Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Why did Stephen die?

67 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 Newer→ Last

  • BenWilson, in reply to Greg Wood,

    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.

    Yup, the expected behavior is fear and humility, and complete cooperation. Anything less is provocation.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • Mike O'Connell, in reply to BenWilson,

    In relation to my experience yesterday for not wearing a helmet, I had the distinct impression the two coppers were looking for a backchat comment or similar as they said too I could have been fined for riding on the footpath - FFS! I said nothing more than I had to and accepted my fine. Sign of the times? I just don't know as just three days earlier, I had an entirely different experience where the police responded quickly to and headed off a nasty domestic incident erupting next door to us.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Mike O'Connell,

    I said nothing more than I had to and accepted my fine.

    Wise. You were unlucky - I've never been pinged for no helmet, despite coppers directly observing me. They must have really had nothing to do, and probably didn't like the cut of your jib. Did you get demerits against your driver's license?

    Pointing out further possible charges is a standard tactic to get you to accept what you're faced with. We don't have official plea bargaining here, but it does seem to work out that way in practice. In some ways it's even more crooked than just making that part of the system, because for the accused there is no official ringfence ever put around further charges. I know guys who many years after various accusations will receive calls saying that the police are going to re-open a case they dropped. Even if nothing comes of it, it's a form of endless bullying, and the purpose is clear - to assert some kind of control over them. They often don't even know why this bullying is happening, it could be related to wanting to get them to inform on someone for something that is totally unrelated. The police see a connection, and then it "Aha I know that guy. I'll give his balls a squeeze and see if he squeals, something might shake out". But other times it just seemed like pure meanness, a bad donuts day.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    it's us against the baddies, and the baddies include everyone who enjoys pot

    Or doesn't wear a cycle helmet, has a loud car, drinks in public, is young, is brown, is conspicuously outside the mainstream, etc.

    So all these people, and when you union them all together, it's a big group, are distrustful and non-accepting of the police. And the police become this closed clique, ostracised to some degree by most of the people they might socialise with, and susceptible to a laager mentality.

    The root cause, in my view, is society using coercive solutions for every minor (or major) gripe with the way its members behave.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • Mike O'Connell, in reply to BenWilson,

    Wise. You were unlucky – I’ve never been pinged for no helmet, despite coppers directly observing me. They must have really had nothing to do, and probably didn’t like the cut of your jib. Did you get demerits against your driver’s license?

    No demerits fortunately. But I reckon if I'd said anything, from their less than friendly tone, it could have gone in that direction. I've been rather circumspect on the roads today and feeling a little jittery when spotting cop cars - while behaving perfectly legally. But absolutely no comparison to what poor Stephen must have experienced.

    I know guys who many years after various accusations will receive calls saying that the police are going to re-open a case they dropped.

    I thought after a certain time - six years? 10 years? - a case couldn't be re-opened, the double jeopardy situation. Or in the cases your refer to, was there no acquittal or conviction and the case was still 'open' and new evidence 'found'?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Mike O'Connell,

    I've been rather circumspect on the roads today and feeling a little jittery when spotting cop cars - while behaving perfectly legally.

    Wearing a helmet? It does cut the 'noids down a lot. Which is, ironically, one of the big things that's dangerous about helmets.

    I thought after a certain time - six years? 10 years? - a case couldn't be re-opened, the double jeopardy situation.

    IANAL. Nor are the people who have it done to them, and consulting lawyers is expensive. This is all part of the persecution.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • Alec Morgan,

    There has long been a casual relationship between owning and particularly operating a motor vehicle, being youngish, out at night and not down in the daisies “yass Massah” compliant style that will get you intimidated, verbally and physically abused, threathend with pepper, Taser and nasty neck force holds.

    Avoid the cops is my strategy if you want to see the morning light and be realatively injury free. If you cannot avoid them have plenty of cameras around and take class actions. Apart from finding lost trampers and cleaning up after gruesome care crashes they are a blight on society.

    Tokerau Beach • Since Nov 2006 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Having grown up in England I have memory of “The British Bobby”, Dickson of Dock Green and Z Cars and such. The British Bobby was a public servant, he was there to ask directions of, to ask the time and who would dash off in hot pursuit of masked men in striped jumpers carrying bags of swag.
    Now, ever since the Police began referring to the Public as “Civilians” the relationship has soured. The Police need to be reminded that they are, in fact, Public servants and treat the Public with civility.

    Yrs, Annoyed of Northland.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4947 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Don’t forget, the Police are just as happy to treat women in the same way, having been on the receiving end myself and one interesting observation is, once they check out your details , any association history quickly becomes an attitude shift in treatment current as happened with my acquaintance in the last fortnight . If that wasn’t so, their attitude changed overnight for no other known possible reason.
    Also I wouldn't say that's exclusive to just the Police. Customs are good at that too. They even told me so.

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

  • Nick Spencer, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I was really upset to learn that Stephen McIntyre had passed on. The guy was a light of being kind and sensible in the somewhat chaotic world of cannabis law reformers.

    I was unaware Stephen was operating a medical marijuana clinic. If it was looked at as a second 'Daktory' by Police then you could definitely expect a hard time.

    I am wondering what the content of the Police chat was with Stephen. You just cant expect them to follow the Law. It would have been useful if as an activist he recorded the conversation.

    I am inclined to think they may have threatened him with a lot of time away from his family/destroying his family unit by a massive prison sentence. That would touch a nerve with a family man.

    I would have thought as an activist he was prepared for idle police threats etc.

    Maybe an overwhelming sense of despair got him in the end, I was active in NORML from 1992-1997 at Auckland Uni, I never thought at 40 years old I would still be looking over my shoulder for police while enjoying my mellow rec drug of choice. I am so not a threat to anybody.

    Meanwhile if I visit one of the 8 liquor stores in my 1km radius(lol) and buy a bottle of whiskey and drink it in an hour, all perfectly above board and legal, watch the carnage ensue haha. Then a 3 day hangover, not cool.

    There definitely seems to be more sides to this story, but no doubt the Police leaning on him in a threatening and illegal manner contributed to his death.

    The NZ Police need to pick up their behaviour and the Bazley report needs to be properly implemented, the study was done for a reason and the changes have yet to be applied.

    Very sad news to hear.

    Centered • Since Aug 2009 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Once again I ask: are the guilty parties "just following orders"? Or are they Archie Bunker types who think stoners are a bigger threat to society than al-Qaeda?

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

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Nick Spencer,

    I never thought at 40 years old I would still be looking over my shoulder for police while enjoying my mellow rec drug of choice.

    In 1972 the Christchurch drug squad, as part of a sweep through the West Coast checking on likely characters, paid a visit to a flamboyant hippie who'd aroused the suspicions of some locals in the small town he'd moved to. As recreational drug use didn't accord with whatever mystical bent he happened to be following at the time it was a fruitless mission. Nevertheless they stayed for tea and departed on the best of terms. The head honcho's parting words were "Five years from now you'll be able to shove marijuana up your arse for all society cares, but right now we've got a job to do."

    So if that was the attitude of provincial narcs way back then, it seems fair to wonder after all these years, where does all this horrible ongoing internal momentum come from?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3631 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Spencer, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    I wish I could identify the causes more clearly. Politicking definitely. Also Stephen McIntyre wasn't even advocating for recreational pot use, he was concentrating on medical marijuana use for chemo patients and the like.

    Dying patients should have the right to medical marijuana with a doctors prescription and advice. The Police should not be bullying and then burying people advocating for an effective medical treatment that reduces harm. Compared to massive doses of opiates like OxyContin etc.

    I thought Stephen was doing a pretty cool thing, different from big Albert Park J Days etc, more clinical. I have no answers, only questions!

    Apologies for the rant, I guess I still do feel strongly after 20 years lol.

    Centered • Since Aug 2009 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    it seems fair to wonder after all these years, where does all this horrible ongoing internal momentum come from?

    From above, largely from silly old men in politics.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • paulalambert, in reply to Sacha,

    i think it is more like the police heirarchy wishing to retain their extensive search and seizure powers... cannabis is a door-opener of extraordinary convenience for them.

    chch • Since Dec 2006 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to paulalambert,

    They wouldn't have it without the connivance of Dunne, Anderton et al in resisting evidence-based policy.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • paulalambert,

    i saw stephen for 45mins here in chch a couple of weeks before he died.. all we talked about was what he'd been doing and his upcoming case.
    he was very positive - as was i - that his case would eventually be more like a storm in a teacup, that he had a great defence, because he'd been doing everything right.
    that he just had to last the distance as it dragged its way through the legal system.

    as he left he mentioned the worst thing that'd happened was that he'd been forced to stop using real pot and had to resort to the synthetic rubbish, which he was sure was useless medicinally for him.

    chch • Since Dec 2006 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • paulalambert, in reply to Sacha,

    the outgoing labour/dunne/anderton govt gave us these
    http://legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2008/0373/latest/whole.html
    you may have to reload it a couple of times, it didn't open for me first time around ..
    basically it is link to legislation of class d regulations

    chch • Since Dec 2006 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    All the more dubious in terms of potential harassment, since I know for a fact that the police typically carry out bailchecks during morning shift (i.e. from around 7am to 3pm, but especially after rush hour, since that's the quietest time of day). Unless they have cause to do otherwise.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    Legally the police have no choice. One person makes a complaint or it gets in the press and they have to act. It's specific police training that they not have a heart or a conscience about the people they're hassling, they are again required by law to go after everyone, not pick and choose. The only maxim is they not waste their time on people they can't possibly convict of anything, like rich folk.

    As everyone knows, they attract some bad-natured people to the force as a result. Those with a kind heart have a hard time enforcing all of our shitty laws. As such you get police earning internal brownie points by keeping stories negative for the police out of the press, by any means they can imagine, legal or otherwise. It happens. Reports get fixed up. People get talked to, repeatedly. Police turn up at your work, over and over again. Serious charges get laid if you dare complain.

    Having said that, police are totally handy for people with real problems. Fall off a cliff or get stabbed and the police (and medical folk) will totally fix that up for you. If we didn't have laws forbidding broadly harmless activities they'd have more time to spend on the real problems and less ability to convict anyone harmless (and thus less desire to hassle them, and enabling them to recruit more kind-hearted people).



    TL;DR: the problem here is we have stupid and widely unpopular laws that punish harmless people, including people trying to do real good. This is the inevitable outcome of that.

    Since Nov 2006 • 488 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This seems relevant.

    An out-of-control mob of Sydney cops tortured a terrified young man to death in the street.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Graham,

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2011 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to tussock,

    TL;DR: the problem here is we have stupid and widely unpopular laws that punish harmless people, including people trying to do real good. This is the inevitable outcome of that.

    An out-of-control mob of Sydney cops tortured a terrified young man to death in the street.

    So it's a bit of both 'just following orders' and the Archie Bunker complex.

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

  • Rich of Observationz,

    And just as an example of how cops get roped in for more social control, here's Auckland Council considering a smoking ban in beaches and parks.

    Sure, it might stop a few from smoking and make things fractionally more pleasant for people who find themselves downwind of a smoker and don't want to move.

    But it also means cops being tasked to go and hunt out recalcitrant smokers, and a new sub-group of people getting a negative view of the police. So they get less help, get shunned by more people, and become more isolated and insular.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Peter Graham,

    Bomber has published Stephen McIntyre’s description of what happened.

    That's intimidation.

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

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.