Condemnation of police shooting 

Media release: Auckland Peace Action: Condemnation of police shooting

Date: Monday, 20 March 2020

Auckland Peace Action are appalled to hear that a man in South Auckland was shot dead by police last night.

“We must provide the appropriate support to help people who are in distress, not kill them.” Says Auckland Peace Action member Eliana Darroch.

“We had grave concerns about police being armed at the announcement of the armed police six month trial period. Now that the trial has finished and there is no official verdict on whether police should carry assault weapons, we are dismayed to see that they continue to have access to them, and have killed someone.”

“The police should not have access to dangerous weapons. They should be trained in how to help people.”

“Aotearoa needs more social workers, community workers, and de-escalation skills training for frontline staff.”

“Sadly, mental health issues and domestic violence are prevalent issues in New Zealand. Those issues don’t go away by adding more violence from police.”

Action Station recently released a survey of 1155 Māori and Pasifika people on the armed police trial. 91 per cent of those surveyed were less likely to call the police in family violence situations if they knew the police had guns.

“Police being a threat to the public is not creating safer communities together. Police are creating fear of calling for help.” says Auckland Peace Action member Eliana Darroch

New police recruits are given only eight hours of mental health training, and the frontline police officers involved in the armed police trial were not given any further mental health or de-escalation training.

We echo the call by JustSpeak, People Against Prisons Aotearoa and Marama Davidson of the Green Party that police should not be armed.

ENDS

Further information:
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/121121474/machetewielding-man-dies-after-being-shot-by-police-in-papatoetoe-south-auckland
https://www.justspeak.org.nz/ourwork/open-letter-to-police-commissioner-mike-bush
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/413594/maori-less-likely-to-call-111-if-they-know-police-are-armed-survey
https://www.police.govt.nz/news/ten-one-magazine/mental-health-role-play-and-real-life
Q&A interview with Deputy Police Commissioner John Tims:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFSGhlk6KL8&