Why would two Police Officers lie under oath about witnessing a Police beating?
Why would two Police Officer lie under oath about witnessing a Police beating? Why? That's what the family of George Tipene Harris must be asking...
Another hung jury prolongs agony
The plot in Manukau Memorial Gardens cemetery where George Tipene Harris was laid to rest in 2004 still awaits its headstone.
The reason, his family explained this week, is that the story of George's death is incomplete.
"We bought his headstone a long time ago," his father, Paiti, told the Herald. Nothing has been written on it, he says quietly. "We are waiting."
Their patience was further tested this week when a High Court jury again failed to reach a verdict. That makes one death, six years, two apparent confessions, three court cases, two hung juries and a blank headstone.
...those two cops didn't lie did they? They told the truth,, they witnessed a beating that led to a death but in a country with such a pro-police choir a Jury will still find in favour of the Police, even if former Police Officers break the code of silence and tell the truth. Witness the attempted cover up...
Word spread that he had been fleeing a beating and in 2008 Superintendent Malcolm Burgess was tasked with conducting an inquiry. Hill was charged with manslaughter and assault and - with the on-duty constables - conspiring to defeat the course of justice.
Reuben Harris and Murphy pleaded guilty, and apologised to Mr Harris' family for lying. They were sentenced to 15 months' jail, reduced on appeal to home detention. Both have left the police.
At their sentencing, Judge Charles Blackie said there were two victims. "The victim's family, and the New Zealand community as a whole who have put such trust in our police officers to uphold the law and do the duty that they swore they would do on graduating out of police college."
The men later gave evidence Hill, who had been on a pub crawl with his brother, was angry with George Harris who, in trying to snatch his cellphone, had ripped the constable's pocket. They said Hill told them to drive to a secluded area, told Murphy to get out of the car and then gave Mr Harris a hiding.
...so after the cover up was exposed, the Jury still cling to their love of authority and give a hung verdict. How ovine of us. It seems a Police Officer must beat up the son of a detective before they get their immunity lifted.