Police officers given green light to abuse their power

How’s that changing-our-repugnant-police-culture going?

Police officers who deliberately faked their uniform badge numbers to avoid being identified as they weighed into a violent public protest will keep their jobs and won’t be investigated by the force’s watchdog.


Despite the pre-meditation involved, the Independent Police Conduct Authority decided the three officers’ behaviour was not serious enough to warrant its attention, saying investigators were too busy dealing with cases involving death and bodily harm.

Here’s the big issue (right after “either the IPCA has fuck-all investigators or our Police are physically injuring/killing so many people that a well-staffed IPCA is overrun with cases”): why the fuck are our police officers taking deliberate, explicit steps to hide their identities in the first place?

And why the fuck do we have a Police Commissioner whose response basically reads as “dammit, boys, if you must make us look bad at least do it smartly so you don’t get caught!”:

“I hope it isn’t true, but if such stupidity did occur – give me strength,” Marshall wrote in his blog on the police website. “Talk about scoring an own goal.”

It is true.  It wasn’t “stupidity”, it was a deliberate step to avoid identification in a situation where the officers involved felt strangely certain that their behaviour might incite complaints from members of the public.

But when the Police Commissioner describes it as “an own goal”, as “foolishness”, not “a perversion of the course of justice and a wilful attempt to avoid detection while roughing people up and denying them their democratic rights”, what the hell else do you expect officers will do?

They’ve just been clearly told, “you will not be independently investigated up until the point you actually shoot someone”.  They’ve just been given the clear message, “we will cover your shit up, just pretend to be sorry and like it was all a big mistake.”

Cue Greg O’Connor any minute now to tell us how no police should ever have to wear badge numbers because how else are they meant to cow the sheeple into submission?

For some totally-anonymous-yet-still-somehow-authoritative commentary on the matter, check out the Dom Post’s editorial.