Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Why did Stephen die?

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  • Jeremy Andrew, in reply to 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.
    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.

    Do cops actually spend any amount of time enforcing council bylaws?
    I know here in Hamtown we have a bylaw banning the windscreen washer guys at intersections. But as the Council's enforcement team work mostly 9-5 and not much at weekends, we still have them, every weekend, outside Pak N Save. I've never seen a cop stop to talk to them.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 840 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Jeremy Andrew,

    I'd imagine that depends on the legal status of the bylaw, the policies of council and police (whether the matter's considered an area where council staff take responsibility for enforcement) and the attitude of individual police.

    They certainly enforce drinking in public laws.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4413 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

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

    That’s intimidation.

    I don't think it's possible to see it any other way -- and I'm certain Stephen's account was honest and factual. A man died at least partly as a result of it. I'm hoping this story doesn't just disappear.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18665 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Russell Brown,

    As far as I can see from that account, there was no reason to visit Stephen. They tried to coerce his plea by suggesting it could get worse. Asking who the Lawyer was ,when Stephen didn't readily give his name was only for their benefit to weight up the situation as to where Stephen might have been going with his plea.His suggestion of seeing his Lawyer soon was a good one. If I was asked that ,I would have just rung my lawyer instead and told him exactly what the Police were saying then and there. I would also get their badge no. and write it down immediately. If my lawyer was busy ring the lawyers office and tell the receptionist who should put you onto someone immediately. Time is of the essence. Remember Lawyers get calls all time of night, so any middle of the night calls should go with the job. etc.
    The consequence of my acquaintances situation has not been pretty either and the fragility that comes from this sort of behaviour is far reaching. More and more I see, the Police are only willing to protect and serve themselves. Be wary and know your rights. I'm not just being paranoid, I'm being realistic.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5972 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And this is how things can be when you change the equation.

    The Seattle Police Department blog on with an FAQ on the evolving situation with marijuana and the law in Washington State.

    Nicely done.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18665 posts Report Reply

  • kowhai montgomery, in reply to paulalambert,

    I really think retaining the right to search has a lot to do with it. Years ago when I lived off K Rd I had a van load of cops insisting they needed to enter my house when I was having a party because they 'followed a guy who smelled of pot to this address'. There were 4 officers. I refused to let them in as they couldn't even give me description of this 'suspect'. I told them I had keys to all areas of the house and would be happy to let them in if they had a lawful purpose.

    I think they were hoping to catch someone smoking P and assumed by the look of me and my friends that busting up our party would net a few drug arrests (they were wrong).

    Lazy policing.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The Seattle Police Department blog on with an FAQ on the evolving situation with marijuana and the law in Washington State.

    With a youtube clip from LOTR on a .gov web site. Somewhat strange!

    Since Nov 2006 • 6157 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to kowhai montgomery,

    a van load of cops insisting they needed to enter my house when I was having a party because they 'followed a guy who smelled of pot to this address'.

    Their story smells of bullshit. They could have searched him then, and since they didn't even invoke the Misuse of Drugs Act, it's pretty clear they had nothing, and were trying it on. Good on you for refusing. I've never once heard of anything good coming to anyone willfully letting the police in, unless they actually called them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Scott A, in reply to Russell Brown,

    ...and has this story disappeared amongst all the "will he or won't he" over David Shearer?

    C'mon, Public Address, this is important. The cops drove this guy to kill himself, we can't let it go...

    The wilds of Kingston, We… • Since May 2009 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Spencer,

    I think a lot of good people find it hard to support some aspects of cannabis law reform for a few reasons.

    Firstly, the nitwit activists who don't take Stephen McIntyres peaceful, rational approach but rather take an angry, all consuming stance on legalising cannabis, not realising it is one of many issues in society that need resolving. I would argue feeding the 25pc of school kids going hungry to school as a more important issue.

    That's not to say rationalising drug law isn't important and logical, just that for some middle aged people who stopped smoking pot after Uni it is not their top social issue. These people need to be reached with calm facts, blowing a cloud of smoke in their face won't work.

    I also think after 30 if you still smoke pot in your own living room you will not see the issue. If, however, you are young and brown, cannabis will be used as an excuse to search you, arrest you, and further dent your already grim job prospects. Pot is treated as a joke and almost de facto decriminalised for the middle class. But it is used as a bludgeon on the working class as Sophie notes above.

    What really grates me is Stephen McIntyre was helping out patients with prescriptions, not running a tinny house, but he got hit with the full force of the law including an informal visit for the purpose of threatening the man outside the laws bounds.

    And finally, how come its always the good guys who pass on and you get left with the ineffectual dregs. Bums me out man. RIP Stephen.

    Centered • Since Aug 2009 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Nick Spencer,

    I also think after 30 if you still smoke pot in your own living room you will not see the issue. If, however, you are young and brown, cannabis will be used as an excuse to search you, arrest you, and further dent your already grim job prospects. Pot is treated as a joke and almost de facto decriminalised for the middle class. But it is used as a bludgeon on the working class as Sophie notes above.

    The War on Drugs in the US is really just a War on the Poor with better marketing - what better way to imprison minorities without looking overtly racist? That's basically the conclusion drawn in the book The New Jim Crow. Even Wall Street types have seen the light.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4141 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I guess they'll need to retrain the dogs. That could be hard.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4413 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Nick Spencer,

    Pot is treated as a joke and almost de facto decriminalised for the middle class. But it is used as a bludgeon on the working class as Sophie notes above.

    Did I? My info was about a very middle class person. Plus I guess because I hang around here ,I am supposed to be as well, but brown, I'll give ya that.
    Many years ago I was raided at my wee bedsit in Remuera, the Police found nothing (their informants were obviously unreliable) except a joint. The drug squad guy (Brazier I think) stuck it in his top pocket and smiled.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5972 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Spencer, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    My apologies I got the wrong interpretation and should have been clearer. I'm not taking a jab at PA readers as being middle class, I am white and middle class and have noticed the change in police behaviour as I have got older.

    I had about 4 years in a row there where I was getting pulled over every time I drove past a police, admittedly in a hoodie. Now at 38 I don't even rate a sideways look. Most of the people I graduated Uni with in the 90s who still smoke pot have no fear of the police, quietly smoking after work at home. So if you can smoke pot safely personally the heat does go out of the legalisation issue a bit.

    The police certainly use the Misuse of Drugs Act to search a lot of people under suspicion of cannabis use and I would like to see the Act tightened up so people's civil rights are a bit more protected. Rather than the current free for all searches.

    I wasn't having a dig at anybody as 'middle class' as I am middle class, reasonably so anyway and I have noticed I get a pass from Police in my 30s while Maori mates down South and in Auckland get hassled every day, every where. I was just clumsily trying to contrast my experiences with theirs.

    It's a shame Stephen McIntyre got on the wrong end of some NZ Police mind games. I would be interested to know who sanctioned the visit to persuade Stephen not to take the matter further with a good lawyer. A lot of politicians still disapprove of medical marijuana clinics such as those in LA, as they see it as a stepping stone to full legalisation. Fingers crossed!! #peace

    Centered • Since Aug 2009 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Nick Spencer,

    Fingers crossed!! #peace

    Hey no need to apologise , we are all put in categories and class is just one but I do agree prejudice is rife amongst our blue Brigade and I even have an ex cop mate who makes me cringe and argue with him because of such things like the Dawn raids for instance. And yes as soon as you are no longer under their radar, the load feels lighter and we get by without the angst. Unfortunately our civil and human rights are being slowly chipped away under this Government and sadly with a majority in the House there is bugger all we can do about it for now. That's why I hassle the opposition by email to keep on whilst their vote is fruitless but only for now eh? ;) and yessiree world peace !

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5972 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    A tiny brief in Sunday's HoS noted that Stephen's widow is making a formal IPCA complaint. Bomber has some more commentary.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18665 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Russell Brown,

    A tiny brief in Sunday’s HoS noted that Stephen’s widow is making a formal IPCA complaint.

    Excellent. I really hoped someone that knew him would.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5972 posts Report Reply

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