Innocent man shot and killed by police
Motorway shooting officer 'should be tried'
Former police inspector Ross Meurant says the armed offenders squad member who fired the shot that killed teenage courier driver Halatau Naitoko should be tried before a court.
A 50-year-old man at the centre of Friday's police pursuit on Auckland's Northwestern Motorway will appear in Auckland District Court today. He was released from hospital yesterday and remains in police custody. The man will face numerous charges relating to incidents during the 40-minute chase through Auckland City and west Auckland suburbs. The pursuit ended when the offender, allegedly armed with a sawn-off .22 calibre Ruger rifle got out of his vehicle and apparently tried to get into others, including Mr Naitoko's, while allegedly firing shots at police. Mr Naitoko, 17, was shot dead by police as they fired at the man. Another man at the scene was also wounded.
Mr Meurant, a former MP, told Newstalk ZB he was particularly concerned about what he called the police public relations campaign which jumped into action in the aftermath of the tragedy. He claimed the Police Association moved into overdrive to protect police at the expense of upholding the law.
Oh come on, Greg O’Conner cheerleading for the Police??? I’m shocked, I’m horrified, I'm sarcastic, let’s get off the high horse, name one time – I dare you – name one time when O’Conner WASN’T cheerleading for anything cops get accused of, remember those cops caught on tape of beating the living crap out of Rawiri Falwasser in that Whakatane police station in 2006, remember that? The beating Rawiri Falwasser received in the police cell during his psychotic episode and the nearly 15 minutes of gassing Rawiri with pepper spray while other cops hung around watching and joking until they entered the cell with shields and battons and beat him with blows to the head. What was O’Conners response to that? To decry that the Police were even charged in the first place despite the beating clearly caught on tape – so let’s not put too much mock surprise that the Police are ultra-anal-defensive, name one time that they haven’t been ultra-anal-defensive.
This tragic loss of life that has seen an innocent young dad killed has one silver lining and that is that NZers can have a real faith that the utmost scrutiny will be cast over this episode to see where responsibility lies because of the advance and creation of an actually Independent Police Complaints Authority and that the findings will not hide any evidence of any mistakes made.
What do I think about the tragic loss of life by a Police bullet? The NZ philosophy towards Policing has always been to contain a situation and then attempt to negotiate leaving the use of lethal force as a last resort. In this case we had a bloke who was being chased by cops who then opens fire on the police, at that moment the seriousness jumps to critical and the options left open to the Police are suddenly diminished by that seriousness, if someone is prepared to shoot at cops, they are prepared to do anything and as such pose an immense and immediate risk to the public. The tactic to create a moving bloke was the right one to do in an attempt to contain the situation and hopefully negotiate a way out of it.
I think an exacerbating factor in this was the fact that this bloke, while in Police pursuit, does a victory lap for Christ’s sake of the Auckland Central Police Headquarters, he’s sending a message to the cops which is suggesting that the escalation potential here is immense, and escalate it does. With the motorway blocked ahead of him and behind him, the offender clicks the other side of the motorway hasn’t been contained yet and does a runner in an attempt to hijack another vehicle and endanger another member of the public, it is only when the offender is aiming the gun at Truck driver Richard Neville that the Armed defenders squad are suddenly confronted with an armed offender who has been shooting at them now pointing his gun at a member of the public, in that moment they decide they have no option but to act immediately and in the fluid rapidness of real time actions, Halatau Naitoko tragically drives into the line of fire behind the target and is shot dead.
In such a situation, I find the Police action was not only responsible but the right one to make in a real time crises, and that this tragedy really does extends to everyone involved, the Police ultra-anal-defensive reaction with themselves held on par with the victims family of course is just the usual, ‘He ain’t self-defensively paranoid, he’s my brother’ style of NZ Policing we’ve all become tediously accustomed to.