Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Angry and thrilled about Arie

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  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    As I said earlier back on page 5 (think??) the Radio live link has 2 cases that have gone through the courts. ADHD, 3 years 3 months. (3 generators) 2years 3 months ($600 booze). The judge said the only mitigating factor was "admission of guilt" and for that he, handed down unprecedented jail terms.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Russell Brown,

    because the police made the remarkable decision to subject the two young men to a “perp walk” for the cameras. Arie was “the face of looting” long before he was the persecuted Aspie. And the police made this decision knowing that the news audience would see his injuries. It’s bloody hard to avoid the view that they were using the media to make a point.

    I have to admit that I struggle to know whether I'm more saddened in the Police for doing this, or in the popular media for seemingly not questioning why he had a black eye (yet still making a story point out of it as if it somehow related to the criminal underworld!). When it was such a painfully obvious question, it shouldn't have taken 4 months, constant campaigning by bloggers and lawyers, and eventually a special interest documentary, for it to be publicised in a comparable forum to where he'd been paraded. Lots of people in positions of responsibility have utterly screwed up here and let us all down, and it's not just the Police --- they just happened to be the worst of it.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    As I said earlier back on page 5 (think??) the Radio live link has 2 cases that have gone through the courts

    Found your post and that audio link (5 mins) describing tough sentencing for two eqnz looters the day before one of Arie's court appearances.

    You said originally:

    Well hearing about the other cases and general ignorant attitude, this could be what is driving the Police.

    but I'm not clear from that link where "ignorant" comes from - or what "this" is.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to chris,

    11 days in custody is 5 sizes too big for this crime. He's done his time.

    Chris, you're right. 11 days in the cell seems excessive for a couple of light fixtures, and maybe that happened for the same reasons as the alleged beating. Maybe it was also that the Police had a whole lot of other things to deal with during a Civil Emergency, and normal procedures weren't working too well, and maybe an apology is owing.

    Once in the courts, though, I think it's reasonable to have less leniency as a habit with looters because it's special circumstances that involves taking advantage of masses of vulnerable people in an extreme situation. Probably you disagree from what you've said. In Arie's case there's a good reason not to group him with regular looters, though.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to izogi,

    As I understand it, hefty sentences are being dealt out to the assumed looters.

    I'd be interested to learn that the REAL looters (people attached to the demolition crews - who are ?licenced? by the CCC) are ever going to be prosecuted?

    There has not yet - as far as I am aware - a notification that "you shalt not help yourself to anything you find interesting/valuable/saleable in this building you're about to kill" and rather a lot of anecdotal evidence to the contrary.*

    Take it, smuggle it, grab it & run-

    *Family evidence is subject of a court proceeding.

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

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Sacha,

    Ignorance was the people asking about why the media was there and responding with "hope they have the book thrown at them" people who didn't know who was in court and happy to cast judgement. This, being the hefty sentences and the Judge being of same mind as what the police seem to be doing. This, being on the same page somewhat.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Just been reminded about the post Grant did at the time

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3213 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    I was incensed by the jocular manner of that interview Sofie, the thing that really gets me is with so much devastation at such a mammoth expense and so much cleaning to do, why is that cost being compounded with imprisonment rather than alleviated with a comparatively extreme community service sentence, something of real benefit to the community? As is, in a couple or more years from now, there’ll be another couple of hardened crims coming out the back end of the system for the police to play cat and mouse with.

    Dusty has some stuff of interest:

    We entered the Red Zone about a week & a half after the February 22nd wee shake to carryout a security task…

    …One issue was as more & more fences become unmanned people just pulled them aside or climbed them(one day 8 trucks & people were seen to enter retrieve their goods from businesses & residence in a drop zone, nothing was initially done even though police were informed)…

    …It was actually the same area where tourists breached & the two I caught when going to visit someone. No one acted on the information we gave previously to stop breaches so waste of time telling anyone…

    …One reason some people have said that we were wrongfully arrested in there was by our proactive security actions were showing up the police as we dominated our area & the locals in the red zone were noticing it(& telling us about it)….

    …Then an issue arose when we were wrongfully arrested. Under the previous act you were required too call the office & say if there had arisen circumstances where your COA(Certificate of Approval) or licence might be suspended. On this occassion we were told that since remanded at large with charges almost certainly to be withdrawn(they were but with no apology or even meeting to clear things up, so the issues that led to arrests are continuing)…

    Sounds like there is little time and scant resources to persist with killing chicken to scare the monkeys…

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to chris,

    Agreed Chris. The flippant remark about "Arie may as well pack his toothbrush" was deeply offensive.Community service would be most appropriate should anyone require punishing and as Islander said demo teams have carte blanche over the dead zones compared with many business owners in the central city.Who is watching that lot?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Two things that distrub me about "this"

    Thing One - An "approach" is that in addition to demolition - that there weren't also say "salvage crews" that went into building workign with tenants and owners to get what they could out before it came down.

    Thing Two - The lack of protection from looting - and that includes from demolition crews - and how arbitray the whole protection from and appraoch to looting was/is.

    More input form the Army me thinks.

    All in all the thang about Arie that strikes me is the need to portray the face of looting as a way of saying look we are doing something about it - when in essense the approach was lacking.

    Doublespeak for sure.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Community service would be most appropriate should anyone require punishing

    I'll defer to a trained judge, thanks. In Arie's case that may well be true, but not those pricks who stole generators from a civil emergency zone. And please don't go trying ADHD as an excuse for that - it demeans everyone else with the condition.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Sacha,

    And please don’t go trying ADHD as an excuse for that – it demeans everyone else with the condition.

    Didn't realise you knew him Sacha but if you didn't, I'd suggest that is presumptuous of you. That was his and his lawyers defence. I was only writing here what the defence said. You say excuse, they said ADHD

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Everyone has a right to a defense no?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    but not those pricks who stole generators from a civil emergency zone.

    As I see it Sacha, this crime is an indictment of our education system . It shows an alarming lack of empathy and reasoning. Prison will do nothing to enhance these faculties, and in a sense these sentences ultimately demean society.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Peter grower,

    Sorry for chiming in a bit late in this story of police misconduct against Arie but I have been watching events unfold since the police ‘looters parade ‘ on the main prime time tv news.

    And to my shame I originally thought that, a) the injuries to Arie were inflicted by other righteous garden variety crims in the holding cells, or where-ever, and that, b) Arie was in fact a looter, with all those negative connotations that word contained back then when the earthquake and damage were raw.

    Stupid me ……….. I never believe the police or the media anyway ;-) .

    The narrative in the actual hard copy of the dominion post was very one sided.

    It left out the bit about the police misconduct and the light fitting was described as ‘antique, probably to confer value and motive to …. Loot.

    I feel very badly for Arie and his ordeal, he was basically taken advantage of and if not tortured then certainly terrorised …….

    After that he was paraded as prime time fodder in the modern equivalent of the stockades.

    And what percentage of the country brought into it ???. Who would have thrown rotten fruit?.

    I got sucked in and I feel like a mean fool for it .

    Thankyou NoRightTurn for alerting me to the truth behind the matter although I’m not sure how the factual or real story broke out and spread.

    Aries condition led him into a very unfortunate contact with the police and he was treated in an appalling but not unique manner.

    Approximately two weeks ago Billy McKee an organiser of green cross in New Zealand was arrested after what appears to be a longish under-cover police operation.

    Green Cross is a genuine compassionate organisation whose members benefit from medicinal cannabis.

    Some members have terminal illnesses, some have died, I have personally been involved with people using cannabis to help them with or through bad chemo and that has not always ended well….

    These Green Cross people are either sick in some way and are being helped with Cannabis or in Billys case he is sick and he is HELPING other sick people.

    Because of the morals and science of people like Peter dunne & Simon Powers with a little pat on the back and thumbs up from Judith Collins these sick people are brought into contact with the police with sometimes devastating consequences.

    The beating is of a different sort than Aries and almost appears civilised sometimes, but the cops are really just as malevolent.

    And then judge’s join in …… well, they always have so far.

    Sorry if this is counted as thread crashing but in Russell’s original post and in the example of Billy Mckee ( he was the guy in the wheelchair in tv3’s recent doco ) there is another similarity in the police victimisation of the vulnerable..

    The police are trying to shut down or censor the green cross website.



    Sorry craig but the nats are in power and the dogs are off their leash …..

    Authoritarians and social dominators

    ……… or plain evil as I call it.

    Since Dec 2006 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to merc,

    Everyone has a right to a defense no?

    Only those who we can safely patronise? In Arie Smith-Voorkamp's case this can sometimes seem uncomfortably close to being the flipside of his scapegoating as someone who can be safely bullied.

    Meanwhile we continue to jail low IQ people. While we've gone some way to restoring the civil rights of the intellectually disabled we don't offer them commensurate protection. As the constant crop of dumb crim stories demonstrates, stupid remains a pretty safe pejorative. As ongoing failures in the crime academy that is the prison system, many intellectually disabled people aren't very nice to know.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4592 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to chris,

    anyone found in the red zone without the new pass will be detained by the police.Residents living in the cordoned areas and the red zone can continue to use photographic ID and proof of address at the checkpoints closest to their home.

    Sounds like Northern Ireland in the seventies.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    a mullet-topped cocktail...

    Sounds like Northern Ireland in the seventies.

    We may even yet have marches through
    the Orange Zones...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7939 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    In my POV, which I have to admit is quite often totally out of whack with most people on this planet, this is a case of who reaps the “Spoils of War”.
    In many respects the effects of a civil disaster are little different from the ravages of war, people lose their homes, their families, security and possessions.
    The big difference is the fact that there is no enemy, so, we invent one. There is no fight, so, we find one. It’s a blame thing.
    In a Western Civilisation there is much value put on property, even your home is considered property, a foreign concept to a Nomad and what do you use most of your home for? your possessions. Surely, when a society finds itself in a difficult situation it would be better to be able to take what you need to help yourself and those around you, your family has no food and the Supermarket has no windows, what do you do?
    The answer depends on what you value the most, your family or the concept of ownership and the rule of law.
    I can only see it as stupid that at a time of civil disaster the main effort is put on controlling the people rather than organising them, that all of a sudden you are not only deprived of your property but also your freedom and you’re damned if you needed something from the supermarket.
    So, who reaps the “Spoils of War”?
    Silly question really.
    </waffle>
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I didn't realise that Arie's partner, Michael, is also up for sentencing on the 28th. He has already spent 6 weeks in jail, was also allegedly hit on the head by a police woman and spat at by the army. His saw his role as protecting Arie and in all the media and Facebook coverage (which he has also contributed to), he hasn't mentioned his own plight until now.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3213 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to chris,

    A paper-based system for those requiring limited access to the red zone expired on Monday and has been replaced by a new photographic pass.

    Civil Defence says anyone found in the red zone without the new pass will be detained by the police.

    Residents living in the cordoned areas and the red zone can continue to use photographic ID and proof of address at the checkpoints closest to their home.

    I was thinking Checkpoint Charlie.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5428 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I dunno whether it’s so much a ‘find the enemy/blame them’ thing Steve.
    I may have misunderstood your argument – if so, please bear with me.
    Natural disasters are just that – natural. We live on a planet that is changeful, and we are a changeful species, and we keep on making up stories to show there is an order to the chaos of this place.
    Fact is: there isnt.
    The great round beast goes her own unconsious way.
    And we wee things strutting our hour of -whatever the Bard said- make do.

    I take your point about ‘rule of law’ versus – may we call it ‘rule of whanau necessity’? I have no difficulty whatsoever with the concept that, in dire emergency, I take whatsoever is necessary to aid family or friends in the moment – and pay, later.

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

  • Islander, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    That is significant and hitherto unheard of (by me) news - thanks for bringing it up.
    I think we really need to be doing something good people-

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

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    This is my problem with the Police, (I have experienced their might)They do operate under their own rules (even my friend who is an ex policeman has admitted as such,but wont openly)and correct me if I am wrong but what/who makes up the Independent complaints Authority, because whatever the outcome of recent investigations Police still don't need to be held accountable. Just how independent is it?Sadly so, this thug behaviour has gone on for years. Arie and now Michael have actually (albeit unintentionally) exposed this to a larger audience.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    They are literally a law unto themselves, and that is not good. I see in NZ Herald today they called the police armed squad (the old Armed Offenders Squad)…the “elite”.
    I read their prosecution guidelines, available online from the police website, as far as I can recall. They have unlimited discretionary powers.
    Chilling.
    Postnote, I see they "shot the gunman dead".

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

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