Well, well, well - what do we have here then...
Switched On verdicts revealed
The owner and general manager of Switched on Gardener have been found guilty of drugs charges but were acquitted on the more serious charge of belonging to an organised criminal group.
The jury returned their verdicts today after deliberating for more than 14 hours over three days at the Auckland District Court, following a nine-week trial.
The company's owner was found guilty of possessing and supplying equipment to grow cannabis.
...right, so this ridiculous case by the Police that Switched on Gardener was really an organized criminal gang doing dark nefarious things based on eye rolling 'evidence' from undercover cops has fallen on it's arse just like the Urewera Case, the Kim Dotcom fiasco and the Red Devils Case.
Why is it that once the Police go undercover and start using surveillance they seem to go on ghost hunts that justify all sorts of illegal activities on their behalf?
When National lowered the evidential threshold for the Police to seize people's assets, it was sold to NZers as aimed at 'organized crime'. Hiding this vast ramping up of Police powers behind the 'organized crime' bogeyman meant the changes had very little scrutiny. The reality is that the Police consider 3 people who know each other as a 'gang', meaning these powers giving the state the ability to seize your assets can be used against all of us.
The Switched on Gardener case was an attempt to take advantage of those new thresholds, and it's incompetence matches up with other recent Police cases which help build a perception that the NZ Police force has gone rogue.
I've been involved in the IPCA complaint about Police bullying tactics that led to the suicide of Stephen McIntyre and I think the importance of this avenue for citizens to complain about Police conduct is vital, but some of the examples of our Police going rogue suggest leadership issues within the Police.
Deciding to actively pervert the Court in the Red Devils Case, the decision to spy on Kim Dotcom when he was a resident and the decision to spy illegally on the Urewera role-players, these are all active attempts by Police leadership to break the rules based on little more than their feverish imaginations.
I heard a disturbing rumour recently that Police snipers in the STG have death skulls tattooed on their trigger fingers. What sort of psychopath does that style of triumphalism and do we want that macho paramilitary culture in our Police force?
Someone needs to reign the Police in and it's never going to be Labour or National. Perhaps we need a Green Party MP to be Minister of Police if the Government changes in 2014 to ensure some changes?