PRISON BLOG 53
Human, all too human
The police say the constables who arrested an armed criminal are “heroes” – their actions are “heroic”. Don’t you just love the police? What other organization, what other people, so regularly describe themselves as heroes? A squad of heavily-armed and body-armoured police shoot someone and they are “heroes”? Then again what other organization so regularly insists on its own perfection regardless of the facts? The same organization that is given to claiming it has captured offenders who have in fact been, chased, tackled and detained entirely by civilians. The same organization that warns people not to protect themselves and prosecute even the most obvious case of necessary self-defense never fails… to astound us with the depth of their arrogance. Oh yes, you defend yourself, you are a menace, a terrible example and a criminal – they rampage in total overkill and they are heroes.
They are, of course we must never forget, the best, most honest, uncorrupt, model police force in the entire world… even after the Steven Wallace execution, the Gisbourne drug squad probe, the Arthur Allen Thomas fit-up, the Whangarei beatings, the Steven Wallace execution, the rapes (individual and group), the everyday casual perjury committed by officers, the Christchurch guy who had to call 111 to stop the police beating his girlfriend because she made the error of not being white, the routine “disappearance” of drug exhibits, the disappearance of evidence against police (like the officer who grabbed an incriminating cassette out of the security VCR and screwed up the tape right in front of witnesses) etc. etc. etc… and the are, of course, one and all heroes.
For so long the public have loved the Police, like a brother – a big brother. And the price of his sense of security was total trust. This was a trust borne however of a blind eye to the means by which his love was imposed. In the authoritarian regimes of New Zealand past, which were accepted uncritically by the population, the uniformed army was automatically respected and it’s fist secretly admired. In the atrophy of intergenerational sado-masochism worship, the general increase in crime from a less ordered society and the inability of a heavily centralized directed institution (that is still in essence an army of bullet-headed thugs directed by semi-educated time-servers), it was inevitable the gap between public perception and the reality of their shortcomings would be eventually plugged by media by media scrutiny. But it’s always amusing in this day and age to find police having to spin things because no one else will.
Thank heavens he had the guts to stop that guy going 11kmph over the limit, how bravely she hid behind the door of her police car while Constable Keith Abbot emptied the clip into the kid with a golf club, including one in the back, how ethical to only beat them when they aren’t: handcuffed… heroes one and all, every last one of them.
DON’T FORGET Tim’s Book and magazine collection for the Prison Library, please send your books and magazines to:
Hawkes Bay Prison
Private Bag 1600
Tim Selwyn (Editor of Tumeke!)
Hawkes Bay Prison
Currently appealing sedition conviction