Wouldn’t it be nice if family statements after shootings were more like this?
Update: If you’re the sort of person who thinks that families should attack the police after having one of their members caught red-handed and armed in commission of a crime, you really won’t like what I have to say here – at all.
I come from a background where, if you get caught, you recognise that you shouldn’t have committed the crime in the first place. And if your actions have consequences, you own those consequences.
I call that being an adult. But that’s just me.
Today, our family is grieving the loss of a con, father, partner, nephew, mokopuna and friend; Adam Te Rata Charles Morehu as a result of a police shooting.
We do not yet understand all the circumstances by which Adam has lost his life, and to that end we will be meeting with the police in the next couple of days to receive more information related to their on-going investigation.
However, some facts are clear.
Adam had no business being where he was, when he was. There is absolutely no doubt he was at the Ngamotu Golf Club to commit crime. None. He was armed, and we are told, used those firearms to shoot a police doing their lawful duty to protect the community. What he did was wrong – very wrong.
These basic facts tell us something – we need to take a close look at our family. We need to consider just what we have done so badly wrong that one of us has come so close to taking a policeman’s life – and as a result losing his own. We are embarking on a process to hopefully ensure that no member of our family ends up on the wrong side of the law again, and that rather every member of our family would be seen as making a positive contribution to the community around them.
To begin this process, we make the following apologies.
We apologise to the Ngamotu Golf Club. Had we known that he was planning this crime, we would have taken steps to stop him from his rampage that has destroyed a part of your lives. While the robbery was not ultimately successful, our family member’s actions in vandalizing the club-rooms have tainted forever what should be a place where you can go to enjoy yourselves. For this we apologise, and we undertake meet with you with a view to doing our best to help repair the damage done by him and his partner in crime and restore this facility to it’s former glory.
We likewise apologies to the police. We acknowledge the danger that officers place themselves in when they join the police, and we regret that a member of our family has apparently come so close to taking the lives of people so committed to our community. This will be forever a lasting source of shame. We further apologise to the families of those officers, for the danger our family member put their family members into for his own selfish ends. This is completely unforgivable, but we hope you will find it in our hearts to forgive us.
We look forward to the police investigation of the shooting and will cooperate in any way we can. We only hope that the investigation will be through and not filch from the truth wherever it may lead. It is possible that the police did not act properly in this situation, but until the evidence says otherwise, we will accept their word.
We regret the fact that the media has drawn comparisons with the Wallace shooting. We will not be conducting ourselves like the Wallace family. We have no intention of instigating a campaign of persecution against the officers involved, an officer who was only doing his duty to the people of our community. Rather, we will recognise the results of the investigation, regardless of whether or not it agrees with what we would prefer to believe.
However, there is one way that the cases are alike. If reports are to be believed, both Steven and Adam were shot after threatening officers with their lives. If there is one thing that others can take from these dual tragedies, it is that police have the absolute moral right to meet deadly threats with deadly force. There is only one right and proper response to being confronted by armed police, and that is immediate and unquestioning surrender, laying down your arms and putting your hands in the air. Had Steven and Adam done this, both would today be alive to tell you that themselves. As it is, they each made the worst possible choice they could have done and as such, they were each responsible in large part for their own deaths.
Finally, we ask that the media and wider public respect our privacy as we grieve.