Ute Kleine, who run teahouse and bakery Takaka Infusion, obtained police documents through their lawyer in November that reveal their house was bugged with a surveillance device 20 days prior to a police search of their home in 2015.
The Kleines have lodged a statement of claim with the Nelson High Court and are suing police next year.
They say both searches and their warrant applications were unlawful and illegal, and they had been inaccurately profiled by police seeking those responsible for a threat to Fonterra to put 1080 pesticide into baby milk formula.
In one of the police documents the couple obtained, Senior Sergeant Aaron Pascoe wrote that “very little” conversation could be picked up through the surveillance device planted in their home.
“I believe that the lack of evidence to date from the Surveillance Device warrant is either due to the poor quality…, or an indication that Rolf Kleine has acted alone (so he has not spoken to his wife about what he has done), or both,” he wrote.
Rolf Kleine said the whole thing “keeps getting worse and worse”.
“Police didn’t find anything, not even a little bit against us, and they just kept going and kept going with no evidence at all,” he said.
Ute Kleine said the couple used to joke that police might have bugged their home, but when it was revealed they really had, they were left reeling again.
“It’s different if it’s your phone than if it’s really your private room, and they can listen to everything you say and do,” she said.
“When I am at home, sometimes I have this feeling, ‘is there somebody listening to me?’ It’s not a good feeling at all. Other times I wonder how many times did they actually enter our house; it must have been at least three times.”
A Book, “Man of Convictions” by Anne Hunt
Reviewed by Veronica Harrod
This is a book I’ve only part read but will be completing as soon as I have time. The little I’ve read is a shocking eye opener and indicative of the fact that something is terribly wrong with our justice system. Not the country I grew up in that is for sure. EnvirowatchHorowhenua
Documented detail about Taueki’s battles as kaitiaki and the cost he has personally paid including being shot at, assaulted, arrested, thrown in jail; his car was destroyed beyond repair, his home by the lake was sledgehammered until only a shell remained, his much loved dogs were traumatised and he says he was “drugged against my will and without my knowledge.”
By Veronica Harrod
Anne Hunt, published by Potangotango Foundation, PO Box 664, Levin 5540, New Zealand, Man of Convictions: Taueki – a man, his tribe and their lake, http://annehunt.co.nz; 2017. 275pp. ISBN 978-0-473-40314-0 (PDF)
This is journalist Anne Hunt’s fourth non-fiction book and first e-book. “Man of Convictions” is referred to as “first published” and “V1.11” because Hunt will update the content with new information when it’s available. The author states she, “makes no apology for writing this book from the perspective of the Taueki family.” Hunt also makes background information available on her website including court documents and transcripts which supports the book’s content. She also includes information in the book about her own family history and extensive and enduring involvement in assisting Philip Taueki since 2010.
The e-book comprises 24 chapters on Levin resident Philip Taueki’s battles as a kaitiaki of Lake Horowhenua since his return from London in 2004 where he was working as an accountant “…for some time living in the prestigious neighbourhood of WC1 London where members of the Royal Family reside.”
But this isn’t a book about his impressive academic and professional achievements it is a book about how ugly everything can get when there is a lot at stake. Hunt describes in meticulous and documented detail about Taueki’s battles as kaitiaki and the cost he has personally paid including being shot at, assaulted, arrested, thrown in jail; his car was destroyed beyond repair, his home by the lake was sledgehammered until only a shell remained, his much loved dogs were traumatised and he says he was “drugged against my will and without my knowledge.” For the last nine months he has been left with no water supply to his residence after Horowhenua District Council illegally turned it off and he will face a retrial on a charge of trespssing on his own land in January 2018 even though he has been aquitted twice of the same charge in previous court cases.
The opening chapter traverses the history of MuaUpoko and Philip’s whakapapa to “an ariki by the name of Taueki, the renowned paramount chief” who signed “the Treaty of Waitangi” before launching in chapter after gruelling chapter of his numerous arrests, court cases and the role third parties have played including state and government organisations. The, no doubt, long fought for establishment approval he achieved in London stands in stark contrast to the scorn, ridicule and material deprivation he has experienced since returning to the community where he was born and raised. Many people in his home town of Levin refer to renowned paramount chief Taueki’s great great grandson Philip Taueki as “the Mad Maori who lived down by the lake.”
The book presents a disturbing picture of what people in positions of power and authority are prepared to do to maintain control over Lake Horowhenua even if it means lying under oath. At one court trial Judge Harvey asked former Horowhenua District Council mayor Brendan Duffy whether two buildings formerly tenanted by the yachting and rowing clubs had toilets and Mr Duffy answered “correct” even though, “On inspection they confirmed there were no toilets to be found.” Hunt has included quotes from court transcripts at every point in the book where the facts are likely to be disputed. What Mr Duffy said in court on oath is just one such example of her attention to detail. The behaviour of the local police also leaves a lot to be desired. One of many such instances is described when,”Constable Lionel Currie had certainly not picked a good time to claim he had served this trespass notice on Phil down at the lake. At that precise time, a whole team of councillors and candidates were erecting election hoardings in Levin, all prepared to testify that Phil was with us, hard at work digging holes in the stony ground.”
I would have liked to see Lake Horowhenua ownership information included as a separate paragraph in its own right because who the legal owners of Lake Horowhenua are is the crux of the issue Hunt writes about. Instead some of this important information is buried in other references. We know the lake is privately owned because Hunt writes, “A British certificate of title for the lake partition had been issued on 19 March 1899” but annoyingly doesn’t say who it was issued to except that “Mua-Upoko’s vast ancestral estate had therefore shrivelled from 52,000 acres in the whole Horowhenua Block to little more than a lake and some sandy acres along the shoreline.”
Also I would have liked to see mentioned in the book that of the 43 charges laid by Levin police against Phil Taueki 33 have been quashed, dropped or he was found not guilty of. That fact alone suggests something else apart from maintaining law and order was motivating the local police force.
That aside this e-book is essential reading for everyone who lives in Horowhenua, especially Levin, and those interested in reading about history, police injustices, legal cases and precedents, Maori, European/colonial world views and the long and convoluted history of the fight for control over Lake Horowhenua not least because it challenges long held assumptions. Horowhenua District Council officers, elected officials, journalists and media should also read this book.
The e-book is written in a straight-forward and easy to read style and the layout is easy to navigate. At the end of each chapter are notes which include a glossary of terms, names of relevant people, Maori to English translation of certain words, maps and points of interest that help to provide context and understanding. The way the information has been presented makes the timeline of events easy to follow which is important because there were so many arrests, so many charges, so many court cases against Philip Taueki which is why the book is called “Man of Convictions” available for free download at http://annehunt.co.nz/#
NOTE: for further articles by Veronica use the search box.
Veronica Harrod is a qualified journalist with a Master of Communications specialising in traditional and new media content. Investigating and reporting on political, economic and legislative trends that negatively impact on the day to day lives of people is one of her main areas of interest. Lifestyle content she is interested in includes celebrating our own especially the tireless work community advocates do as civil citizens participating in democracy to keep those in power on their toes. In a media age dominated by a multi billion dollar communications and public relations industry paid to manipulate information to protect and advance the interests of the few over the many there have to be journalists who are impervious to the all pervasive influencial role they have over local and central government and corporate interests.
For more information on Veronica’s professional qualifications see her Facebook page.
We have had hints of this in NZ although not as radically … yet. What selfish narcissitic psychopaths we have in charge … dollars rule and people are throw away items to be disposed of. Especially disgusting in that many of the homeless are homeless because of the very economic system and the fraudulent behaviour of the bankers that run it in more recent times. As Gandhi said, “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.” This is from NaturalNews.com.
(Natural News) In what is perhaps one of the most disgusting examples of the old saying no good deed goes unpunished, the city of Malibu, an upscale southern California liberal enclave, allegedly told a local church to stop feeding the homeless.
The United Methodist Church in Malibu serves about 100 meals every Wednesday night and has been doing so for the past three years. Recently, the city emailed church leaders and asked them to attend a meeting that was apparently convened for homeless outreach organizations. Once there, government officials told the Methodist church to end the food giveaway after the Thanksgiving holiday because it was exacerbating the problem. “They claimed we are increasing homelessness,” one of the church volunteers told CBS News Los Angeles. Another church member added that many of the homeless individuals eat out of dumpsters and trashcans when they don’t obtain their meals from the church.
The new Malibu policy created an uproar in the community, and the city now denies that it told the church to shut down the soup line. According to the city manager, the purpose of the meeting in question was to coordinate, rather than reduce, services to the homeless. “And she specifically says no request was made by the city for Malibu Methodist to end its free food nights,” The Malibu Times explained.
The city followed up with a press release indicating that the dialogue with the charitable groups will continue after Thanksgiving and that no decisions were made at the initial meeting.
Folk will recall the recent incident at Whitianga with the unloading of 1080 by DoC in the CBD, totally against the rules of storage of poisons. And Graeme Sturgeon who went to the public location and was assaulted whilst still in his car, with two reliable eye witnesses to the attack. If you visit the article you will see the eye witness statements made to the Police. Including Graeme’s. Here we have an update from Carol Sawyer on the unfolding events… (see petition at the link for enquiry into storage of 1080). Strange isn’t it, the vagaries of NZ law and justice? This will be most interesting to watch… read Carol’s update on events. EnvirowatchRangitikei
UNBELIEVABLE !!!! ASSAULT VICTIM GRAEME STURGEON CHARGED WITH ASSAULTING A DEPT OF CONSERVATION SECURITY GUARD !
Well it was the other way round according to witnesses to the event, (retired Victoria University Senior Lecturer Dr. Wendy Pond and local artist Diana Halstead) and also Graeme himself.
Graeme was assaulted while still in his vehicle and had a bloodied nose and torn clothing to show for it. All these people are in their seventies and do NOT deserve this kind of treatment just because they oppose the aerial deluging of a World Health Organisation, Class 1A, EcoToxin onto their land and particularly onto their “home patch” and precious waterways! But…. the best form of defense is attack and we have seen this all before from DoC, haven’t we?!
Graeme said to me today that he “ABSOLUTELY REFUTES ALL ALLEGATIONS, and will be defending the charge against himself vigorously”. He has employed a criminal lawyer to defend him. He will be appearing in Thames Court on 30 November and will be pleading NotGuilty.
(I foresee a fundraising campaign, fellow anti-1080 people. DoC has large pockets, supplied by all of us. Graeme does not !)
The NZ Police are laying the charge, though it has taken a month for them to do this. I suspect it has been ‘up to the top and back again’ and has little if anything to do with the local constabulary.
Graeme is charged with assaulting a DoC security guard in the Liquor King carpark, Whitianga, where 20 tonnes of 1080 poison (stored there in secret for the previous 6 weeks) was being loaded in the dark, again in secret, in a public carpark, on the evening of October 17th, 2017. This was to enable a 1080 poison drop in the area the next day. The poison was being stored in Whitianga’s CBD, adjacent to residential homes and supermarkets, without appropriate signage, with unprotected loading staff (not even face masks or gloves!), all unknown to the building’s other tenants and, incidentally, unknown to the fire department too, locals tell me. It was, frankly, one of the most blatantly “up yours” efforts by the Dept of Conservation to date!
Many of you will be familiar with the events of that night, as I and others reported them in great detail at the time, and it happened only one month ago. However I have attached this latest information to one of my original posts to refresh memory, and I have added Graeme’s comment from that night too.
Graeme will appear in Thames Court on November 30, 2017. I do so hope many are there to support him. Please add this important date to your calendar, Coromandel people – and anyone else who is prepared to make the trip ! Bring your banners!!!
For further info on 1080 see our page at the main menu.
NZ WHISTLE-BLOWER ALERT!
(Thursday 2 November 2017)
SOLIDARITY RALLY for murdered Maltese journalist / anti-corruption ‘whistle-blower’
Daphne Caruana Galizia!
WHEN: Friday 3 November
TIME: 12 noon till 2pm
WHERE: Outside Aotea Square
Next to Auckland
Queen St, Auckland
WHY: At 2pm, Friday 3
in Malta, is the funeral
TWICE ‘blew the
whistle’ – exposing
‘foreign trusts’ had
been used for
2 days after Daphne
Caruana Galizia was
murdered in a car
bomb attack (16
it was announced
that former NZ
Prime Minister would
of the ANZ.
The ANZ was
times in the Panama
any other Australian
On 1 August 2017, at
Victoria University, in
front of a meeting of
200 people, the
(former) Chair of
that John Key
(I was at that
Please – if you are
able – stand
up for JUSTICE for
and help send a
around the world!
(Rally co-ordinated by Penny
Bright – NZ Anti-corruption
Businesses are spending thousands of dollars on private investigators to probe white collar crime because police won’t touch fraud cases unless they are “gold plated”, sources say.
Figures released under the Official Information Act show that as at July 28, there were 888 files where a possible fraud or deception offence had been committed, but was yet to be assigned for investigation.
One business owner who detected an alleged theft by an employee was told by police they did not have resources to initiate a prosecution.
Police Association president Chris Cahill said the number of fraud files yet to be assigned was a “total reflection” of the lack of resources and overload of work shouldered by the police’s investigative units.
From http://www.thevinnyeastwoodshow.com http://www.TheVinnyEastwoodShow.com/14/post/2017/05/nz-has-the-worlds-most-corrupt-judiciary-tatsuhiko-koyama.html#ixzz4j5E2RGyF
Tatsuhiko Koyama www.facebook.com/Tatsuhiko.koyama.3
“Court fraud is a lot more common than you might think, and it is a terrifying prospect that you can be bankrupted without even seeing a day in court or even having a judges signature.
New Zealand’s judiciary is one of if not the most corrupt legal system in the developed world, it is essentially an organised crime protection racket.”
[Visit the link to hear the audio and/or watch the video of the interview]
“The couple, who had an impeccable record of non-violence and peaceful activism both here and in their native country Germany, was stunned to learn that the police had been in their house and had gathered hair tooth paste swabs and computer printouts. ” ….(Aotearoa a Wider Perspective)
This is serious. Remember folks, your government is actually a corporation. You can see this for yourself by downloading a pdf with instructions how to view the entry on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website. (SOURCE)
If you read the article there you will see why a corporation may not legally govern … EnvirowatchRangitikei
A golden bay couple received a letter from the police. Attached to that was a signed search warrant. What was also attached was a “postponement” notice. The search had taken place, without their presence, 12 months earlier.
It appears that the police felt they could have something to do with a threat issued against Fonterra. the threat was that milk powder would be contaminated with 1080.
The couple, who had an impeccable record of non-violence and peaceful activism both here and in their native country Germany, was stunned to learn that the police had been in their house and had gathered hair tooth paste swabs and computer printouts. They had also downloaded telephone data and other storage data from their computers, and Ipads. They were also stunned that the police had been allowed to do so without their presence and been able to keep it secret for 12 months.
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