UPDATE 9:30PM 25/02/2014:
Video of the police statement via Stuff.
He says in the video (which is edited) that the cause of death is unknown and toxicology report will take a fortnight. Sounds like an unreasonably, implausibly long time to test for alcohol and drugs. Delay. How convenient to take the heat out of this. That assumes the toxicology report will be definitive - it may not be; or it may be needed to rule out a cause, rather than rule in a cause. It may be that the doctor doing the post-mortem is reluctant to give a cause that appears obvious and prefers to see the report first. Conveniently we don't know and won't know for another two weeks.
UPDATE 5:30PM 25/02/2014:
NZ Herald reporting
this afternoon that a post-mortem was carried out yesterday (cause of death unknown awaiting toxicology report) and that the victim would be named tomorrow.
I note here the "laboured breathing" claim is mentioned again. The police statement said the chronology is after the doctor has viewed him through a window shortly after being placed in a cell: 1. staff saw laboured breathing,
2. staff put him into the recovery position,
3. staff then start CPR,
4. then they call "paramedics" (ie. St. John ambulance)
5. Paramedics arrive, CPR for 40 minutes.
6. Pronounced dead at 6:10pm.
Points one and two are at approx. 5 am. What is unclear is whether or not he was still breathing when in the recovery position, because doing CPR indicates he is not breathing and already dead. This is why I ask about the "laboured breathing" - when was that observed and by whom? They said they never recalled the doctor, just go into CPR. Must have been too critical to bother with the doctor. Being a "monitored cell" there will most definitely have been video at the time, as well as video from other parts of the station where he was processed. The question is, after 48 hours of evasion, stymying and collusion, does that video still exist now? Or has someone taped over it?
UPDATE 10:30AM 25/02/2014:
The victim is still unnamed at the direction of the NZ Police. Keeping him without a name is an effective tactic to dehumanise and deflect what the police have done, to ensure a gap remains between the public and the victim. Without a name (or any images) it is all random static to the public and no empathy can be established. This is mainly why the story was so far down the news bulletins on the TV networks last night (Monday) and no updates on the story have been published today in the media that I have seen.
The NZ Police have stated they are supporting the victim's family. What this means is they are working on them not to push charges - as if they were their friends, but nothing could be further from the truth. They have told the media that the family does not wish to be contacted. If that was to be believed - and I don't believe it - it is because the police have heavied/'advised' them not to. The media will ask them what the state of the deceased was and so on, the public would see real people are involved not just anonymous unidentified victims - this is why the NZ Police are trying to keep this secret and hushed up for as long as they can.
Their standard operating procedure is in play: Disclose nothing, start investigating yourself after everyone has had time to collude on the story, stop the media getting to the victim's families, stop them getting to the paramedics, drag out the investigation and then, three, four, five years down the track - in order to delay the Coroner's investigation - when the IPCA report finally comes out, no matter what the report actually says or recommends, claim the NZ Police have been exonerated.
Already though the cop version of events is changing. The half-arsed criminals can't even get their story straight after 24 hours.
A doctor called to assess a man in custody in South Auckland hours before he died did not physically examine him, police have revealed.
On Sunday police said the arrested man, who was aggressive and violent, was assessed by a doctor, but on Monday said that assessment was only a look through a cell window.
Superintendent John Tims on Monday clarified exactly what police meant when they said the man had been assessed by a doctor.
"He looked through the glass door at him, but because of his violent and aggressive nature, the assessment was made by the doctor that he wouldn't go into the cell, and so the doctor then left."
Mr Tims wouldn't give any further details about the man, how he was restrained or whether he had a pre-existing medical condition. He said investigations are underway and the cause of death is still unknown.
Supt Tims says after being "placed" in a cell the doctor saw him a "short-time later" but the doctor did not return. Nek minit cops doing CPR on a corpse.
So according to yesterday's account by the police (which as we know may change from day to day to suit their circumstances of trying to make it not look like they killed someone) the Doctor made an assessment not to physically examine him. But what was that assessment based on? The word of the cop (who may have bashed him) that he was violent and would attack the doctor and so the doctor was 'advised' to only look through the window? Or did the doctor look through the window, see he was violent, and that was their assessment of their behaviour? Did the doctor see he was violent or did he see him asleep, unconscious. Because if the doctor's notes say he was asleep or unconscious when he was viewed through the window then the Superintendent is lying. Wouldn't be the first time a murder tried to be covered up by lying and that is what I expect here. Expect to hear a litany of lies about a murder by gangsters at a gang pad? Well expect to hear a litany of lies about a murder by police at a police station.
UPDATE 1:40PM 24/02/2014:
They are to hold a press conference this afternoon, giving less than two hours notice.
Monday, 24 February 2014 - 12:37pm
Counties Manukau Police will hold a media stand up presented by Superintendent John Tims at 2:30pm at Manukau Police Station, 42 Manukau Station Road.
UPDATE 9:50AM 24/02/2014:
No updates from the NZ Herald, and only comment on radio I heard this morning was public relations man Snr Sgt Greg O'Connor of the Police Association saying we should be grateful and surprised that there weren't more deaths in custody! Media are dutifully relaying the police statement and awaiting midday when they have told us they will take questions. There is nothing to stop the media questioning the paramedics who the police say attended - or have they tried to gag St John as well like they did last year
when they shot a man in the back that they had taken into custody? The typical NZ Police response of secrecy, intimidation, collusion and delay is an obstruction of justice. Is this a typical case?
The NZ Police have released a statement on the death in custody at the Manurewa station this morning. This sounds like the cagey sort of thing the NZ Police say when they've killed someone, again. RIP that man.
Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 8:18pm
At about 1am on Sunday 23 February, Police were called to an address in Manurewa by a member of the public. Upon arrival, Police found family members trying to restrain an intoxicated man who was violent and aggressive. He was arrested for breach of the peace and taken to Manukau Police Station for detoxification.
The 20 year old man continued to behave in a violent and aggressive manner while in custody. He was placed in a monitored cell and a Police doctor assessed his condition.
After 5am the man’s condition was checked again and he was found to be suffering from laboured breathing. He was placed in the recovery position and Police staff performed CPR on him until ambulance staff arrived. Paramedics continued CPR for over 40 minutes.
The man was pronounced dead by paramedics at 6:10am.
Note what they say about 'continued to behave in a violent and aggressive manner while in custody.' I take it that means they bashed him to death. That is what the NZ Police are telling us most likely happened to him - why he died.
They are being ambiguous about why the police doctor was there too. Look for what they aren't saying: was it a routine check for all the detox prisoners? or was this doctor checking on him because
of a violent assault on him as telegraphed by the disclosure (for which there is no other reason surely?). Why tell us he had acted in a 'violent and aggressive manner' if not to set up the Coroner and the other bullshit self-investigations the NZ Police run on themselves? the question is how did the police staff react to his 'manner' - violently and aggressively? Did they empty a couple of cans of chemical spray into his face? So many questions.
We aren't allowed to ask them anything before midday tomorrow when they should have all their stories lined up by then. Every death when a cop is involved is just bad luck, eh.
NZ Police statement:
A post mortem will be conducted to establish the cause of death.
A criminal investigation and policy and procedures investigation is underway and the incident has been referred to the IPCA.
Support is being offered to the family of the deceased and Police staff involved in the incident have been referred to welfare services.
The matter has been referred to the Coroner.
Note: no more information will be available until after midday tomorrow (Monday 24 February).
Issued by Kimberley Mathews/Communications Manager, Counties Manukau Police