The police union has hit back at the Green Party for using the death of George Floyd to take a swing at New Zealand Police and its recent trial of armed cops.
New Zealand Police Association president Chris Cahill said he was appalled at the Greens conflation of the trial of armed police teams (ARTs) in New Zealand, with the death of Floyd.
Following the terror attack in March last year, the police, independently of the government, launched a six-month trial to tackle illegal guns.
The trial ended in April and evaluation results are due at the end of the month.
His outrage follows a letter penned by Greens Co-leader Marama Davidson and Justice spokeswoman Golriz Ghahraman, to Police Commissioner Andrew Coster, urging him to rule out the roll-out of ARTs.
They said it could shift the country towards “dangerous, military-style policing” and that the recent trial saw patrols roaming “in low socio-economic and predominantly brown communities”.
“We only have to look to the United States to see how violent things can get under a militarised police force. This is especially so for minorities and communities of colour,” Davidson said.
Cahill said using Floyd’s death as a conduit to make claims about New Zealand police discrimination, which resulted in increased police brutality and death, was offensive to officers.
“On behalf of the association’s thousands of members I object to this overt inference that they are to be held up as the problem.”
It is offensive to our Police.
The NZ Police are very restrained in their use of force. You can’t compare them to the scenes we regularly see in the United States.