The grieving family of a man shot dead by police in the Karangahake Gorge near Paeroa want an independent inquiry into what they describe as a “cold-blooded execution”.
Mike Taylor was shot on Friday morning by police who were responding to a call from his long-time partner, Natalie Avery.
Avery and her children, Carlin, 21, and Amy, 14, say there was no need for police to shoot Taylor, as he had thrown his weapons and was walking away.
They claim he put his hands in the air as he’d been instructed to do and was kneeling down when he was shot.. …
“He threw the slasher – it had no handle – over the top of the police car and he smashed the passenger window with the machete and then he walked away.
“He would have been at least 20 metres from the police car, hands up, bowed his knees and from there they shot him … through the heart from behind. It was cold blooded.”
All Police shootings are fully investigating by the IPCA. But this seems a pretty simple case, as the forensic evidence will be very clear as to whether or not he was shot from behind.
The Herald reports:
Police say a man shot dead in Paeroa yesterday was shot in the torso, not in the back as his partner claims. …
Acting Assistant Commissioner Bruce Bird said as Mr Taylor approached police armed with a machete, a number of shots were fired from the front seat of the patrol car at short range.
If you approach armed police with a machete and refuse to put it down, then you will get tasered or shot.
Avery said she and Taylor had been having an ongoing dispute with Hauraki District Council and police over access to the roadway.
“I knew it [the shooting] was going to happen some day,” Avery said.
Residents said Taylor had terrorised his small community, threatening and intimidating people who crossed near the property on their walks.
They said he claimed the land, which overlooks the Karangahake River, was his land, even though it was a public road.
He ended up in court on numerous occasions for threatening behaviour and offensive language.
On one occasion he was charged with trying to run down an elderly man and his daughter, who were on a walk.
“He’s threatened everybody in the neighbourhood,” a local woman said. “It’s a wonder somebody else hasn’t been shot.”
Taylor was engaged in a long-running battle over the erection of some gates across the public road, which he would put back up every time the Hauraki District Council took them down.
“The gates were taken down in the presence of police because the council workers were so scared to go up there on their own because of the history of this bloke,” a second man said. “He was arrogant and brutal, with the foulest mouth.
“People would take their dog for a walk and he would say, I’ll kill your dog.”
It sounds like the way this ended was somewhat inevitable, based on his past behaviour. He’d been terrorising people for years, but made the mistake of trying the same with armed Police.