The tragic death of Halatau Naitoko

It appears to be the first occassion in NZ that the Police have accidentially killed an innocent bystander – Halatau Naitoko.

Your first sympathies are with the family, whose grief will never totally fade.

In my case there is also considerable sympathy for the Police involved. As the NZ Herald writes today, it appears they were forced to open fire to protect other’s lives. All the Police involved will feel awful at the loss of innocent life.

It goes without saying that there must be a fully independent inquiry (which the IPCA) of what happened, and also a determination of whether there is any criminal culpability.

I disagree with Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn who argues the Police shooter must face trial. He is actually arguing for a trial regardless of the facts. He is actually arguing for Police officers to have less rights than any other NZer.

I believe we should wait for the facts to be established, before you can possibly know whether or not this is a criminal offence. Having said that there will be some suspicion about what is and is not a fact. I recall the tube shooting in London a few years ago. Initially it seemed the Police actions were quite justified. Later it emerged it was a terrible terrible stuff up, and the facts were very different to what we first thought.

So I’m not going to place too much reliance on initial reports (including today’s one quoted above) and wait for the full investigation.

I’m also going to remember that the person who has major shared culpability is the gunman whom the Police were engaged in a firefight with.

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