Where else in the world could the Police Commissioner admit racism and nothing happen?

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The Dead Eyes of Justice

Perhaps it’s because NZ has no properly funded public space to debate these issues or perhaps it’s because no one watches The Nation on TV3, but where else in the world could the Police Commissioner admit on television that Police are ‘unconsciously’ biased  and nothing happens?

Bush admits police bias
Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted police are biased against Maori, but he won’t call it racism.

Mr Bush told Lisa Owen on TV3’s The Nation that he has taken action at the executive level to counter an unconscious bias which contributes to disproportionate numbers of Maori being apprehended and prosecuted.

He says the bias has come to light in data collected on when police use their discretion with offenders.

Labour MP Kelvin Davis says the commissioner is confirming what Maori already kew.

He says not just Mr Bush but the Minister for Police needs to make sure everything possible is done to end racial bias in the police force.

Mr Davis says a fair and unbiased police force is a vital part of the justice system.

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy congratulated police leadership for acknowledging unconscious bias.

She says the high levels of Maori in the criminal justice system is something police have been working on with iwi for a while with the Turning the Tide strategy, which has won praise from United Nations.

…this racism – or as the Police Commissioner puts it ‘unconscious bias’ – has been found deep inside Police research which helps explain the Police attitude to blacklisting academics who might highlight these types of injustices.

Acknowledging a police force is racist – cough – ‘unconsciously biased’ – is a great start but seeing as the Police were recently caught out manipulating crime stats, insensitive handling of sexual assault allegations, framing innocent people for crimes and breaking the law, hoping they go further is about all we are left with under this Government.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. <a href="but where else in the world could the Police Commissioner admit on television that Police are ‘unconsciously’ biased and nothing happens?
    Probably Australia:

    They laughed as she died, the inquest heard. They said she was lying, that she was carrying on “like a two-year-old child”.

    Ms Dhu was in police custody when she breathed for the last time. Her partner, Dion Ruffin, was in the cell beside hers. He heard her moaning, chocking on vomit, struggling to breathe. It went on for three days.

    And probably the USA as well considering how many unarmed black USians get killed by the police.

  2. In any other neo-liberal paradise (as mentioned by Draco and Errol) or former colony of whatever empire or indeed any de facto colony of whatever empire (usually the bloody yanks).

    It’s amazing to see how much we have progressed politically since WWII.

    We haven’t… 🙁

  3. The cynic in me says in 6 years we will all forget this or die forgetful.

    So let’s see if the police actually get funded for all the promises politicians make about policing.

    Why politicians appoint experts to panels with no police backgrounds on how to fund police, relying on treasury to manage change. The police need a long term funding plan agreed upon by the two major parties, with a review every 5 years or so.

    We all know some crimes are funded more than others.

  4. Why is no one saying that everyone is judged by their behaviour and not by colour or creed. Hiding behind colour or culture is cowardly and I especially include those in power. Unfortunately I cannot see any change as fear seems to have overcome those who could make this happen.

  5. Transparency all the way is what we need to build trust and move forward. We do not want to turn like the States have…with killings of innocent people with more melanin than them.

  6. Sounds like more than ‘ unconscious bias ‘, more like ‘racism’, to explain why, a bias you are not conscious of would be like avoiding talking to Maori people in informal situations and not on the job.

    But here it is admitting to discriminating against Maori but trying to claim its okay because they don’t ‘ realize they were doing it ‘.

    How about a few suggested hash tags: #policestatenz, #nzpolicehatecrimes, #BrownLivesMatter, #LoveNotTazers, as I see they will needed if NZ police are not only openly hostile to rape victims, but casually racist on the job.

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