Mr gormless, aka Greg O’Connor “The Big O”, “Lazarus”, “The Time Lord” and long-suffering alcoholic dictator of New Zealand’s police association, is at it again – pushing for his members to be armed and even more dangerous than they already are.
In a piece published in the servile New Zealand Herald yesterday Greg O’Connor is seen yet again cranking up the rhetoric in the hope that he may be able to pull off what his political associate Prime Minster John Key managed when he conned the populace at the last election.
There’s one difference however between a corrupt political party and a corrupt police force, a corrupt political party is unlikely to murder you. Of course members of a corrupt police force can kill and mame, and in New Zealand’s case have actually done so, apparently not even deaf mute’s are safe in police custody.
Greg O’Connor: Time to get real and arm our police
16th October 2014
Armed incidents are so common we can’t continue to leave officers and the public so exposed to danger
An incident in Auckland on Sunday shows that, sooner rather than later, firearms locked in police cars will prove too far away to save lives.
A man with a gun arrived at Waitakere Hospital, Henderson, and threatened staff. Unarmed police happened to be inside and were alerted by security.
The man was between the officers and their patrol car, which had firearms locked inside. The officers had two choices. Confront the man unarmed, or take cover and hope he didn’t kill someone while they waited for back-up.
The officers decided to confront him. The man fired a shotgun at the patrol car. Despite this show of force, one officer distracted him while the other got to the car and retrieved a firearm. Once armed, the officers were able to arrest him safely.
A happy outcome, thanks to extraordinary bravery and a lot of luck. Had the man fired at the officers rather than their car, we could be mourning the deaths of two policemen.
Had the officers retreated, the man could have shot someone else, taken a hostage or gone on a rampage.
If, on the other hand, New Zealand police officers carried a gun on their hip the pair would have been in a position immediately to begin to contain the situation, challenge the man to surrender and, if necessary, take action in self-defence or defence of another.
The Police Association’s biennial survey, last carried out in 2013 by Nielsen, shows more than two-thirds of frontline police believe it’s now necessary to be armed. The same survey shows a majority of the public (56 per cent) agree.
Armed incidents unfold without warning. A weapon locked in a vehicle when needed is no use to anyone. We don’t want officers forced to stand by while an offender kills someone or goes on a rampage. That happened in Cumbria, Britain, in 2010, when a man killed 12 and injured another 11 before taking his own life. Unarmed police followed him after the first two shootings, but were forced to retreat when he threatened them with a shotgun. He fled and continued his deadly spree.
Fortunately, mass killings are rare. We all hope another Aramoana or Raurimu never happens again. Armed offender incidents, however, are not rare. They are now so commonplace as to pass virtually without mention, unless the incident is compounded by a carjacking or high-speed chase.
Arming police cannot spark an arms race because criminals are already armed. Most drug dealers, gang members and associates have access to firearms and frequently carry them for self-defence, or to threaten and intimidate rivals. The fact police are not their intended targets is cold comfort when someone stumbles across their path and gets shot.
These are the circumstances of several incidents in recent years – the murder of Don Wilkinson and Len Snee, the wounding of Jeremy Snow, Bruce Lamb, Mitch Alatalo and an Auckland officer during a routine traffic stop in 2012. Other officers have been threatened or shot at.
Finding guns during routine traffic stops or search warrants is almost a daily occurrence.
Just the day after the Waitakere incident two unarmed officers in Otara happened on armed suspects who attempted a carjacking as they fled.
But armed offenders are not limited to the organised criminal underworld. Armed robbers target everything from armoured cars to dairies. There are those who are armed and aggrieved, with specific targets and a determination to do harm. Domestic incidents, and the Ashburton Winz office shooting, fall into that category. And there are fugitives, desperate to avoid capture at any cost.
The recent shooting of an officer in a Hamilton supermarket carpark comes to mind.
The sad reality is we will see many more deaths at the hands of run-of-the-mill armed offenders. It won’t be long before one of those deaths occurs because police at the scene couldn’t take action to save a life, because they weren’t armed. It is time to overcome our squeamishness and arm police.
• Greg O’Connor is president of the Police Association
O’Connor, who was infamous for courting of the New Zealand media, appearing almost nightly on the television sets of New Zealander’s, until August 2010 when respected Kiwi social and political commentator Dr Brian Edwards decided he for one had had enough of O’Connor’s inane senseless drival, all insane pro-police crap; Edwards outing of the political spin O’Connor caused him to seriously re-think his public persona (the absence of his photograph in this his latest piece is somewhat telling – more than conspicuous in it’s absence).
Although having said that it’s obviously now arguable that O’Connor believes that the Edward’s incident has been forgotten by the public, certainly the New Zealand Herald appears to be of that view.
Back in 2010 the police had been exposed yet again corruptly covering up their violence in the case of Rewiri Falwasser who was abused and pepper-sprayed senseless by four cops who then tried to conceal their thuggery, or as Dr Edwards opined in his 2010 article:
It’s Time for Greg O’Connor to Stop Defending the Indefensible
6th August 201o
It’s Time for Greg O’Connor to Stop Defending the Indefensible I have been wanting to say this for a long time. Police Association President, Greg O’Connor does himself and the police officers he represents a grave disservice by assuming the role of Counsel for the Defence with every complaint or criticism that is levelled against his members. I use the word ‘every’ advisedly, since I honestly cannot remember an occasion when I have heard Mr O’Connor admit that the police had got it wrong or when he failed to present a rationale or excuse for their behaviour. The result is that the currency of his argument is debased. No sensible person believes that the police are without flaw or that they always get it right. Yet that essentially seems to be Mr O’Connor’s position. Today’s news provides an example.
The just-released report of the Independent Police Complaints Authority into the 2006 police-cell beating of Rawiri Falwasser found the actions of the four police officers involved ‘unnecessary, unreasonable and unjustified’. Falwassser, arrested for unlawfully taking a car, had refused to have his fingerprints taken or sign a Bill of Rights form. When he refused to be moved to another cell, he was subjected to a 20-minute beating by the officers and pepper-sprayed 65 times. Stuff reporter Ian Steward takes up the story:
‘They sprayed the burning mist into his cell through vents until a doctor who attended said he could not see Falwasser through the haze.
‘Falwasser received a 6-cm cut to his head and later said he thought he would die of suffocation from the pepper-spray.
‘His vision was blurred and he felt as if his face was burning. He later described it as feeling like hot water being poured over his body but without any physical burns.
‘For several weeks after the incident he suffered from headaches and dizziness and years later he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress over the incident.’
LF is of the opinion, given the level of corruption involved in the Falwasser case (and literally hundreds of others) and the officers involved, that Mr Falwasser would not have lived to tell his story had the police at the time been armed (dead men tell no lies as they say, nor do they get the opportunity to tell the truth), and even if the four bent cops had later been found out a similar outcome would very likely have prevailed given New Zealand’s incompetent and often willfully blind courts and a so called independent Police Complaints Authority (IPCA), that is a long way from being independent, allowing the police thugs involved to walk away scott free.
In fact the repercussions of the corruption in the Falwasser case, which was dealt with at the highest levels in New Zealand’s police force, where still being felt in 2012, with belated attempts to bury the evidence in an employment case brought by an ex police officer sergeant Sean Ramkissoon, claiming serious corruption. Then commissioner Peter Marshall was successful with an application to have the matter transferred to a superior court, claiming that it was “in the public interest” where it was quickly buried, never to be seen or heard of again.
“Mr Marshall told the ERA the case should be moved to the Employment Court because serious allegations had been made and it was in the public interest they be determined by the court.”
Martin Bradbury of “The Daily Blog” has also thrown his hat into the ring with O’Connors latest piece of spin doctored crap, Mr Bradbury in a post earlier today opines;
Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to.
Don’t the NZ Police kill enough citizens in high speed chases already? Why add guns to the mix?
I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed.
O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new spying powers, pass retrospective legislation to cover up any of our cop crimes, lie about mass surveillance, dirty politics and still win a larger majority, then God damn it, we should be able to get guns for cops past the sleepy hobbits”.
And so it has come to pass, O’Connor’s latest brain fart demanding cops get armed.
It’s all ‘blah blah blah’ and is his usual crap. You can look sideways at O’Connor and his response is ‘give cops guns’. Like a brain hungry zombie ordering out at a morgue, any issue with current policing can apparently be solved by handing ill trained alpha males guns.
O’Connor sounds less like a NZ public servant and more like an NRA salesperson.
Let’s just shut this down before it gains any traction shall we?
5 reasons not to arm NZ cops:
1 – NZ cops can’t be trusted: I hate to bring this up in a culture that has an authority worship fetish, but the NZ cops can’t be trusted with them all being armed. Look at this case last week, we had two frontline cops who lied about why they tasered a man, and then had 3 levels of check and balance cops above that – including the Police prosecutor – who knew the evidence was false, but lied and covered up for each other. That was over an illegal tasering, Christ only knows the level of deceit we would start seeing if it was over wrongful shootings.
In short, we don’t have the checks and balances available to us to protect us from these ego bloated alpha males who watch way too many American cop movies.
2 – The cost: Again, what is utterly missed in this debate is the ill trained cops. We would need to embark upon a huge retraining of Police if they are going to be carrying guns all the time. That means fixed shooting gallery time and regular training sessions. Just handing guns out to every cop without the ongoing extra cost of training would be irresponsible in the extreme. How mush ‘safer’ will NZ be for the millions in arming and training the cops with a new toy?
3 – recipe for civilian casualties: NZers are not going to accept cops coming into their homes with guns. You can almost see it in your minds eye, a domestic incident, Police turn up, with guns on their hips, people see the guns, start yelling at the Police to leave their property with a gun, one person advances on the other, guns get drawn, a mix of obstinance and anger results in a shooting. We are not a people who will tolerate big swinging dick cops coming into our personal spaces armed. The guns will become an immediate source of tension, and that tension will get played out time and time and time again.
4 – the militarisation of the police: We can vividly see in America what happens when the police force gets militarised. If the TPP gets signed, expect a flood of US services wanting to make their presence felt, including those who arm cops up to the teeth. Once we start down the ‘arm all police’ road, it never stops.
5 – 100 years of Police philosophy: We have a containment philosophy for NZ policing and we’ve had it for about a century. If a person poses the public or Police a threat with a weapon, the Police contain the situation until specialist trained teams turn up and resolve that conflict. That philosophy is far better in a civil democratic modern state than a pumped up cop force playing soldier boy with all guns blazing.
Allowing every ill trained front line pleb to carry a gun within a work culture that covers up for one another is the single last thing NZ Policing needs. If O’Connor gets his way, it will result in more shootings with NZers becoming the target. Police already kill so many civilians in this country via their ill trained and dangerous high speed chase protocols, do we really want to arm them on top of that?
Don’t the Police kill enough of us annually as it is?
As always O’connor’s timing with his latest piece is impeccable. Regular readers will have already read our post “New Zealand’s most powerful political force is?” in which we chronologically set out almost 300 incidents of New Zealand police corruption, bungling, obfuscation, prosecutorial abuse, murder and mayhem since 2008. Yet O’Connor, who often seems more akin to a political despot than a public servant, see’s fit to prattle on about his member’s requiring armed protection – Never mind the hundreds of civilians who have been killed, mamed and abused by his adoring police membership, in O’Connor’s eyes they are obviously little more than collateral damage.
O’Connor has been using this same insane rhetoric for years, more than a decade in fact. Those old enough to remember, even without the ability to carry personal side arms the police have still managed to shoot and kill New Zealander’s, in what, in LF’s opinion, was little more than armed retribution, armed violence and murder completely disproportionate to any alleged offending.
The case of the shooting of Waitara youth Steven Wallace comes to mind, where the cops kept Wallace on the back burner whilst one of them went back to the local police station and grabbed a Glock side arm and then proceeded back to the scene where he pumped the teenager, who was armed only with a golf club, full of bullets, all without so much as a though. Just think what the police could get away with if they did not have time to reflect on their actions as they did in the Wallace case, and make no mistake it would happen and it would also also be corruptly covered up.
So New Zealand if you thought for one minute that the number of cases of innocent people being killed in out of control police pursuits, that the police hierarchy refuse to acknowledge, was bad you’ll be absolutely stunned at what the police will get away with if permitted to carry personal side arms; clearly in the New Zealand police’s mindset however a dead man can tells no lies, in fact he has a great deal of trouble defending himself at all – there is one particular courier driver (Halatau Ki’anamanu Naitoko) who, had he still been alive, could attest to that fact.
Make no mistake, if O’Connor ever got his way, the real war on terror would be being waged by New Zealand’s citizenry against its own police force. The power hungry Greg O’Connor is again attempting to insert the thin end of a very dangerous wedge. Frankly. it’s obviously time for this out of control, out of touch bastard to walk into a sunset somewhere, we suspect however that O’Connor will be needing a little more than a polite push.
the police dont need to be armed more than they are- they already carry guns in (some or most or all) front line cars….they already have a heavily armed responce (AOS & STG) – it is enough. Greg O’Connor could not be more wrong.
If our Police end up armed, we are in serious trouble… there will not only be many innocent civilians shot but Officers will likely have their guns taken by offenders and be shot with their own weapons ….. no good can come of this.
Good article LF. Must say that cops need to be safer, but that comes down to how they are respected, and at the moment they are not at all respected by the public. it would appear that killing a cop is treated as no different to killing another gang member, and there is no longer the “outrage” that there once was. People do not like cops as the french did not like the occupying germans and the jordanian’s hate the Israeli’s, and ISIS hates the occupying West. When will people learn that you reap what you sow. Guns routinely on cops will simply create an escalation of the killing. The cops need to take a good hard look at themselves, because the answer lies within the way they currently operate and are perceived. There are bad people out there which the Police must protect the public from. But anyone can kill another person, especially if its 10 on to 1, but the skill the Police should have is to preserve life, and in doing so at times, where necessary risk life. At the moment the Police are perceived as bigger villains than those that they pursue. Just my thoughts.
O’Connor’s piece is long on opinion but short on facts. He states that “Finding guns during routine traffic stops or search warrants is almost a daily occurrence.” If this is true it should come as no surprise given that there are estimated to be about 1.1 million firearms in New Zealand—about one for every four people [source 1=”http://www.loc.gov/law/help/firearms-control/newzealand.php” language=”:”][/source]. However, the same source states “The rate of deaths involving firearms has decreased in the past twenty years, including those resulting from assault, suicide, and accidents.” So the finding of guns, as O’Connor implies, does not mean that the use of firearms is increasing. In fact in overall terms firearms play only a small part in inter-personal violence in New Zealand, being used in about 1.7 percent of all violent crime [source 1=”www.crime.co.nz” language=”:”][/source]. O’Connor’s assertion that “Arming police cannot spark an arms race because criminals are already armed.” is illogical. If the problem is possession of firearms by criminals then routine arming of the police is not the solution as it does nothing to remove the firearms from the criminals and only promotes an environment where both sides feel the need to “upgrade” their respective armouries. If as O’Connor asserts there are ” run-of-the-mill armed offenders” wandering around New Zealand’s streets then the solution lies with New Zealand’s gun control laws and not with the routine arming of the police. Unlawful possession of a firearm should be a very serious offence subject to severe punishment. Current New Zealand law, in the form of the Arms Act 1983, is not rigorous or punitive enough. For example S. 45 unlawful possession of firearms etc carries a penalty of imprisonment for a term not exceeding 4 years or to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to both. This does not send the right message. A mandatory custodial sentence of not less than, say, 8 years [12 years if it’s a handgun] might make the criminals think twice before tooling up for a Friday night on the town. As for O’Connor’s reference to Cumbria, United Kingdom in 2010, the response of the UK government was not to routinely arm the police but to amend the law to make it much more difficult to own a licensed firearm and impossible, lawfully, to own certain types of firearm. O’Connor also overlooks the fact that it is the New Zealand police that licence firearms dealers and holders and, therefore, they already have it in their power to curtail any further proliferation of firearms.
If you want a Glock top a cop!
Jesus, Joseph and Mary or should I say heaven help us. I was out this morning with three Police officers and we were talking about this and not one of them said they wanted to be routinely armed. In fact one went on to say that they were out at the local arms training range and there were several STG officers out there (You know the supposed elite of the Police) and they were training with their glocks. One of the STG guys put two clips through the pistol, doing what is know as ‘Double Taps’ and out of the two clips, he only got three bullets either on the target or within the body image on the target. Wow betide us if that is the standard.
We have enough trouble with the cops using tasers and lying about using them, what would happen if they were fully armed. God forbid