Greens see racism everywhere

May 23rd, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The Green Party has called the independent report on the 2007 Urewera raids damning and said a dramatic overhaul of police culture was still needed.

The review, released today, labelled police actions ”unlawful, unjustified and unreasonable”.

The party’s police spokesman, Dave Clendon, said it was not okay to “descend like masked ninjas” on a small community, adding that police thinking about the raids had not fundamentally changed.

He believed racial discrimination played a part on the abuse of rights and illegal detention of innocent people.

“Would the police have raided Remuera in Auckland, or Khandallah in Wellington in the same way?” he asked.

Ummm. Engage brain before operating mouth,

Can anyone think of a high profile raid a couple of years ago in Coatesville? One that involved armed police and helicopters? I’m pretty sure the targets were not Maori, but German and Finnish.

And according to the 2006 census, the ethnicity of Coatesville is 80% European, 4% Maori, 3% Asian and 12% other so the racism claim from the Greens is quite unfounded.

IPCA report on Operation 8

May 22nd, 2013 at 12:55 pm by David Farrar

The IPCA report on the Urerewa Operation 8 can be found here. Key conclusions:

  • The  Authority  has  found  that  Police  were  entitled,  on  the  information  they  had,  to  view   the  threat  posed  by  this  group  as  real  and  potentially  serious.    The  investigation  into  such   activities  by  Police  was  reasonable  and  necessary.  
  • From  a  policing  perspective  the  termination  phase  of  Operation  Eight  was  concluded   safely.    No  shots  were  fired  by  Police  or  others,  despite  Police  locating  a  number  of   firearms  and  weapons.    All  target  individuals  were  located  without  incident  and  no   members  of  the  public  were  put  at  risk.  
  • The  planning  and  preparation  for  the  execution  of  search  warrants  on  termination  of   Operation  Eight  was  largely  in  accordance  with  applicable  policy.    It  involved  huge   logistical  challenges  given  that  search  warrants  had  to  be  executed  simultaneously  across  the  country.    Those  individuals  who  were  considered  by  Police  to  pose  the  greatest  risk   were  quickly  and  safely  apprehended.      
  • In  contrast,  the  planning  and  preparation  for  the  establishment  of  the  road  blocks  in   Ruatoki  and  Taneatua  was  deficient.    The  Authority  has  found  there  was  no  lawful  basis   for  those  road  blocks  being  established  or  maintained.  There  was  no  lawful  power  or   justification  for  Police  to  detain,  stop  and  search  the  vehicles,  take  details  from  or   photograph  the  drivers  or  passengers.      
  • There  was  no  assessment  of  the  substantial  and  adverse  impact  of  such  road  blocks  on   the  local  community.    The  road  block  at  Ruatoki  was  intimidating  to  innocent  members  of   that  community,  particularly  in  view  of  the  use  of  armed  Police  officers  in  full  operational   uniform.      
  • The  majority  of  complaints  received  by  the  Authority  in  relation  to  property  searches   were  not  from  target  individuals  but  rather  from  other  occupants  at  these  properties   complaining  about  the  way  they  were  treated  by  Police.  Some  felt  they  were  being   treated  as  suspects.    A  number  of  occupants  were  informed  by  Police  that  they  were   being  detained  while  a  search  of  the  property  occurred,  despite  there  being  no  lawful   basis  for  such  detention.  Police  had  no  legal  basis  for  conducting  personal  searches  of   these  occupants.  
  • The  Authority  has  concluded  that  a  number  of  aspects  of  the  Police  termination  of   Operation  Eight  were  contrary  to  law  and  unreasonable.    In  a  complex  operation  of  the   type  that  was  undertaken  here,  there  are  always  a  number  of  important  lessons  to  be   learned  about  future  Police  policy  and  practices.    The  Police  internal  debrief  following  the   termination  of  Operation  Eight  has  already  identified  a  number  of  those  lessons  and   necessary  changes  to  Police  training,  policy  and  operational  instructions  have  been  made.     The  Authority  has  made  a  number  of  other  recommendations  in  light  of  its  own  findings.     This  includes  the  need  to  re-­‐engage,  and  build  bridges,  with  the  Ruatoki  community.  

This looks a sensible and well balanced report. In short the conclusions are:

  1. The operation against those arrested was justified as they posed a real and serious threat
  2. The actual arrest and treatment of those arrested was done properly and lawfully
  3. The treatment of the wider community was over the top, insensitive and in some cases unlawful

The Ruatoki community do deserve an apology for their treatment by the Police. I think they have had one already, but will no doubt receive another. It is worth noting that of course we now have a different Police Commissioner and Minister of Police as from 2007.

But let’s not make martyrs out of those arrested. They were acting somewhere between very foolishly and with malignant intent, and the Police were right to bring their activities to an end. Their personal treatment was not generally criticized by the IPCA. They also bear some of the blame for provoking the Police action in Ruatoki. 17 firearms were found in three properties at Ruatoki, and 12 smashed Molotov cocktails at their training camp.

But as I have commented before, the Police response did seem over the top – and the IPCA has agreed. We expect better  from our Police than we do of Tame Iti and Valerie Morse. They have a job ahead rebuilding confidence with Ruatoki.


More thoughts on the Iti verdict

May 25th, 2012 at 5:30 am by David Farrar

Many on the left were expressing outrage yesterday at the 30 month sentence given to two of the Urerewa defendants for their illegal firearms convictions. Their view seemed to be that so long as Iti’s band didn’t actually kill anyone, then it was a minor offence not worthy of jail time.

A comment by the Judge got me wondering. The Judge commented that the context of the convictions was that Iti had effectively formed a militia. He also wryly noted that the defence contention that they were training to be security guards in Iraq was somewhat undermined by Iti’s rather portly condition.

Anyway I wondered what the reaction would have been if the activists were not a bunch of radical leftists, but instead was Kyle Chapman and a bunch of white supremacists. Imagine if Kyle and his “right wing resistance” loons had spent months stockpiling military-style weapons and molotov cocktails, and practicing how to use them. Also that Police recordings had them openly talking of killing the Prime Minister and other people in Government if their agenda was not agreed to.

I have a feeling that the very same people expressing outrage at the 30 month sentence for Iti, would be praising it, if the group had been Chapman and the neo-nazis.

Urerewa verdict

March 20th, 2012 at 5:43 pm by David Farrar

The verdicts are in. The four have been found not guilty on some firearms charges and guilty on some, and no verdict on the organised criminal group charges.

Molotov cocktails

September 28th, 2011 at 10:46 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Members of the “Urewera 18” group threw Molotov cocktail fire bombs and fired semi-automatic weapons at training camps in the bush, court documents show. …

Evidence from Detective Sergeant Aaron Pascoe was given to the hearing that film and photographs of a September 2007 camp showed a woman he said was Ms Morse holding an object believed to be a Molotov cocktail.

The person carried the object out of the view of the camera and returned a short time later without it.

Mr Pascoe was to give evidence that he believed she threw the Molotov cocktail into an outdoor oven, where police later found remnants of Molotov cocktails. …

That was the only basis for the identification because in all the images her face was concealed.

People should remember this the next time Ms Morse claims to be a peace activist.