Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Why did Stephen die?

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  • Lilith __,

    How utterly appalling, on all fronts. Don't know what else to say, but I'm glad this is being written about.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3494 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Bell,

    Thanks Russell.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 96 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Oh Russell, how desperately sad. Biggest of my very big hugs, my friend.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ross Bell,

    Thanks Russell.

    +1

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3631 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP,

    Thanks Russell. Processing this is so difficult, but discussing it so important, I think.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2175 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Better work stories #235

    I’m glad this is being written about.

    ditto…
    May I suggest sending both Russell’s and Bomber’s blog links to the reporters at your local newspaper or other media outlets (TV3 will pick it up won’t they?) and to local MPs – let’s get Tolley on the ropes.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5169 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Do the boys in blue genuinely believe – like Archie Bunker – that stoners are more dangerous than the Crips & Bloods? Or are they just fish in a barrel to fill some kind of arrest quota when the C&B are in the too hard basket? Or is it a case of just following orders?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4431 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Hughes,

    Not being a stoner, or recreational user myself, this story just disturbs me from average joe citizen perspective.............there is something in me, and maybe its being ignorant and willfully so, that wants to believe that these kinds of things don't happen, to good people, or to anyone ................but I know that's not true.
    Lately in the news, time and time again there seems to be a bullishness in attitudes of the government, of ministers representing us, to just like they please.
    Keys on Pike River, Dot Com, the back room deals re the film industry, the closing of schools in ChCh and yet proping up Whanganui Collegiate................the flirtation of Enzed with american ways and styles, and Banks the prize dork, still being there in power after what he so blatently did.................I guess what I maybe have been keeping myself from feeling is that old word powerless.
    Stories like this about Stephen break thru some veneer, be it personal or some sort of national delusion or denial, that we are just as powerless as some of the places we look at feel glad we are not there. I want to fight this kind of arrogance, this abuse of power, that leaves the world with one less good person it really needed.

    New Zealand • Since Nov 2012 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Mike O'Connell, in reply to Graham Hughes,

    This really needs to be picked up on in the wider media. Having just this last hour been pinged by the boys in blue (in this case with nothing better to do) for not wearing a cycle helmet down a back street, yes a bit silly admittedly, I've come home, seen this blog and responses and feel a growing sense of unease about what's happening in this nation, underlined by Stephen's tragic case. I'm waiting too to see what else comes out.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Mike O'Connell,

    I’m waiting too to see what else comes out.

    So, is anyone making the formal complaint? There are a number of available options here

    Why is it the Police always make me feel angry. So much incompetence. They are a gang unto themselves. :(

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6358 posts Report Reply

  • Tristan,

    The Greg O'Connor response might be something along the lines of...

    "sure the police may have over stepped the line but they had no way of knowing this guy was so fragile...therefore you cannot hold the officers responsible"

    To which I say that's precisely why you don't cross the line because when police stick their bloody size 12 shoes in without knowing whats going on there are real consequences and real people get hurt.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Why is it the Police always make me feel angry. So much incompetence. They are a gang unto themselves. :(

    As a family, we've had reason to be thankful for police intervention, paticularly when one family member was the subject of vile lying complaints after a marriage breakup.

    But - there is a police culture which seems to amount to "it's us against the baddies, and the baddies include everyone who enjoys pot - or even seeks to provide it as a medicine for those in need of pain and/or nausea relief."

    And - as in this very sad example of Stephen taking his own life upon perceived
    police harassment - things rapidly turn to custard.

    I trust that - aside from other complaints that may be made - the coroner's court will have something to say-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tristan,

    To which I say that’s precisely why you don’t cross the line because when police stick their bloody size 12 shoes in without knowing whats going on there are real consequences and real people get hurt.

    I wonder if they'd worked out that this might end up being a repeat of the Chris Fowlie debacle. Fowlie was found not guilty of cannabis possession by a judge who said:

    “On the state of evidence before me my mind is not persuaded beyond reasonable doubt that the Officers were minded to search solely by reason of detecting a smell of cannabis emanating from the Defendant. Nor am I satisfied that it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that proper advice pursuant to the Bill of Rights Act was given to the Defendant before the search was undertaken. In those circumstances, the search has not been shown to be lawful and the evidence derived from it should not be admitted. On the facts therefore I do not find the charge to be proved.”

    Greg O'Connor had a lot to say about that one too. He really hates police officers being subject to the law.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    They are a gang unto themselves. :(

    ...what we need is a ...
    War on Thugs!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5169 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Russell Brown,

    He really hates police officers being subject to the law.

    Well I know of an incident in the last couple of weeks whereby police have gone back to a house to search after saying they smelt cannabis in a car in a carpark after approaching it to suggest someone complained about drunkenness. None of which was true. So the suspicion of smelling cannabis is alive and well in the West.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6358 posts Report Reply

  • Will de Cleene,

    Raumati • Since Jul 2011 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    It boggles my mind that Police could behave this way over a small amount of cannabis , whether real or imagined. This is not P, or machineguns. How did dope get to be so threatening?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3494 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lilith __,

    How did dope get to be so threatening?

    Answer somewhere in here?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Lilith __,

    It boggles my mind that Police could behave this way over a small amount of cannabis , whether real or imagined.

    I had a cop nut off at me once, bitter that he couldn't find a thing to bust me for, aged 18, driving an old car, full of my mates. I think my crime was that I was about 18 inches taller than him when I got out of the car. Giving people shit that they can't answer back to seems to be a perk for some of them. He seemed to be attempting to get me to lose my temper, and fully lost his when I didn't. Leaves a bad taste, which unfortunately overpowers the considerably greater number of positive experiences I've had dealing with the force.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • andrew r,

    That's very sad. Why do the police do this stuff. They do a lot of good grinding shitty work,and then they embark on this kind of thing. Tragic. Quite correct, the Police do not check bail unless an individual is subject to a curfew. Fks sake.

    auckland • Since May 2007 • 78 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to BenWilson,

    Giving people shit that they can’t answer back to seems to be a perk for some of them

    As well as positive experiences with ANZ police officers, the family has met some real doozies. Being much larger than normal seems to be a turn-on for aggro (my cousin who stands 6’8” and is a totally non-threatening born-again Christian*, who doesnt do drugs of any kind (including alcohol) has been forced to lie over the bonnet of his car several times.) Weird male power thing, I think-

    *I am an atheist. So are all my immediate family(except for the ones who seem to think pyschics actually are anything except money-grubbing scurrilous ratbags =2 of my sibs-GAHK!) What my cuz believes is his buisness and- since he doesnt presume to promulgate his views within the whanau – we still love him.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Wood, in reply to BenWilson,

    It's a scary thing when you can't walk away from someone you'd otherwise walk away from, because this time they happen to be a police officer. The same "you looking at my girlfriend?" eyes, the same "you spill my pint?" forward aggression in any other person and you could genuinely call the cops. But when the aggressor *is* a police officer -- well that's when it gets genuinely, properly scary.

    I've had my share of proper out-and-out weirdness from the police as well as some truly angelic moments. But being hit in the nuts with a pool cue by an off-duty cop for looking at him and his mates while they smoked a joint, then told to "fuck off out of town because I'm back on duty in the morning and I'll be hungover and looking for trouble" kinda upset me. Who do you talk to about things like that? And that's why this story scares me.

    Now back in Aucktown • Since Dec 2006 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Greg Wood,

    Scares us all - because we all know stuff-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Islander,

    Annnd- it means a too large number of good ANZ citizens *dont* wholly trust our police force (tax-payer-paid for police force-)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Vince McLeod,

    The War on Some Drugs has really driven a wedge between police and the citizenry. It's terrible to think that if I saw a shop being broken into I'd just walk on by, because I don't want the police coming round to my house for a statement when I'm peacefully smoking a joint.

    When I was in the Netherlands the police appeared to be respected. Such a shame that we can't have that here.

    Nelson, New Zealand • Since Nov 2012 • 4 posts Report Reply

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