Friday, April 21, 2023

Cam Slater: Predictable White Wash from the IPCA Report

As I predicted on Tuesday the IPCA report into Police actions at the Parliament Protest has essentially been a whitewash, liberally sprinkled with justification for their actions and a grab for more power by way of enhanced trespass laws.

The police watchdog has found, despite a number of police failings during the Parliament protest, officers served the public well in the face of at times “extreme provocation”.
Radio NZ

There was no provocation until the Police goons marched in, intent on violence, in the early hours of the morning. Then they set about destroying people’s belongings and bashing people as they cleared the grounds. Had the Police not done that, then that day would have ended as peacefully as every other day the Police didn’t attack people. Yet this report blames the victims of Police brutality for “provoking” them.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) has released its more than 200-page report into police actions during the three-week long illegal occupation of the Beehive precinct and surrounding areas in February and March last year.

It found almost all officers exercised professionalism and restraint dealing with a “level of public disorder rarely seen in New Zealand”.

The occupation culminated in a riot where officers faced “violent behaviour” from some protesters, who pelted them with bricks and other objects.

The IPCA said all police defensive measures that day – including shields, pepper spray and batons – were justified.

But it also found a number of faults by police. It said some officers were not given enough protective gear on that final day, resulting in a number of staff injuries.

The IPCA concluded there were some isolated incidents of potentially excessive force by officers, which were being investigated separately.

Nearly 2000 complaints about officers were made to the IPCA. It is investigating 19 incidents, with provisional findings showing police actions were unjustified on six occasions.

The IPCA also said police broke legal protections for the treatment of some of those arrested during the first attempt to break up the occupation.

Other problems pointed out included deploying trainee and recent graduate officers with little training. It also said issues collecting evidence during the two mass arrests meant many charges had to be dropped.

“This was a wide-ranging review,” Judge Colin Doherty said when addressing media on Thursday. “The findings… demonstrate there were some deficiencies in the policing of the occupation, which will provide police with valuable lessons in terms of planning for any such event in the future.

“This report should not be interpreted that police failed in their policing of the protest occupation, we have written it not only to review what police did but to make a constructive contribution to the ongoing work within police to improve public order policing.”
Radio NZ

Professionalism and restraint? Like this?

Click to view

Or this type of professionalism and restraint?

Click to view

They faced riot-like behaviour? What on earth did Police expect after rousing everyone at dawn, with jackboots, batons, pepper spray and violence? After destroying people’s belongings what else could these people do in the face of such violence from Police?

If the Police hadn’t turned up ready for violence, no violence would have ensued.

The report concluded the law for mass public disorder situations like that was not fit for purpose in a number of areas.

The IPCA made a number of recommendations, including that police should ask the government to review legislation.

All in all, IPCA chair Judge Colin Doherty said police did a good job. He said it was commendable they were able to end the occupation “with as few injuries and as little damage to property as they did”.
Radio NZ

How typical. Police break the law, find that their arrests and charges failed as a result of them breaking the law and, instead of prosecuting Police for breaking the law, these clowns are demanding the law change so they can crack heads in a much easier way.

No one is being held accountable for Police breaking the law.

As for claiming there was little property damage: clearly, the IPCA doesn’t care about the property and possessions of the protestors, which the Police destroyed and bulldozed into trucks.

Police failed to tell all protesters that they must leave the Parliament grounds in the manner required by the Trespass Act. The report said the trespass laws were ill-equipped to deal with a large-scale event like the protest.

Poor evidence recording meant many charges had to be withdrawn, with the IPCA concluding the majority of charges should not have been laid.
Radio NZ

If the Police can’t even follow the law, for which inability there are no consequences, then why on earth should we follow the law too? The disconnect here is immense.

The lack of preparation, and the sheer number of arrests, meant police broke both legal protections – and their own internal rules – for the treatment of those in custody (although the watchdog concludes the use of force was “generally reasonable”).

Not enough notice was given to staff tasked with processing those arrested, so there was no time to bring on more staff to help. It meant staff at the custody unit were unable to comply with the legal requirement to advise all detainees of their rights and facilitate access to a lawyer.

The IPCA concluded the operation was hurriedly executed by an under-resourced unit and was always “unlikely to succeed”.

But “that does not mean it was unjustified”.
Radio NZ

Oh, righto, it’s the ‘ends justifies the means’ argument, which never works as a defence in court but is used by the IPCA to justify Police BREAKING THE LAW!

Don’t you love the nice weasel words for describing how the Police BROKE THE LAW?

Despite identifying problems during the 10 February operation, issues with evidence collection again meant some charges had to be withdrawn.

“We have found that the current law governing arrest was not fit for purpose for the mass public disorder situation that confronted police on 2 March,” the report concludes.
Radio NZ

Please Sir, can we have the law changed so we can crack heads more efficiently? Watch as the National Party aids and abets the Government in doing precisely that.

The IPCA got nearly 2000 complaints, most from people who were not physically at the protest.

It said the vast majority of issues raised are addressed in their report.

Nineteen complaints required specific investigation and further inquiries, with the outcome to be released separately.

These complaints were about specific incidents where the issues raised were unlikely to be sufficiently addressed during its broader investigation and/or the actions of police staff appeared to be excessive in the circumstances and warranted further examination by the IPCA.

Its preliminary findings are that police actions were unjustified in eight of the 19 complaints investigated.
Radio NZ

Prosecute them then. We can only have confidence in Police when those police officers who break the law are prosecuted and punished for it. Until that happens the reputation of the Police belongs in the sewer where their own actions sent them.

This whole episode could have been avoided had Members of Parliament found some courage and actually gone to speak to the protestors and understand how their policies, rules and laws had dramatically affected large segments of New Zealand society.

Instead, they hid in Parliament and sent in armed goons to remove the “river of filth” after subjecting them to illegal torture over days and days and days.

If the Police had not turned up looking for a confrontation, then no confrontation would have occurred. The actions of the Police and the Police alone caused the violence, and this report doesn’t even mention that.

Millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money have been wasted on a whitewash report.

Cam Slater is a New Zealand-based blogger, best known for his role in Dirty Politics and publishing the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blog, which operated from 2005 until it closed in 2019. This article was first published HERE


TJS said...

As I said to HDPA in the previous article here: "hats off to those people that stood up to the tyranny of this govt."
My applause and admiration to them.
Quite frankly I was baffled by her report. Did I miss something?

Thank you Cam for having their backs.

Ken S said...

This article perfectly sums up my reasons for cancelling my subscription to the BFD. It's about time you climbed out of your rabbit hole and got a life Cam!

Rob Beechey said...

It’s ironic, on the eve of ANZAC day, where we pay tribute to those that paid the ultimate price to preserve our freedoms that this report was tabled. Ardern openly condemned the freedom of speech during her UN delivery describing this as “weapons of war”. In just 77 years following Germany’s capitulation we witnessed unprovoked brutality resembling the very violence that our fathers and grandfathers defended us from. And what’s more disturbing, not a single sitting parliamentarian had the courage to meet with the protestors.

Anonymous said...

No comments 2 hours after this article was published, despite I suspect, more than a few views. This alone shows how successful government propaganda has been; irrespective of whether you thought the totalitarian covid rules were valid and whether you agreed with the protestors, there is no denying the police brutally assaulted innocent protesters at the government’s beckoning, even if subtlety. Thousands of us went to support the protest and saw what it was like for ourselves, and 10s of thousands of us saw the videos and live streaming on that awful first Thursday, and in the last week and the last day. We saw the government, police and media use the handful of gang members and Antifa who turned up to deliberately incite violence, especially on the last day, to discredit ordinary decent New Zealanders. Much like they did with the Let Women’s Speak rally, led again by that nasty little faux intellectual, Michael Wood. Not hard to see why people compare this government with 1930’s Germany. The key difference between Germany then and NZ now is that this government was not elected by the people in 2017 or even in 2020 if you take into account most seemed to have a Jacinda version of Stockholm Syndrome.

TJS said...

" No comments 2 hours after this article was published, despite I suspect, more than a few views."

I think the moderators were on a lunch break perhaps. My post was 59 minutes later from the article and I had just refreshed my screen and there it was after answering HDPA.

However I wholely support the latter of what you say. There's not many people agreeing with the courts 'white wash' that I know and not on these pages at least.

But yes the govt. and the media did a good job of brainwashing using all their tricks. You voiced my thoughts there that is for sure. Thanks.

Rob Beechey said...

This govt was democratically elected into power and immediately dispensed with democracy once in power.