As reported in the HoS in the weekend the next step in the Stephen McIntyre case is to lodge a formal complaint with IPCA. I'll meet with two of their investigators this week to evaluate how independent the process is. The last thing his friends and whanau want is a whitewash.
I would like to thank the HoS, Russell Brown and Radio One for picking this issue up and highlighting it.
Every single reason the Police have offered up to what and why they were at Stephen's house on the 16th July are provably doubtful.
The first justification for being at Stephen's house was the claim they were simply checking on Stephen's bail conditions, but Stephen did not have any curfew. His only condition was that he resided at his address. Stephen's lawyer points out this is the first case he's ever heard of Police checking on bail conditions with someone who didn't have any curfew.
The second justification for being at Stephen's house was the claim when they were there that they could smell marijuana but chose not to use that as a reason to search Stephen's house. This is doubtful because on the 22nd June according to their own fact sheet of Stephen's arrest at Green Cross, that is the exact justification they used to search the office.
On the 22nd June the 'we smell cannabis' was justification enough to search the offices of Green Cross, yet on the 16th July it suddenly stopped being a reason to search his house?
7 other eyewitnesses in the house at the time, Stephen's widow, their two teenage sons and the 4 guitar students Stephen was teaching guitar to all attest there was no marijuana being smoked at the house at all. I contend to readers that the Police lied about smelling marijuana because if they could, they would have searched his house again and would have picked up an easy arrest. They said they could smell it to threaten Stephen.
The third justification for being at Stephen's house is the most demonstrably false. The Police claim they were there to find out who Stephen's lawyer was, as Stephen's lawyer has pointed out, the Police knew full well he was representing Stephen. He had been there on the 22nd, he appeared for Stephen in Court and he had contacted the Police twice to discuss the case. The pretense they were there to innocently ask who Stephen's lawyer was is a bare faced lie.
Then we have Stephen's account where he claims the Police asked how he was pleading, threatened more charges if he didn't plead guilty and claimed to be able to smell marijuana.
Less than a week after that intimidation, Stephen was dead.
My interest in this case goes beyond Stephen being my friend. Every citizen should be deeply concerned over the Police tactics in this case. Do we really want a Police force that turns up on your doorstep at night and asks how you intend to plea in a case while threatening more charges if you plead innocent?
That's the sort of tactics of a Police force out of control and we have seen numerous examples recently of the Police acting as if they are a power unto themselves.
The illegal spying during the Urewera fiasco, purposely deceiving the Courts in the Red Devils case, the jaw dropping incompetence over the Kim Dotcom case and involvement of the GCSB and the recent report into the sexist culture of the Police inspired by the investigation into the pack rape culture of the 1980s that found Police aren't changing.
If we as citizens don't stand up and demand accountability from the Police then we are part of the problem. A complaint to IPCA is the first step towards that.