Idiot/Savant puts forward the caseÂ that the Police Officer who shot and killed Halatau Naitoko should be charged:
Look at the precedents: hunters kill their mates in tragic accidents fairly frequently. They are usually made to stand trial for careless use of a firearm, or in cases where there is clear negligence, manslaughter. Some areÂ discharged, some are convicted, some end up onÂ home detention, some (in very serious cases)Â end up in jail. We do this, despite the tragic circumstances, because we as a society have decided that people who play with guns need to exercise the utmost care and responsibility when doing so.
To take a different set of analogies, however, sometimes when someone kills with a vehicle they are charged, sometimes it is the employerÂ that is charged when it is clear that it was the practices of the employer that was at fault. Perhaps this is a case where the Police should be charged with having work practices that led to a death.
When there is a bad outcome of a Police action it is sometimes the fault of the Police, sometimes of the individual officer, sometimes both, but by focussing on the individual Officer we allow the Police off the hook. It seems to me that there are times when the Police plays on that focus on the individual to move the spotlight away from their poor culture or organisational practices.
Having just skimmed the Health and Safety and Employment Act and theÂ Crown Organisations (Criminal Liability) Act it appears that the Police could be prosecuted (although I may have become very confused by the nature of “person”s). If so, then if the death was caused by a Police practice there is an opportunity to hold the Police to account without needing to prosecute the individual Officer for their employer’s mistake.