This story very much managed to slip under the corporate news radar…
Police who faked badge numbers keep jobs
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.
Two of the officers were found guilty of breaching their own code of conduct and a third was said to have a “performance issue” after they were caught using matching identification badges at an Occupy Auckland eviction in January 2012.
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.
So the tactics to hide the identities of Police Officers can’t be properly investigated because the Independent Police Conduct Authority are so over run by Police abuses and too underfunded to look into the complaints properly?
What a terribly sad indictment on one of our public watch dogs.
There are a couple of issues here. The first are the violent tactics the NZ Police want to try and use when dealing with protesters. These Police hid their identity so that they could assault protesters and provoke a violent response. We know this because those are the exact same tactics the Police used last year with the final TPPA protest.
In that situation the Police targeted a young female protester right at the end of the protest and assaulted her, provoking a violent response from protesters which of course became the news story due to the fact that the NZ Media are too underfunded to send cameramen to protest actions any longer and they only arrived when protesters responded to the aggressive tactics employed by the cops.
I currently have a complaint lodged with IPCA over the manner in which Police threatened, intimidated and bullied Cannabis activist Stephen McIntyre into committing suicide and can attest to the vast stress and strain IPCA are currently under in investigating Police abuses of power in this country.
IPCA can be forced to investigate an issue if there is vast public outcry from the media, but in this case, the Police are given a cone of silence from the rest of the media and have been able to get away with premeditatedly hiding their identities.
Luckily for the occupation protestors, a protestor noting the deception at the time stopped the Police from using their provocation tactics and prevented anyone from being beaten up, but the fact our Police watch dog has been so under fed for resources that its teeth have fallen out should concern every citizen.
We live in a democracy, and the Police have to be held accountable for their actions. Sadly this isn’t happening right now.