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Archive for the ‘Police’ Category

Police Chases

In the news:

There are calls for a review of police pursuit policy following a high speed chase that ended with two men in hospital.

Speeds of 180 kilometres an hour were reached in a pursuit near Hamilton last night, moments before the fleeing car crashed.

Suspects John Koteka, 34,  and Alex Tereora, 31, are currently in Waikato Hospital under police guard.

Both men were wanted on warrants following three aggravated robberies on February 17 at the Auckland Domain and Mt Eden.

Now, I heard the other day (but can’t find the story) that any such review would be the 6th such review since 1995. Certainly this 2010 review states it is the 4th in 6 years. What’s that quote again?

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein

Smart guy, that Einstein.

But seriously, is it any wonder why people are killing themselves, when we tell them so often that if they can just go fast enough for long enough, the police will give up?

And why on earth do we persecute the police when criminals kill themselves and put others in harm’s way in the act of breaking the law?

See also: Keeping Stock’s take.

Police Chases Kill

It’s probably a bad sign when a fisk of Idiot/Savant seems calm and logical by comparison to other politics of the day!

Last year, our police killed sixteen people in chases, victims of a policy which allowed them to chase on suspicion without regard to the danger such chases posed to the public.

Yes, the police killed 16 suspects who fleed. None Sorry, all of those later proved to have comitted a crime.

This year, they’ve killed already, with a teenager dying in a police chase in Auckland last night. Like the other victims of police chases, the victim was not suspected of a serious crime and did not pose any serious danger to the public. He was a car thief, not a psycho running amok with a gun. But the police chased him at high speed, encouraging dangerous driving, and ultimately caused his death.

He was a car thief, not a serious criminal. Serious criminals drive their own cars – no, wait…

(I am now waiting for the inevitable press release from the Police Association claiming that the fact people flee from police means they should have greater access to firearms. It makes about as much sense as their other claims on the topic).

Actually, I think the proposal for chases is for RPGs to be mounted on police cars ;)

The Independent Police Conduct Authority have repeatedly told the police to change their pursuit policy to prevent dangerous chases on suspicion or for minor crimes.

Quite. Car chases should only occur after suspicion has been confirmed by a properly ordered trial by a jury of the accused peers.

The police have refused,

They clearly aren’t prepared to invest in the necessary time-stopping technology.

defying their oversight body, and effectively our parliament, in doing so.

“effectively” allowing them to continue policing the country.

What we are looking at here is a police force out of control, and killing people. That situation should not be allowed to continue.

Yes, this situation where the police enforce the law must stop!

Sadly, the police have the full support of their Minister in doing this.

the minister …and effectively our parliament…

Rather than reining them in and telling them to use only proportionate and necessary force to enforce the law,

I’d love to see what “proportionate and necessary” are defined as in Idiot’s dictionary. I’d have thought pursuing fleeing criminals met both those definitions to a “t”. After all, no one’s accusing these fellows of going slower than the police, are they?

Judith Collins has written them a blank cheque, abusing anyone who criticises their behaviour. Now she’s demanding that anyone who flees from police be jailed, regardless of the severity of the original offending. The idea is mad on multiple levels – it won’t deter, because scared young kids don’t do a rational cost benefit-analysis before fleeing police,

Quite. Car thieves have very little capacity for cost benefit analysis under pressure.

and it won’t make said kids (who are at best guilty of minor crimes, and sometimes of no crime at all before being chased)

I have an idea: let’s have the police operate on the assumption that suspicious behavior isn’t a possible sign of criminal actions.

better people or prevent further criminal behaviour. If anything, it is likely to do the opposite, imposing further costs on society. But hey, the Minister gets “tough on crime” headlines and stupid redneck votes, which is all she cares about. Rational policymaking? You won’t see any of that in Collins’ office…

Get that? The guy who’s suggesting that police don’t enforce the law, and don’t react to suspicious behaviour considers this “rational policymaking”.

Collins’ support means that she is as guilty as the police in this young mans’ death.

That is to say, not at all. I guess we agree on that one then.

Someone should carve his name – and that of every other person killed by the police on her watch – on her office door to remind her that such posturing has consequences.

and that of every other person killed by the police on her watch.

I suggest we start with those who crash before the police have time to even turn around, and then move on to those who crashed after the chase was called off. Once we’ve got those, we can move onto those that were identified as known serious criminals.

Or we can just admit that these people died of their own decisions and stop blaming those protecting the public.

The police act against hooligans

Good to read this.

Maori land protesters have been removed from a Far North sailing club on a District Council reserve, with 10 arrested and departing in a police van.

The police arrived at the Taipa Sailing Club, 30km northeast of Kaitaia, soon after first light today and told a Ngati Kahu protest group occupying the land they have to move off.

The occupiers were given the option of walking off peacefully or being arrested for trespass, Senior Sergeant Geoff Ryan said.

A number said they would not leave the land so they went through the “arrest process”, he said.

Those arrested had been taken to Kaitaia police station, where police would decide whether charges should be laid.

They claimed to be a “peaceful” protest, which usually means they’d blame any damage on those enforcing the law.

But it’s good to see the police acting promptly in cases like this, too often they’ve stood back and let the problem fester for months, rather than acting promptly on court orders.

A Waitangi Tribunal report in 1997 upheld Ngati Kahu’s claim and agreed its title to the land had never been extinguished.

The problem is that some people decided that this gave them the right to do whatever they felt like, and ultimately undermined the serious attempts to settle the treaty claim.

“Not Enough Evidence”

The police have bizarrely decided that there is not enough evidence to show that Russell Norman was assaulted.

Dim Post mirrors my own thoughts.

Really anything could have happened out there: all the police had to go on was TV footage from both networks, photographic evidence, parliamentary security cameras and dozens of eye-witnesses including members of the DPS. How Dr Norman’s flag went from in his hand to being trampled underfoot by the Chinese security forces will just have to remain a mystery for the ages.

While I have no doubt that any investigation would not have resulted in a prosecution, this crime still should have been investigated. An assault on a VIP (Dr Norman is the leader of our third-largest political party after all) which is captured on video should be taken very seriously.

The fact that the police refuse to do so, and this gob-smackingly pathetic excuse, suggest something very, very wrong in police HQ.

Respect the Police

Some people seem to have the idea that, because you have rights when the police come calling, that you don’t have to respect them or listen to them if you’re not under arrest, and even then you can ignore them.

That’s simply not the case, as these pricks found out. Luckily they didn’t manage get anyone killed.

Shane Boyce, 23, and Chevelle Leese, 19, appeared in Napier District Court yesterday to defend two charges of obstructing police on May 7 – the first day of the three-day siege. The pair lived at a house at the bottom of Chaucer Rd. A third occupant, Mike Kemp, earlier pleaded guilty to the charges and was fined $1000. The maximum sentence is a $2000 fine.

What did they do? Well, firstly they wandered outside and didn’t go back until the police told them 5 times to do so. Then…

“A short time later I noticed someone’s head and a video camera [at the accused's house] pointing towards me over the fence. I yelled at them to get back inside again. To be honest, I could not believe that someone could be that stupid.”

His yells attracted a volley of shots from Molenaar.

“They were close. They were being fired in the direction of myself and the person in the house. I believe it was my yelling that drew the attention of the shots.”

What did they think was going on? Tiddlywinks?

Other squad members, from Napier and Gisborne, said they also warned the three people in the house to get inside several times.

Several officers had to leave their positions and run into the open in an attempt to get to the house through neighbouring properties, but this was not possible because of vegetation in the way.

Finally, an officer yelled to the group that they were under arrest and told them to run across the road to cover.

So the police had to divert resources from a dangerous gunman in order to arrest these pricks. So twice they put lives in very real danger.

Kemp casually crossed the road holding a cup of tea.

Boyce followed, then Leese. Leese was walking until a volley of eight to 10 shots was fired by Molenaar and she started sprinting.

I don’t think people would blame the police for firing themselves at that point!

The deal with the police is the same as any other group – respect them and they’ll respect you. It’s the people who decide the police are their enemy who are the ones that get harassed. I’ve always treated the police as people who work to keep me (and others) safe, and have always had good experiences with them.

Thank you to the boys in Blue (and the others on the 111 line)

Gooner at No Minister points out that the blogosphere has been rather too quiet about the latest cop shooting.

One can only agree with his sentiments.

Constable Snow, thank you for patrolling South Auckland at 4am in the morning. Thank you for getting out of your car to investigate suspicious behaviour. You didn’t know what was about to occur, yet in the dark, armed only with your notebook and a pen, you bravely did what 99% of New Zealanders wouldn’t dare do.

May you recover fully and return to frontline policing. And let’s hope your injuries aren’t so bad they prevent that.

While in Middlemoore last year (for two different things, seems that half the time someone’s in hospital someone else we know is in the same hospital!), I happened to find myself at the intensive care burns ward.

Actually, I worked out where I was after noticing all the firefighters waiting outside. This was weeks after the deadly coolstore fire, and it was long forgotten by the public.

It was a somber reminder of just how far reaching the decision can be to stand in the line of fire, keeping Joe Public safe.

We don’t thank them enough.

Update: See also, A Cop’s Christmas by Jack Dunphy at Patterico’s.

For reviving the spirit, there is little in life that can rival standing among a thousand people singing “Adeste Fidelis” in church on Christmas morning. And while I don’t presume to know the minds of my fellow worshipers, I feel safe in saying there was no one in church that morning whose spirit was more in need of reviving than my own, for few professions can rival mine for glimpses into the darkness that sometimes dwells in the souls of men. In the days and indeed the very hours leading up to Christmas, I waded through the anguished aftermaths of two murders, two suicides, an attempted suicide, and a variety of other lesser tragedies, the accumulated sadness of which left me reeling and in doubt as to the wisdom in my choice of careers.

Quote of the Day

From Dave, commenting on the concerning news that agencies like the Pork Industry Board may be given powers to conduct surveillance.

If the Pork Industry Board comes anywhere near my house I`ll be ringing the pigs.

I can understand the IRD given powers (they’ve got more powers that the police in some areas already – shows you want the government really values!) but some of the others make me wonder why they can’t setup joint operations with the police.

Good to see the issue thrown out into public debate, as they say sunlight is the best disinfectant.

How to make a total fool of yourself

How on earth can Jan Molenaar’s brother be claiming he is a “normal person who snapped” given the circumstances?

Peter Molenaar said his brother would normally calm down after an outburst but having shot three police officers and his neighbour, “there was no turning back after that. I think he knew that”.

Rumours Molenaar, 51, had been a Rambo-type figure, on steroids, or a P-user, were false, he said.

“He was just like anyone else, he was just getting on with his life and it was just disrupted that day.”

He also denied claims that people knew about the weapons cache stored at the house.

“Just like anyone else”… who happened to have cached weapons and explosives in the house.

Sorry, defending your family is one thing, but there comes a point where the truth cannot be spun.

MacDoctor pulls apart the nonsense arguments one by one – a sample.

First off the block is the tired old meme that the police brought all this upon themselves because they

a) disregarded Molenaar’s rights/privacy/mana/voodoo;

b) didn’t take the advice of Molenaar’s mother/partner/friend/neighbour/pet cat;

c) pissed off Molenaar because they were rude/intrusive/annoying/breathing loudly

d) had insufficient intelligence because they didn’t spy on him/check with his mates/ask his pet cat.

All of which is utter nonsense. This was a routine drug bust for a minor offense. It is not as if they were coming to arrest the man for murder. And the moron shot three unarmed men. That does not make him irritable, scared or startled. That makes him a murderous coward. Which brings me to the second stupid reaction.

Dangerous Political Correctness

“Political Correctness Gone Mad” is a common phrase, but usually, it’s not a threat to public safety.

This is, and the source is extraordinary.

Sometimes police officers need to get from one place to another more quickly than traffic conditions will allow, which is why the cars they drive are equipped with sirens and bright flashing lights.

“But, Dunphy,” you say, “why write about something so patently obvious? Any fool knows that.”

No, there are in fact some fools who do not know that. Strangely enough, one such fool is a former chief of the Los Angeles Police Department who now sits on the Los Angeles City Council.

I refer to Bernard Parks, who served as LAPD chief for five years before being asked to turn in his cards in 2002, clearing the way for the appointment of current chief William Bratton. After being shown the exit at the police department, Parks ran for and won a seat on the city council, from which position he seems to take inordinate glee in throwing sand in the gears of the organization that sent him packing. The latest example of this is particularly egregious, given how it places police officers and the public in danger.

The new rules merely codified common practices long observed and recognized the twin realities that a) cops must occasionally break free of the traffic laws if they are going to be effective at their duties, and b) if they are going to drive fast they should, as California law prescribes, warn others using the roadways by flashing their lights and sounding their sirens.

Makes perfect sense, don’t you think?

Not to Bernard Parks, it doesn’t. To him, the new rules are a “recipe for trouble.” He argues that they leave too much discretion to police officers in the field, and he employed a little-used city law that allows the city council to pass judgment on a decision already carefully considered by the LAPD brass and the civilian police commission. This is but the latest illustration of the contempt Parks feels for police officers, and it offers a hint as to why his removal as chief was so roundly celebrated within the LAPD.

Clearly he didn’t trust his front line officiers. That’s always a good recipe for success – not.

Sadly, some people don’t get the fact that the police serve the people. If the police can’t respond quickly, and in numbers to a serious situation the public is at risk.

Wallace Case No Joke

DPF said yesterday “I have always been amazed that there has been any controversy over the shooting of Steven Wallace.”

In my last post I lambasted Tim at Tumke for his post on the matter. However, that doesn’t mean that I agree with DPF.

While I’ve been supportive of the police over people who’ve created a rod for their own back by abusing them, the Wallace case is not one where I nessessarly take that position.

Because he’s dead.

The fact that someone armed with a baseball bat, not a firearm, is dead is actually pretty good evidence in and of itself that the police screwed up mightily.

I am very glad that this has been investigated to the extent it has, because of that fact. Wallace is no longer live to put his version, regardless of what happened, no appeal or investigation can restore his live.

However, since the matter has been investigated, that investigation investigated etc the police have come through well – not perfectly, but well. Reading the various reports, it’s clear that the police acted like humans – they didn’t fill out the forms when checking out the guns for example. However, the did act professionally when approaching Wallace, giving good warnings so that he could be in no doubt of the consequences of their actions. It is clear that, even though he is dead, Wallace was without doubt the author of his own destiny.

(Of note is the fact that the family have never (according to yesterdays report) bothered to explain why Stephen was angry. One can’t help but wonder if the anger from the family is a result of their own guilt.)

The fact is, they should have acknowledged their son was at fault some time ago. But that’s understandable to some extent – their son is dead.

What I have no time for is cretins who concoct hate fantasies about police wanting to murder “‘cos they’ve been dissed” – fantasies that are clearly proven as such by carefully written and throughly investigated reports on every point.

The matter is serious, and such lunacy simply whips up hate and makes future re-occurrences even more likely.

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