I’ve got this theory that in a post-colonial country, the immigrant community values a level of brutal thuggishness from their Police force because it’s the mounted constabulary that would be called upon to protect the settlers from angry Maori. This willingness to turn a blind eye and allow the cops to get away with any actions they see fit is not a healthy thing for a society to indulge in. This authority worship invites the Police to start seeing themselves as above the law, and this bewildering case in Timaru has all the hallmarks of a systemic culture that believes it is a law unto itself.
If you were to listen to the Police response on this, it is almost two separate incidents that have nothing to do with one another.
In the Police spin post this Independent Police Conduct Authority report, the Police have framed this as a training failure. That some young bloke cops weren’t trained properly in using a taser and the Police will ensure that training happens so that they can do better Policing because it’s important that the community can trust them and that’s important because the last opinion poll showed 80% of people trust the cops blah blah blah.
The framing is as if there’s been a silly wee mistake, someone was tasered, but you know, we’ll sort it out, look at his photo, he probably deserved it right, hush now, go the All Blacks, what about that John Key eh? Another beer mate? I’ll go turn the sausies.
What in fact happened is two cops tasered Troy Reuben and lied about the threat Troy presented them. They lied that he threw a shower door at them or used his child to shield himself, they used excessive force. That frontline cops overstep the mark and use excessive force is one thing right, but what happens next is what is so shocking.
EVEN THOUGH the bloody Taser cameras themselves proved that the cops version of events was a lie, not only did a Timaru senior sergeant and a Mid-South Canterbury Area Commander Inspector say to go ahead with a wrongful assault charge, so did a Police prosecutor!
That’s supposedly 3 layers of check and balance that did neither check nor balance.
Just when you don’t think it can get worse, oh it does. There was an internal inquiry questioning the reason why the police took Troy to court for an assault charge they knew was wrong, but the Timaru Senior sergeant cleared all the staff in a subsequent review!
This is real banjo twanging bush justice. We have a cover up of a cover up of a cover up to try and set Troy Reuben up for an assault charge, yet the Police spin is that it’s just been a training misunderstanding.
They set Troy Reuben up and then all turned a blind eye to the evidence that proved the Police version was a lie. That level of wilful prejudice should concern us all.