The Police brought this on themselves

Why are so many of us making so much noise about the investigations into Halatau Naitoko’s death?

There are three things that are influencing me:

  1. The Police have a history of failing to properly investigate their own, and even of covering up for colleagues. 
  2. There is a recent history of the Police undertaking disproportionate investigation and action on firearms charges against activists, and I’m still pretty riled by it.
  3. Their employees have behaved dishonourably in so many ways in recent memory and the Police have not apologised or truly addressed the actions.

Does this mean there was necessarily anything wrong with the Police’s action on Auckland’s Northwestern motorway? No

Does this mean there was necessarily anything wrong with actions of the individual AOS members? No.

Does it mean I am even remotely comfortable with the Police determining what investigation will be undertaken, how it will be undertaken and who will do it? Hell no!

The reality is that the Police brought this storm on themselves, by having behaved so badly in the past they have damaged our trust in them and they have made little attempt to rebuild it.

Several years ago I knew a man who had worked in the AOS for many years; a good and honourable man. When I heard what had happened on Friday I had two first instincts, the first was to imagine the officer who had pulled the trigger and think of the man I knew and feel for the officer’s pain and guilt. The second was to think “Oh here we go, let’s see how fast the spin kicks in and how fast and deep they bury the investigation”.

The individual officers who were there on Friday deserve and have my thoughts and sympathy. I can’t imagine the pain and guilt they are feeling right now, and I am so very grateful to them for everything they do to keep us safe.

The Police organisation, however, deserves every piece of cynicism and distrust I direct its way.

3 thoughts on “The Police brought this on themselves

  1. Once again, Anita, you have hit the nail on the head.

    I don’t hate the police, but I do not trust them, exactly for the reasons you have outlined above. The Ballet of Bullshit performed every time there is dodgy death at their hands creates more and more suspicion.

    It seems they beleive that they will lose respect if they are somehow found to be wanting, if they are somehow shown to be less than perfect. In fact, the opposite is closer to the truth.

    Because of their training the police are, perhaps, less fallable than the rest of us, but fallable all the same. Accepting that and making manifest a willingness to learn and improve will result in an acceptance from the general public that when a criminal goes beserk with a weapon “shit happens”. Obscuring details, covering arse, blurring accountability and other typical police behaviour in these situations will only create more suspicion and shower disrespect upon the memory Halatau Naitoko.

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