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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Shoot to arrest: the NZ Police and the IPCA

Another tarnishing of the NZ Police image and a worse tarnishing for the hopelessly misnamed Independent Police Conduct Authority. The essence of this troubling case is that a precedent has now been set that a stun gun can be used to make an arrest and gain compliance - not just to protect others. The taser was supposed to be a non-lethal alternative to a firearm, but they are being used far beyond their brief. This was the concern at the time they were introduced and so it has come to pass. The question is 'would you have used a firearm in this instance?' the answer must be no - and so the answer to whether the officer should have used a stun gun must also be no.

NZ Herald:
The police conduct watchdog has cleared an officer accused of inappropriately using a Taser to arrest a man who was backing away when he was zapped with the high-voltage weapon.

Bruce Robert Roulston made a formal complaint against the officer last year after he was Tasered in the driveway of his Christchurch home in 2010.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA), in its report released today, has found the officer was justified in using the Taser.

The complaint was made after police released footage from the Taser, which showed Roulston backing away from the officer about 12 seconds before the Taser was fired.
The two officers sent to the scene were named as Officer A and Officer B by the IPCA.

Officer A was trained in using a Taser and was granted permission from his supervisor to use the Taser if necessary.

At the home, Roulston swore at the police and threw a brick at them, which bounced and hit Officer A in the shin.

He threw a second brick at the officers before Officer A drew his Taser. He told Roulston four times to get down on the ground but he did not comply.

"After his efforts to communicate with Mr Roulston had failed, Officer A discharged his Taser once," the IPCA said.

"Mr Roulston fell backwards, hitting his head on the driveway."

The authority said the officer "believed on reasonable grounds that Mr Roulston was assaultive, posed a real threat of physical injury and could not be arrested using less force".

So the IPCA are playing the cover-up Officer A and officer B routine. They are already defending the constables rather than finding the truth. The language of "discharged his taser" is obviously NZ Police language, not that of independent investagators. They are rubber stamping the police's own internal review and nothing more.

The facts are he was, unarmed, (shirtless too from what I recall), on his own property and walking backwards with his hands above his head when the constable (who was sore about being hit in the shin with a brick he threw earlier) pulled a taser and advanced on him - escalating the situation recklessly. He shot him with the stun gun because he was unsure he could gain his arrest otherwise - that is a plain, simple misuse of that weapon. And yet the IPCA lets them off. Another pathetic day in NZ.

And last night's horrifying expose by TV3's, 3rd Degree show, demonstrating Detective Rutherford's fit-up of Teina Pora for a Malcolm Rewa's rape and murder of Susan Burdett makes this an appalling week for the NZ Police and confidence in this country's justice system.


At 14/3/13 8:15 pm, Blogger Rangi said...

Defeating a taser (on a cop site, not sure how accurate it is:)


The NZ Police use(d?) the X-26, which has a maximum range of 8 meters.


At 15/3/13 5:04 pm, Blogger countryboy said...

The cops are becoming ever more emboldened because they're being supported by a corrupt regime of private prisons and Insurance industry minions selling Fear of the Criminal .

That , and the NZ police force will allow almost any power mad sociopath into positions of authority so long as they fit basic criteria . Namely ; Like hurting people physically ? Check . Like always being right no matter the argument ? Check . Enjoy drinking to excess but beating stoned hippies ? Check . I've noticed that the NZ Police Force is being purged of good people and replenished with arrogant little pricks .

At 15/3/13 7:25 pm, Anonymous Simon said...

So childish and predictable. Laud the IPCA when the issue a hearing you agree with, call them biased when they don't. Time to grow up Tim if you ever want to be taken seriously.

At 17/3/13 4:50 pm, Blogger paul scott said...

Tim you say :
quote '
The taser was supposed to be a non-lethal alternative to a firearm, but they are being used far beyond their brief. This was the concern at the time they were introduced and so it has come to pass. The question is 'would you have used a firearm in this instance?' the answer must be no - and so the answer to whether the officer should have used a stun gun must also be no."
get real Tim. Taser must have wider application that a lethal bullet. Wake up here and now. Where has your intellect gone

At 18/3/13 12:21 pm, Blogger countryboy said...

@ Paul Scott and @ Simon . Jesus ! Give Tim a break for fucks sake . I'm sure he's terribly contrite that he's not as ' grown up ' or as 'intelligent' as you two erudite and mature fellows but he has an important opinion , as do we all so don't cut him , or anyone else off at the knees . We're all on the same page after all , are we not ? ARE WE NOT ??

Times are a changin so fast that todays opinion is tomorrows fush and chup wrapper , you know that .

The NZ cops are morphing into private , corporate armies right in front of our eyes . Tasers ARE being used to subdue people and not just to protect the police from angry , frustrated , abused , frightened members of our faux society .

Not so the Superior , MSM cloned Uber Blingsters and Wow,Wow Wannabes who look down their noses at the dangerous , festering masses .

[ To get whacked by a massive electrical current is as good as getting a bullet in the head to some people . I.e , the result being death . ]

I know that High Type ! They drive past shitty , ugly , graffiti'd hovels to the dodgy cul-de-sac to where they buy their gram or two for the club , sneering ' Oh God ! How dreadful ' but blanch , then get therapy when it's expected of them to pay back the taxes they swindled past the IRD using daddy's bisso as a slum lord dawling . To fix that shit up because it was Them what done broke it . And now , when the hoi polloi get all uppety , call in the Cops ( Brought to you by the ANZ ? ) and taser them ( Powered up by Meridian , share in the joy of buying your own shit back ! ) or shoot them ( Bullets by Winchester and favoured by thugs the world over ) and if they survive the electrocutions and / or bullet holes , incarcerate them in correctional facilities ( Brought to you by Serco . ( Monstrous torturers to the damaged and hopeless )

Hahahahaa Ohhh God !

Yeah , Grow up and get Intellecshul Tim ! Hahaha !

At 18/3/13 3:44 pm, Blogger Tim Selwyn said...

Simon: I do not "Laud the IPCA when the issue a hearing you agree with" - I can't recall saying anything positive about it, I just don't comment. The IPCA is inherently dependent on the same organisation they are supposed to be independent of, so I don't support them generally; however I suppose it is better than nothing (which doesn't say very much.

Paul: Taser creep is what this is. They sanction it for a limited purpose but it ends up being used because someone's not doing something fast enough for the police officer's satisfaction. They start using it for compliance issues - that's not what it was sold as.


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