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activism ~ police violence

Police Violence has been highlighted in big bold neon signs recently. And the continuing conversations still read like something out of the dark ages.

Recently there was an article published, relating to the fatal shooting by New Zealand Police, of a 57 year old man. The tone of the discussion on this article, was one of blaming the dead guy and ‘people like him’, and praising the police for their excellent service.

I noted the following point:

“We seem to be missing the fact that they (poupou) are trained to restrain and use other tactics BEFORE shooting someone, irreversibly, dead. And they are employed, by us, to protect and serve, not shoot dead and ask questions later. I don’t think we have the right to blame a dead guy. But we should be holding all civil servants accountable for their actions. Especially irreversible ones.”
Like · Reply · June 10 at 7:02pm

And was met with a tirade of verbal abuse all singing the same tune:

“Police in New Zealand do not shoot and kill people just because they can. You’ve obviously been watching too many videos of cops in America to understand that police have strict guidelines when it comes to shooting people.”
Like · Reply · 3 · June 10 at 8:26pm

Now this kind of mentality is nothing new. But what surprised me the most, is that even with history a click away, and recent events relating to police brutality, in our country and those abroad, also only a click away; Naivety and ignorance still reigns supreme.

As a country, we should be asking … what the hell?! This isn’t about blaming the police; this is about asking questions about a public service and their performance. We seem to have more concern about the performance of who is picking up the rubbish from our front gate, than how our ‘law enforcement’ are enforcing.

We should be asking why the police are taught to racially profile. Shouldn’t this ‘profiling’ be focussed on an a specific action or behaviour instead of trying to brush stroke an entire community with a stereotype based on an ethnocentric ideology?

And yes, the new Zealand police are taught to racially profile. Why do you think Maori are more likely to be pulled over – arrested – and locked up? It has nothing to do with our actions but entirely, what we ‘look’ like.

Do we remember the last time this happened?

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