GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Wijohn threatened

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Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Police threaten to arrest ex-Greens candidate Luke Wijohn who films them making late night arrest

Former Green Party candidate and climate change activist Luke Wijohn has filmed police threatening him with arrest after he came across a group of officers pinning a man to the ground in Wellington.

Wijohn was heading to pick up his girlfriend from work at the supermarket on Friday night when he heard a man scream in pain, he said on Twitter Saturday morning.

The first video Wijohn posted showed a group of seven policemen, two of them pinning a man face down on the ground.

What can we say about this?

There are many good things to say about this

We are liveing in extraordinary times.

It is good that Wijohn stood his ground.

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It is good that Wijohn was not arrested.

It was good that Wijohn was observing the level 4 protocols.

It was good that the police listened to Wijohn’s reasoning. (It all could have ended very differently.)

It is good that we still live in a democracy, where the state forces are not prepared to step over the line to abuse their new emergency powers, given to them under this health emergency.

The police have a difficult and often dangerous job to do. A job that often results in confrontations that lead to heightened emotions and feelings of aggression. Despite the temptations to give into to these emotions, professionalism in dealing with the public by the police must be maintained.

We all need to be mindful, including the police, that we are living in extraordinary times. And that there is a very real fear among some members of the public that the state may tip into over-reach in trying to contain the virus.

My thought is that Wijohn, through his lawyers. needs to offer his footage to the police for training purposes. To see, what could be improved here?

It is good that we live in an age that gives us all the technology to capture things that once would have been hidden from the general public.

It is good that in our democracy, recording the police going about their lawful duties is an absolute right for every citizen,

It is good that we have many decent police officers who are not prepared to step over their bouandaries.

Pat is an activist, Unionist and writer.

82 COMMENTS

  1. I agree Pat, police have a difficult and dangerous job to do. No buts though.

    I’m sorry, but guys like Luke Wijohn are one of those victims looking for a controversy. Listening to him definitely confirmed that. And he got exactly what he wanted, self imposed victimisation, in his own little mind anyway.

    If I’m not mistaken Wellington CBD is not overly safe for the public at night.

    He had no idea why that person was being held, none. His objective was to get that “George Floyd” moment, he knows that fascist police always try and hide. He thinks there police just do this because it beats work. They do it for fun.

    Luke expects to go on his daily walk, at night, and do so safely, never for a moment considering that he does so because someone else cleans up the mess for him to do it.

    In guessing detaining a person causing problems is not pretty. And I’m guessing that Luke couldn’t care less or care to understand why. Just so long as he can go for his daily walk, at night and film police doing their jobs. But wasn’t he was quick to run to the media?

    But let’s say this person held by police was at large and just so happened to come across angelic Luke, going for his daily walk, at night, and did worse to Luke. Then what, the fascist pigs failed him?

    That he is or was a Green Party member just sums it up really.

    The police do have a difficult and dangerous job to do. At least try and understand why they’re doing it before running off and telling tales to stroke to ones righteous ego.

    • Did you even read the article XRay?
      He was not just “going for a walk” or choosing to do so at night.
      His girlfriend/ partner WORKS until 9 or 10.00 pm, and would otherwise have to walk home alone if he were not there to walk her home safely.

      Go back and read it!!!!!!!!

      • You need to review it because clearly you did not.

        It’s what he told the cops. “I’m just on my daily walk mate”.

        And a he’s a consummate victim. As Snow White says, make it all about himself.

        • “I’m just on my daily walk mate”

          …and, “I’m here to pick up my girlfriend and I heard someone scream“.
          [My emphasis]

          The police do not deny that happened.

        • So, by that reasoning, if you hear a scream at night and try to find out what is happening, you’re a “consummate victim”.

          Tortured logic.

    • Over the top abuse of power and not what I’ve come to expect under Coster but definitely reminiscent of Red Squad.

      • I didn’t see skirmish lines, helmets and battons Ross or much at all those be blunt.

        In fact unless you were there, there’s not much to see at all.

      • Good critique Ross, 7 cops 7 cops 7 cops how ridiculous when we are constantly told the police resources are stretch.

    • X-ray “ But wasn’t he quick to run to the media.” Precisely. I’m flummoxed about what the issue is here. Some young guy stumbles across a police operation and stops to film it, then doesn’t sod off when asked to, is threatened with arrest, and then runs off to the media. Why ? Because the police threatened to arrest him ? Spare me.

      The number of police persons present should have suggested that something big was going on, but this young Greenie has to make it all about himself, and police doing their work has segued into yet another police bashing exercise, with a rubber-necker as victim. Sigh.

      • Why shouldn’t the cops have been happy to have the incident filmed? Shouldn’t they be proud to have this sort of public police operation filmed?

    • Kia ora Xray,

      Unfortunatlely I have been busy in my garden today. Otherwise I would have replied to your sour comment earlier.

      Xray, I am sorry that your comment was first up, I am sorry that I missed my chance to give you the reply you deserve, when you made it.

      This morning, just before I read the NZ Herald report of Luke Wijohn being threatened by police for filming them, I read another breaking story of a police arrest on the Stuff.co.nz news feed.

      ‘I can’t breathe’: US police used stun gun, pressed knee on NBA star Jaxson Hayes’ neck

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/basketball/300393744/i-cant-breathe-us-police-used-stun-gun-pressed-knee-on-nba-star-jaxson-hayes-neck

      The LAPD’s Force Investigation Division is looking into the case “due to the possibility of force being applied to Hayes’ neck during the use of force,”

      While Hayes’ encounter with police bears some similarities to Floyd’s murder by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, the differences are notable.

      Hayes was on his back when a Los Angeles police officer’s knee was pressed to his neck for a few seconds. Floyd was pinned face-down under Chauvin’s knee for up to 9½ minutes.

      As Hayes gasped “I can’t breathe” several times, another officer tells his partner “get your knee up.” That officer immediately complies and Hayes is able to lift his head.

      It was the witnessess to George Floyd’s murder which they caught on a smart phone, and the presence of witnesses to Jaxaon Hayes arrest that probably led the police officer in this case to release his pressure on Jaxon Hayes airway.

      It is shocking that in this country police tried to intimidate the sole witness to a violent arrest.

      The police should welcome any footage of a violent altercation, even if only to prevent themselves facing false accusations, of brutality.

      P.S.

      Xray, whoever you are, just a bit of personal advice, If you are going to indulge in personal attacks on Wijohn’s character, at least have the courage to use your own name.

      Launching a character attack on Luke Wijohn, as a ‘victim looking for a controversy’, while hiding behind a pseudonym, makes you look like a coward.

      What Wijohn did took courage.

      Let me ask you Xray, would you call the young woman who filmed George Floyd being murdered by the police a ‘victim looking for a controversy’?

      The young woman who began filming the arrest of George Floyd didn’t know that her footage would end up showing George Floyd being murdered.

      it was her absolute right to film the police making an arrest.

      Just as it is Luke Wijohn’s absolute right to film the police, the police were out of line to threaten him for doing it.
      Using the lockdown as an excuse for doing it, could set a very dangerous precedent.

      • What Wijohn did took courage.

        Yes. Courage and strength of character.
        If you hear someone scream, apparently many would prefer to turn away and walk on by.

        I am thankful that people like Luke are still out there.

      • Pat, as it transpired, the man being held by police had been going around kicking and vandalising cars, a violent act and before anyone goes, this is only property, just think what could and likely would have happened if some innocent like Wijohn just happened to come into his view when an individual like that is in that frame of mind.

        I have watched the boot put into police so often over the years by people who have a weird smouldering resentment toward them, with a passive aggressive tone, the same officers who are called to go and confront men like that at huge risk to themselves all the time so you and me can sleep tight. Mostly they are young men and women who do that job for us and virtually always they don’t want anyone or anything harmed, especially themselves.

        I have read comments from those who were not there and nor was I, who think there were far too many but risk to cops justifies that, who knows who else is lurking in the shadows. And at least with a show of strength, this angry man may think twice before having a go at the one or two cops the experts think should attend. I mean honestly, why do people think it okay for a cop to get a hiding to clean up this shitty mess? And with a show of numbers it less likely to end badly.

        Did Luke Wijohn know this? Did he care? I doubt it. There’s nothing brave about what he did. What would have been right however would him finding out the facts and then going to the media if it wasn’t right. But he didn’t.

        He became the story, your story. And hence I commented. Until this, I’d never heard of the guy.

        • X-ray. Well said. The current portrayal of police officers as some sort of mafia is scarey and making them scapegoats is nuts.

        • How Far Ought The State Go In A Pandemic?

          As far as necessary, but no further.

          In Myanma and Hong Kong the state forces have used the Pandemic as an excuse to crackdown on civil liberties.

          In Auckland, police used the Pandemic as an excuse to threaten Luke Wijohn for filming them making an arrest.

          Obviously these three examples are not equivalent. But innate tendencies by state enforcement agencies to maintain control and avoid accountability, are present in each circumstance.

          In a democracy, the state forces, with our consent, are given the right to enforce compliance with society’s norms. This right includes the right to apply violence, (if necessary) to subdue criminals and make arrests.

          We have seen a number examples of this in recent days, a violent anti-masker who assaulted a security guard by spitting in his face, unfortunately had his leg broken in a violent altercation with police while resisting arrest.

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/126152021/covid19-alleged-supermarket-spitter-claims-he-spat-at-the-ground-not-at-security-guard

          The incident is said to have happened at Countdown Church Corner in Riccarton on Friday when the customer, who had previously been trespassed for abusive behaviour, was refused entry.

          He later suffered a broken leg as he was arrested by police.

          In a democracy the right to legal violence by state forces, must come with open and democratic oversight by citzens. Including the right to record the behaviour of the police. If not, then we are no longer living in a democracy.

          P.S.

          What is deeply ironic and creepy about these police officers objecting to being filmed, is that I recently read a blog on this website about police surveilance cameras, being used to spy on citizens, ‘Called spy cameras, are just that” It seems the police want the right to record everyone else going about their business, in case they can spot criminal behaviour,  but object to being filmed going about their business, for the same reason.

          I might add here that the attack lines used by right wingers to belittle Wijohn, are boringly repetitive, ‘attention seeker; is a common one. 

          I had the exact same slur, of attention seeker, hurled at me when I was active in the union movement, It is common to authoritarians like you, to reserve the right to decide who can make public statements about anything. Anyone not on your approved list of spokespeople, is an ‘attention seeker’.

          You claim, Xray, that you don’t know who Luke Wijohn is. And you also attack his right to have a say. Both things come from the same place. You don’t know who Luke Wijohn is, because, you don’t want to know who Luke Wijohn is. And you don’t want him to have a voice, because you hate what he has to say.

          Just to lift your cloud of self imposed ignorance, Luke Wijohn is the leader of the biggest ever nationwide mass protests against climate change this country has ever seen.

          Stuck in your authoritarian mindset, you may not have heard about that either. Or if you did hear about it was hostile to it.

          I am sorry now that I ever wrote this post, as it has given a platform to right wing extremists hiding in anonymity to attack Luke Wijohn’s character.

          I hope he can forgive me.

      • Seven police officers are highly unlikely to engage in some sort of conspiracy to cover up bad happenings. Two or three possibly, but the guy’s safety was almost certainly guaranteed by the number of persons involved.

        Time and again extreme USA social dynamics get superimposed upon us here in New Zealand, and not necessarily constructively either.

        We can all run around filming the police, but the New Zealand Bill of Rights( 1990) Part Two S 23 (5) entitles detained persons to be treated with respect and this doesn’t include the police letting sticky- beaks film them. There are also Privacy Act (2020) issues, and the police have to abide by both.

  2. Good post and sum up especially policy are doing a dangerous and difficult job, but still must maintain high standards that we expect in NZ, from them. And the police themselves must be careful who they allow to be police because it can easily become a corrupted profession.

  3. Make it mandatory for police to use body cams all the time, backed up to third party auditors. That would split some of the wheat from the chaff n deter some of the rotten apples while holding them to account. It’s bloody disgraceful what I’ve witnessed the boys n blue get up too. If one doesn’t have camera footage or a witness, many cops do whatever illegal shit they like. Gang of bullies, the lot of them as a whole

  4. A nice de-escalating viewpoint. It looked a bit heavy handed to me when I saw it on the nzh. It will be interesting to see whether the other news sites pick up this story as the herald seems to be the only one running it so far. Yet they all seem to have no problem running lots of articles about police interaction with moronic lockdown breakers and without the dramatic video that accompanies this one.

  5. Luke Wijohn is an impressive young bloke. Not just for this, but from his work with the Climate Action group and for other pieces that I have read. If he were standing in my electorate I would not hesitate to vote for him. Regardless, I hope he finds a ‘voice’, and that we hear more from him.

    • Maybe the new ‘Green’ policy is to cancel the police, like they canceled the climate change movement.

      “A group of student climate activists is disbanding this week after arriving at the conclusion that they are too racist to continue carrying out their mission.

      School Strike 4 Climate Auckland (SS4C AKL)—a New Zealand chapter affiliated with Greta Thunberg’s climate justice movement among students—decided its disbandment was “well overdue” after getting what was apparently a very convincing woke education on how BIPOC—Black, Indigenous, and People of Color—communities are “disproportionally affected by climate change.”
      https://townhall.com/tipsheet/spencerbrown/2021/06/17/climate-activists-get-so-woke-they-cancel-themselves-n2591126

      More about Luke.
      Greens select school strike leader Luke Wijohn for Mt Albert in 2020 election
      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/119529440/greens-select-school-strike-leader-luke-wijohn-for-mt-albert-in-2020-election

      Back to police and their effectiveness. It is almost as though they had a tip off about the police surveilling this drug transaction. If so, looks like the drugs kings have an inside man/woman. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/the-comanchero-gang-the-charter-boat-birthday-party-and-the-botched-1m-drug-deal/SJ54Y76UBJNQ5NASOWYZMPQWZ4/

      “The covert footage played at the trial – and obtained by the Herald – provided a rare insight into the secretive operations of a new force in Auckland’s violent, lucrative drug trade.

      The police in Operation Nova bugged the conversations between He Sha and another intermediary, who cannot be named for legal reasons at present, in which they openly discussed the sale of $1 million worth of pseudoephedrine, a precursor drug used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

      Both men had flown to Auckland from Sydney, within a few days of each other in September 2018, and police surveillance followed the intermediary from his meeting with Pasilika Naufahu at a Howick cafe.

      Sha was acting on behalf of the drug supplier in Australia, while the intermediary suggested the buyer was “the biggest gang in New Zealand”.

      They drove together to a road in Takanini on September 20, 2018, where they expected someone to bring cash on behalf of the buyer at 3.45pm.

      The plan was for Sha, referred to as Su’an in the video, to check the cash and once satisfied, call a “runner” to bring the pseudoephedrine.

      At 3.53pm, a Volkswagen Golf pulled in and parked directly in front of the ute where Sha and the intermediary were waiting.

      The VW’s passenger door opened and Connor Clausen, a member of the Comancheros, wearing a taut black T-shirt, emerged to open the hatchback’s boot.

      The deal quickly started to unravel.

      “Su’an, Su’an, hop in the car, look at it, verify, call the runner to come,” the intermediary called out to Sha, according to the audio secretly recorded by the police.

      “Hurry up! Hurry up! Hurry up, Su’an!”

      Sha appeared to lose his nerve, refusing to wait in the hatchback with Clausen for his associates to arrive with the supplies.

      “Su’an, listen to my instructions!” said the intermediary, growing increasingly exasperated.

      “Relax, man!”

      Sha returned to the white ute.

      “May I make some calls?” he asked.

      “Yes, come,” said the intermediary. “They’re ready, bro. Say come, you’ve seen the money, it’s ready.”

      Sha phoned an associate in Sydney, telling them in Mandarin that the Comancheros were ready to make the deal: “We’re here, your guy needs to come now.” But the supply wasn’t coming.

      “What do you mean not coming?” Sha said to his contact. “We’re here and waiting.”

      Clausen got back in the VW, and it drove away. The deal was off.

      The intermediary exhaled an expletive in frustration.”

      Weird how the police just can’t seem to bust these huge Meth deals anymore with surveillance. There is plenty of drugs coming in!

      • Save NZ “ Maybe the new ‘Green’ policy is to cancel the police, like they cancelled the climate change movement.” Could be. This isn’t the first time that a Green political person has interrupted a police operation in the Wellington CBD.

        Cancelling the police may also be a global woke thing.

          • It’s a joke based on the woke culture that this candidate, which was involved in school climate change which cancelled itself! Sorry people don’t want cancel culture candidates!

        • Woke
          wikipedia
          Woke (/woʊk/ wohk) is a term, originating in the United States, that originally referred to awareness about racial prejudice and discrimination. It subsequently came to encompass an awareness of other issues of social inequality

          Doesn’t sound such a bad thing to me.

          Policing by consent is not ‘woke’ – it is fundamental to a democratic society

          National Party justice spokesperson Simon Bridges has accused New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster of being a “wokester” whose commitment to “policing by consent” is out of step with the law.

          The claims were in response to Coster’s avowed belief that police need to engage with the community in a nuanced manner, which includes the wider principle of policing by consent. Coster has also recently said the police “can’t arrest our way out of the gang problem”.

          But Bridges should know consent is a fundamental requirement for democratic policing. In the absence of public consent, we would have an occupying force, not a police force.

          https://theconversation.com/policing-by-consent-is-not-woke-it-is-fundamental-to-a-democratic-society-155866

          Personally speaking, I would rather New Zealand have the wokest police force in the world, rather than Donald Trump’s ideal of police who smash detainees heads against the police car door sill.

    • I would have been more impressed if this GoPro Actionman had helped take down the crim. “Hey look, cops arresting someone, let’s film them and see if we can get a story!” He would be more helpful if he joined
      a Neighbourhood Watch…you know, he could film the burglars. Naaah, that won’t make a story.

  6. I’m sure the person that was pinned down, by just about the most benign police force in the world, was just standing there minding their own business and eating a pie. Remember when ‘calling the cops’ was a threat? It’s about time that threat came back, because the crime rate in this country has become scary. My daughter no longer goes out and about at night with friends in Wellington. We haven’t been into AKL city CBD at night for some two years now. All of which is bloody sad.

    • The Kraut I can no longer go to a concert at night and park in the streets around the Wgtn Courtney Place area. It’s not safe, and crawling with druggies and drunks and anti-social characters. Your daughter should be able to go out and enjoy herself with her friends – she’d be safer in Singapore or South Korea than Wellington.

      Like Wijohn was very lucky young man indeed that the police picked up the character that they did, before he encountered them in the dark on his own, and something bad happened to him – knife crime is escalating here now, just as it is on the streets of London.

  7. Well in Wellington shopping mall last week, a punter hurled a supermarket trolley at a security guard who’d asked him to wear a mask at NWS, where free masks are provided at sign-in. The punter ran home and brought back his brother to help him sort the guard, by which time the police had arrived to deal with the angry men. Earlier in the week, another guard at NWS was punched in the chest by a male he’d asked to wear a mask.

    These are strange times, but with a guy on the ground pinned down by police persons, there’s always a back story, and it would surprise me if cops prowl around en masse pouncing on innocent persons. Guards told me that young men are the worst offenders with queueing and social distancing – I was shouted at by one when a security person let me enter a supermarket to speak with a manager. I’m a woman in my 70’s.

    Andy Coster has been criticised for the police approach of being too soft and educating the public about covid associated issues, but the presence of seven officers suggests that somebody called for back-up, and a guy pinned on the ground by two cops, doesn’t necessarily mean that the police are the baddies. Wijohn sounds as if he could have been a bit of a prat here.

    Since the shooting and killing of young Constable Matthew Hunt during a routine traffic stop, and the now regular shootings and attacks on police officers, it surprises me that there are still women and men prepared to do their unpalatable and dangerous job, and it will not surprise me to see it being done by the army in my lifetime, now.

  8. The company I work for runs 24/7, we have one of our offices close to Wellington party central. As we are a 24/7 operation we have employees finishing shifts around the clock. Not so long ago our security guards would escort female staff to their cars only late at night. Now it’s from about 7pm and they often escort the blokes as well.

    We have had to call on the police maybe half a dozen times in the past year due to undesirables harassing our staff in the evening, when they have gone out to get something to eat, or to go home.

    What has surprised me was bystanders who hassle the police, who are protecting some of our young female employees from threats of rape. That’s right, some of our female employees are threatened with being raped. And the police get shit for doing their job protecting the public from low life scum.

    Does anyone else get the irony, this dickhead was going to pick up his girlfriend, who finished work late at night, because it’s not safe for her to walk home alone, because of the low life scum wandering the streets. He is giving the police shit for essentially protecting his girlfriend from the low life scum that his girlfriend is scared of.

    • Allegedly. We have laws and accountability. The police are not above the law, though they are protected more than Jo citizen from accountability and they do have plenty of rotten apples, rife known bully culture etc etc. They are our enforcers of the law and as such must be held to a higher standard of obeying the law and seen to be obeying the law. That is democracy and the antithesis of dictatorship via higher ethics, imo

      • He was Hassling the police, who were arresting a low life, who was causing trouble. This was probably the same type of low life he was wanting to protect his girlfriend from.

        I really worried that there are any number of men, on the “woke left” who don’t really care about women’s rights. Some guys I’ve come across seem to think that young women can only say “NO!” to older right wing white men.

  9. More than thirty years of the neoliberal-ideology adopting criminals indoctrinating our society with a ‘greed is good’ mentality and in so doing dehumanising our society down to a level of a take-it-whether-it’s-yours-or-not mentality is now a critical problem.
    Many people now see other people as commodities to be manipulated, exploited, grabbed, used and abused.
    There are curative measures. In the short term, I think women should be legally able to carry pepper spray. One squirt of that and you’re not raping anything.
    I’d also like to see a rise in cannabis and Ecstasy cafes instep with intensive intervention programmes designed to educate alcohol drinkers into understanding the effects that alcohol has on the psychology and the pathology of the mind. We’ve all seen perfectly safe and happy people become monsters once they’re pissed. Bizarrely, different alcoholic concoctions have different effects on the mind. Speaking personally, a wine drunk is a safer option for me than , say, a whisky drunk. I can literally feel myself becoming unpredictable and aggressive drinking whisky where as drinking wine makes me feel drunk, of course, but safe to be around. Some people say I become hilariously funny which is easier to live with than a memory of punching someone onto the ground.
    Another and very concerning problem I can see is that we have a hugely worrying deficit of politicians who are emotionally intelligent. We have adept money fiddlers, gas bag head-fuck experts and sundry others who have a gift for business but no compassion for, or respect for, those most at emotional and psychiatric risk, which, on closer inspection is most of us sooner or later, one way or another.
    A plug for Chloe Swarbrick.
    She has great emotional intelligence. Her, and her friends and colleagues are precisely what we need right now. Her as the Green Party leader in step with a purged, cleansed and re socialist’d labour party would be like a societal Renaissance for AO/NZ.
    In the meantime, lets get things underway with pot, pepper spray and Ecstasy powder.

    • Indeed. I’m also all for legalised microdosing (mushies) – we have so many brother n sister country peeps really struggling with trauma, when that could be alleviated or minimised with microdosing, as opposed to the struggle alcohol abuse entails. Great post CB 🙂

  10. Well, the little prick was the leader of a Woke H8 Group that has recently cancelled themselves for been a racist group as well!
    So his credibility is in the wharepaku for a start.

    The Cops are only doing their job? Let’s see how this plays out.

  11. I wonder – and I have written to the local rag about this but they didn’t print it – what happened with the filming of the cops pushing a guy to the ground and another ripping a shirt off a young man in Christchurch. This was shown on TV and there was to be an internal inquiry but we never hear.

    Frankly far too many cops over do it amongst other things they still wear tasers to demonstrations although this is actually illegal.

    Shame no one is going after – seriously going after – the big tax evaders who are doing considerably more harm than these people.

    • Noone has finished up in hospital due to a tax evader . This guy needs to learn respect and not be a smart arse when approach by police. With regards to the number of police 7 will mean only an idiot would try to resist arrest but 1 or 2 would mean they need to be rougher to carry out the arrest.

      • ‘Noone has finished up in hospital due to a tax evader’

        Oh yes they have the more tax that is evaded is the less we have for our public health systems and people end up in hospital because they can’t afford the $50 plus to go to their doctor in the first place.

        They have clearly got the guy but five of them are standing there. 7 cops to get one guy is ridiculous.

        And yes they should have been pleased that someone was filming.

      • Luke was NOT “being a smart arse”.
        Nor was he being disrespectful.
        He was upfront in saying why he was there, what he was doing, and that he had heard the scream. He behaved as any other normal, safety-conscious half-way decent person would respond.

        It is not Luke who is causing concern.

        • Kheala I think that Luke’s a smart arse. I would be mortified if the police had to threaten me with arrest to get me comply with their requests, but he complains to the newspapers. He’s also an idiot for “investigating” night moanings on his own – he should have phoned the cops.

  12. Pat wrote: It is good that in our democracy, recording the police going about their lawful duties is an absolute right for every citizen

    Well, that is now called into question.
    The male cop accused Luke of “Stopping us from doing our job”.
    All he did was film what was happening, briefly, from a distance.
    So, the question now remains, are we or are we not legally allowed to film police in action?
    According to what that cop said to Luke, apparently we cannot do that?

    • Kheala – In this particular instance the alleged miscreant could have a Bill of Right case and a Privacy Act issue against the police for allowing somebody to film what was happening to him, and what he himself was doing; the facts are unknown ( to me) but the filming itself can also change all the dynamics involved. Bit of Luck he may be able to do the Herald as well – and Luke.

        • Kheala. I did read what O’Dea wrote. I also know that I’m right about Bill of Rights and Privacy Act issues, and I can’t be bothered reading the Human Rights Act – it’s too long and ponderous – and I admire the NZ Police even more for what they have to put up with from sanctimonious pipsqueaks waiting to pounce like church mice drunk on holy water.

          I shall arise now and go hug a cop – distanced, of course.

  13. Another complex situation.

    Apparently the streets are unsafe. A number say that on here. There are numbers out and about who cause problems. Police are human beings who act and react differently regardless of training.
    The expression ‘cancelling the police’ is being used.

    So, what to do? Join the police because we know we would be better than those in the job and be leaders to instigate changes we think should be made? Encourage our own offspring and wider family to join the police?

    Or vigorously dissuade anyone we know from joining the police because it’s too dangerous and too hard? What would the country be like with half the police we have now?

    • It’s about selecting the right people for the right jobs. Control freaks need not apply. Then train them correctly, for at least four years, then make them start in the mail room equivalent well away from people and make them earn their position to be frontline enforcers of the law. Same as any people facing profession where they can actually affect people’s lives. Easy

      • Trevor – Poto is the Minister of Police, not the PM. Whatever one thinks of Judith C, she supported the police as Minister and I can’t imagine her not ensuring that the front line cops got vaccinated.

        • Poto is a usless minister and does not come across as a free thinker so she would be guided by whatever Jacinda said . Agree with you about Collins.

        • she supported the police

          Really?? On her watch, funding was reduced to where many stations had to close down and others reduced hours.
          This from April 2015:
          Police Shut 30 Stations in effort to combat budget cuts

          Thirty police stations have closed to the public as police struggle to balance the books.

          The force has quietly been reviewing its 400 “public facing” properties – which includes stations and community policing centres – as a Budget freeze continues to bite. And with resources thinly-stretched, response times to 111 calls are rising.

          Since 2009, the shutters have come down in 28 stations and another two are to be closed, which means the public must go elsewhere to report crime.

          This includes stations in Orewa, Auckland’s Fort Street, Papatoetoe, Otara and Waitemata police managers’ headquarters. Porirua community constable base has closed, as has Christchurch’s Halswell Community Office. But police could not provide a full list of stations where the doors have permanently shut.

          There are also reduced public opening hours in stations in Rotorua, Porirua, Upper Hutt and New Plymouth, Gisborne, Napier and Hastings. More at the link
          Also from that link: “O’Connor says stations are being moved from low-socio economic areas, because residents tend to put up less of a fight. “That’s why we are a little cynical about this . . . people there often do need somewhere to go running to.”

            • Thank you for the information you are obviously well informed and I did not know any of this . I try and keep up with what’s going on but sometimes facts appear when you are occupied with other matters and this is why forums like this are so valuable .

          • Kheala. Thanks for that. I didn’t know who was to blame for closing the local cop shops, but it may be one of the most retrograde anti-social steps ever taken against communities in New Zealand.

            It seems more of an anti-people measure than an anti-police measure though, dunno. It makes front line police officers’ job that much harder, but people’s lives also more difficult and dangerous

            The value of the neighbourhood police was immeasurable – VU’s Dept of Criminology has provided well researched and documented evidence of this which is or was part of police training, so police must feel frustrated being deprived of such an effective policing tool.

            Bottom line is that the community constables got to know their neighbourhoods. I think that where they do still exist, they get moved on after 12 months – probably just as they’re getting to know a community well enough to be really effective. Naenae in Lower Hutt still gets cited as trouble spot where one good community constable made a huge difference engaging, in particular, with local young people.

            Trying to get information on the hows and why’s of locking up the cop shops is hard, but it is quite likely the outcome of policy decisions made within their own organisation – and I best not comment on government department policy analysts or hr.

            • it may be one of the most retrograde anti-social steps ever taken against communities in New Zealand.

              Yes. Agree.

  14. Covid-19 has – and I say this as someone who broadly identities as Let – the hypocrisy and inconsistencies of the Left.

    Police have unbelievable rampant powers at the moment yet we’re OK with it and anyone who queries or pushes back against the police is victim-seeking or dangerous Covid conspirators?

    Unless of course they’re peddling a particular cause we support. The same people who say the state, and police, are systemically racist etc are now happily dobbing their neighbours in and would be happy to have police on every street corner.

    The same people who, rightly, criticised Fox etc for a fear based narrative and stereotyping and profiling Muslims, minorities etc are now rolling in Covid fear and happy to let the state do anything. For the record, we have zero deaths and only two ICU cases from the latest outbreak…and we want to be stricter and more state control?

    Any sense of proportionality has flown out the window.

    • Hi Tim,
      I have known Andrew Geddis for more than twenty years. And respect his opinion. I never made the claim that my ‘comment’ was better than anyone else’s. Andrew apologises for his commentary being overly lawyerly, but generally agrees with my more modest lay person’s view.

      “Filming the police engaged in policing activities in a public place is not, generally speaking, unlawful…

      ….being in a level four lockdown doesn’t of itself make it unlawful to film the police engaged in policing activities…

      “…..it is precisely when power is being exercised in emergency situations that we need to be most alive to its potential overreach. Because, “we’re doing this for everyone’s good” can be a very seductive rationale. And behaviour in emergency times can become a template for practices when life returns to normal. Which means we need to trust the police to ensure that our lockdown rules are collectively followed, but also not be afraid to point out when they appear to be doing otherwise.” Andrew Geddis

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