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.
Rob Gilchrist is probably the greatest living New Zealander. Out of brash patriotism and fervent desire to protect our nation from enemies foreign and domestic, he shouldered the burden of earning $600 a week cash to nark on Greenpeace, animal rights activists, anti-war protesters, unions, and that most terrifying of terrorist cells, the Green Party. Of particular interest to our brave boys in blue was the Grey Lynn festival, a known hangout spot for religious extremists, dangerous criminals, and Satan.
Among the very important information about clear and present threats to New Zealand’s national security provided to the Police by Gilchrist were nude photos of a teenage activist.
What a fucking hero.
His crusade against the forces of evil was tragically ended when he asked his computer-savvy partner to fix his computer, without backing up and deleting years of emails to and from his police handlers, or his porn collection, first.
On being outed as a dishonest scumbag, he protested that honestly, all the people he informed on were “good people trying to make a better world”. Which is probably why a lot of them remember him as the #1 shit-stirrer and dude-who-was-always-shoving-security-officers-and-egging-people-on-to-commit-criminal-acts.
Now, Rob Gilchrist thinks he deserves over half a million dollars to compensate him, including 100k for “factors such as distress and humiliation”.
I won’t say that Rob Gilchrist isn’t really depressed, or that he’s faking mental illness. Hell, if you’re predisposed to depression then I can only imagine living a complete lie for ten years and then being found out as a liar, an agent provocateur, and a fucking sleazebag could easily aggravate that.
What I will say? Is that of everyone involved in this story, Rob Gilchrist is just about the last fucking person who deserves compensation for distress and humiliation.
Rob Gilchrist betrayed people’s trust. He not only betrayed their trust, he actively worked to encourage them to do more extreme actions than they were comfortable with. He took nude photos of unconsenting and unconscious women and sent at least one to his police handlers with a dirty joke attached. He played a significant part in a very dark, disturbing chapter of New Zealand law enforcement, which treated mildly unlawful protest (OMG THEY’RE SITTING DOWN IN OUR LOBBYYYYYYYYYYY!!!! THEY BROKE INTO OUR BARN AND ACCURATELY FILMED THE CONDITIONS INSIIIIIIIIIIIDE!!!) like it was tantamount to car-bombings and political assassination. He threw other people under the bus to hide his tracks.
I’m sure he suffers mental pain after such a catalogue of douchebaggery. But compared to the people he screwed over for $600 a week? Go fuck yourself for once, Rob.
Please remember, hip white young things of the internet:
While you were laughing at police officers joking about how hard it is to harass people in Palmerston North …
Police in Upper Hutt were strip-searching teenagers who didn’t even match the descriptions of their suspects and denying them access to legal counsel.
Ha ha ha, police harassment is so fucking funny, isn’t it? Gosh, why do those people of colour distrust the police, they’re just here to help us, right?
Gordon Campbell on the retrospective (someone wake big bruv over at The Standard) surveillance bill.
One can only conclude that neither the SIS nor the Police have much respect for the law. There seems to be no accountability when they break the law in such cases, or misinterpret it, or screw up. Perhaps this is because they know they can hold the politicians hostage, and get the law changed after the fact.
Once you’ve read it y’all are welcome to join me in my bunker. First week’s homework, chapters 1-6 of 1984. There may be a quiz.*
*On typing this I realise I don’t have a household copy of 1984. Thankfully going out to buy one won’t have disturbing consequences. Yet.
Another three guys-who-often-write-stuff-I-agree-with pretty much have it covered on the most recent outbreak of “Labour is low in the polls, let’s keep on trying to be National 2.0” fever.
Pagani’s strategy – which Labour appears to be following – is to keep almost all of the members of the unpopular government the public was glad to get rid of, endorse National’s policies which are mostly horrible failures, and promote no substantial policy of their own. This has worked about as well as you’d expect it to.
When did the party of Savage, Kirk and Clark become such a pack of lambs?
Comrade Trotter of course attempts to blame Labour’s woes on it not being racist, sexist, and homophobic enough – which I think tells us more about Trotter’s prejudices than it does about Labour.
With a bonus I/S on Greg Thugface O’Connor:
And if O’Connor is truly representing his members on this, then I think we have a real problem in our police force.
Fear not, tiny readers, there shall be bona fide cuss-filled ranting aplenty coming at you over this approaching Easter break! But after weekend on weekend of weddings, houseguests, and getting really drunk with awesome feminists I’m a wee bit spent …
in the mean time, you could always check out The Stroppery! /shamelessplug
A trifecta of good stuff for you this evening.
Craig Ranapia on Greg “if everyone would just be good little proles then the cops wouldn’t have to beat you” O’Connor and Tiki “brown man with completely inexplicable dislike of agents of repressive state apparatus” Taane:
But the one thing O’Connor and his ilk can’t do – and even worse, don’t believe they have to seriously try – is back up their assertion that words and music they don’t like lead to real world crime.
Gordon Campbell on both legal aid/the anti-nanny-state Government’s strange nanny-state-esque behaviour:
So far, the Key government has reduced the right to a jury trial, extended the powers of search and surveillance by state agencies, restricted the rights against self incrimination, sought the ability to conduct trials in the absence of the accused, and ended the independence of the agency dispensing legal aid – and that’s even before we got to today’s changes.
As Scoop consistently argued, the dispute was always about getting Warners more money, and the union dispute was being used as a diversion to that end. Simultaneously, the climate of anti-union hysteria did no harm to the ability of the government to get its rewrite of some key elements in our industrial legislation framework through Parliament.
What the graphs show is that Labour’s caucus will look broadly similar to New Zealand, but will continue to moderately underrepresent women, Maori, and New Zealanders of Asian descent. The Rainbow community is either marginally overrepresented (by about one MP) or represented proportionally, depending on which population estimate you prefer. And Pasifika peoples are overrepresented in Labour’s caucus by 1-2 MPs.
And God forbid our media actually subject this idea to basic logical analysis (even when the Police Commissioner himself seems to get it. Doesn’t stop him calling for more guns in cop cars though.)
So here it is, as simply as I can put it.
Scenario 1: Bruce Mellor has gun in lockbox in car. He doesn’t get it out because it’s a basic freaking traffic stop.
Bruce Mellor still gets attacked from behind by young thugs with a machete, Bruce Mellor still ends up in hospital.
Scenario 2: Bruce Mellor gets gun out of car for routine erratic-driving stop.
We now live in a South Africa-esque environment where cops treat every interaction with civilians as a potential gunfight. Young people who are randomly and viciously violent continue to be randomly and viciously violent towards lone cops.
Scenario 3: Bruce Mellor doesn’t pull his gun at every opportunity, but vicious youths in car are “more aware” that as a cop he may be armed.
Apparently this is the entire point of giving cops more access to guns. Congratulations, O’Connor, Broad and Collins, because in this one the attackers don’t reach for a machete, they get their own guns and shoot Bruce Mellor in the back.
Scenario 4: Greg O’Connor/Judith Collins fantasyland edition
Citizens are humbled by authority of mighty police force! Curfews for all! Bow before your uniformed gods lest they smite you down! Paradise on earth ensues, at least for smug white privileged people! New Zealanders “grow up” and just come to accept Police shootings so Greg O’Connor’s gun/authority-boner may be satisfied! Beatings shall continue until morale improves, and then having been demonstrated an effective morale-booster shall continue on! ALL HAIL GLORIOUS POLICE STATE OF AOTEAROA/NEW ZEALAND, LAND OF THE LONG WHITE PEPPER-SPRAY RESIDUE.