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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Accident Ally

NZ Herald reporting a man in Hastings was shot 'accidentally' by police yesterday (Friday) afternoon as he was lying on the ground. Condition critical; but the Herald says the police told the ambulance staff not to comment. In other words the cops want to keep it secret. First instinct of the NZ Police is to cover it up, control the information, followed by: drag it out to take the heat out of it (as there is never any point of police initiated resolution), and pressure the victim and his family to drop any complaint. So here we go with another almighty fire arms related fuck-up from the cops.

Radio Live's bulletin had a neighbour's account of armed offenders swarming onto the property in force. They report said he was shot in the shoulder. Heard nothing on RNZ about this event, but the police are looking for someone lost in the bush near Whangamata FFS.

Can't blame it on an earthquake either - they were up in Hastings. Who is supposed to prosecute the trigger-happy constable? Not the cops themselves, they are incapable of this accountability. Even when they do attempt to prosecute their own it is often at quite some expense to the staff involved if it is unsuccessful. Something like a special prosecution unit within Mininstry of Justice might be a better approach of bringing criminal proceedings without all the internal conflicts of doing it within police.

As an officer of the Queen with duties and expectations the police constable who 'discharged a firearm in the direction' of the guy now critically wounded in hospital has no normal defence available to a civilian for 'accidentally' shooting someone. The cop is claiming it was not deliberate and that claim is being backed up by official police spokespeople - that is all we know... in addition to the report that the police have tried to gag the ambos (and so they may have been complicit in the police trying to hush this up). So the charge depends on how bad the victim is hurt, if he dies then it can go all the way to murder. If he lives - and no-one will be praying harder than constable Clumsy Clots that he does - then s/he's still looking at careless use of a firearm at a minimum and, one would hope, the sack. Meanwhile the other guy has a bullet hole in his shoilder, so I'm not sure how on Earth Greg O'Conner and the Police Assoc are going to spin this in favour of Itchy McTwitchy. After they've chicken-pecked out on the typewriter their report on that Friday afternoon's lapse of concentration on the job and presented it to their superior, it should only take a few minutes to envoke an instant dismissal. What else can they possibly do? They can't very well keep them on with 'support' and 're-training' in the hope they'll improve and review their performance in x months etc. can they. Well, he didn't shoot anyone else in x months so he's back in... They can't just stick them in a desk job - how does that look for consequences of shooting people. Are they going to blame the weapon itself?

There must be an adequate consequence for this sort of police misdeed and it must be adequately investigated and prosecuted by people external to the police.


At 17/8/13 11:33 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can be pretty sure of what will happen. I will be incredibly surprised if this is not the case.

The "independent" police complaints authority will decide to take this matter no further and the policeman who did the shooting will be "put on leave" for a while (on full pay of course, and "to get over the emotional turmoil") and then after a couple of weeks he - I could be wrong about "he" but I believe that there are no women on the "AOS" - will resume duties as if nothing has ever happened.

If indeed this was an accident, it is an incredibly stupid accident. The person responsible did not follow the basic and very simple rules of firearms safety. If handled correctly rifles do not "discharge themselves for no apparent reason". Rifles are inanimate objects and cannot "go off" on their own, someone has to discharge the round.


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