Friday, 16 November 2012

Another police stuff up backfires

Steven McIntyre, was he pushed? 

Intimidation leads to suicide…true or false

What has happened to our police force, have they lost the human touch? Do they understand the laws they are trained and paid to enforce? Their record over the last few years I believe have shaken deeply the trust that citizens once had.
Is it too much political interference? Too much US style policing methods, poor training, lack of staff numbers and back room staff?
The Police Association representative Greig O’Connor blames everyone but the police, but that ‘see no evil’ attitude as an excuse is wearing thin. Every single event leaves a long term impression on people’s minds. The headline failures of the Tohu Raid, the Dotcom FBI illegalities, The M’C gang raid failure down south, the lying to the judiciary are bad enough… but there are many others that haven’t made the main stream media. The case of Stephen McIntyre is but one such case and it had shocking consequences for both Stephen and his family. But one blogger got the message out…

The Police have responded to the NZ Herald*about the exclusive story Tumeke broke this morning regarding their bullying and intimidation tactics that occurred before Stephen McIntyre's suicide. 

The blogger was contacted by Stephen's lawyer this morning and he points out that their answers to what they were doing at Stephen's home on the 16th July don't stack up and I would argue that they are demonstrably false. 

This is the transcript of events on July 16th as written by Stephen in his own words right after the two Police officers had visited him and threatened him...Monday July 16; approx. 8:15pm

Two officers (one man, one woman) from Waitakere knocked at my door while I was in the middle of class. They could see I was teaching when I answered the door. They identified themselves as police and asked to speak with me outside.
I stepped outside and was told by both officers that they could smell cannabis. This was impossible. I said I didn’t understand exactly what was being implied and pointed out that I was in the middle of work and that there was no illegal behaviour taking place.
They checked my name and address details and that I was complying with bond conditions.
The man asked me if I had a lawyer and what his name was. He asked if I had an idea of what I was going to do on Thursday when I next make a court appearance. He said I had 1 charge currently against me but that more could follow if the arresting officer decided to ‘dig further’. He said I could make it all turn out much easier depending on what I decide to do. He made mention of how other people have made noise and turned cases like this into a campaign.
I said I understand and explained that I would be talking to my lawyer in a couple of days about Thursday‘s court appearance.
He asked if I was a cannabis campaigner. I explained I had been an activist for cannabis law reform for 13 years.
Once again, he made reference to smelling cannabis. Once again I pointed out that I was in the middle of work.

Relieving Western Area Commander Detective Inspector Karyn Malthus said officers went to McIntyre's home to check he was living there, as his bail conditions stated.
Stephen's lawyer says to this...Tumeke went on to state:

I also agree that there was no point or need for a Police visit as Stephen was not on a curfew condition of bail and was perfectly entitled to be away from his home at any time of the day or night. I have never known Police to make night time bail checks on clients where no curfew condition is in place. this claim that they were just checking his bail conditions were a nonsense because Stephen had no curfew set. His only condition is that he lived at his address. The Police are pretending that such checking would be standard, they are doing that because they need to justify why they were at Stephen's house at 8.15pm on a Friday night. 

Malthus said police could smell cannabis smoke within the address when the door was answered and chose to speak to him outside the address to "avoid causing him embarrassment". Police chose not to pursue any charges over the cannabis smell, she said. In answer to this Tumeke says:

Really? Let's get this straight. On the 22nd of June, according to their own fact sheet from the arrest, the two officers could smell cannabis and conducted a search of the Green Cross premises based on that smell. Does anyone honestly believe that the Police after using that tactic at his workplace wouldn't then use it again at his home? There are 7 eyewitnesses, the 4 guitar students, Stephen's widow and his two teenage sons who can attest to the fact there was no marijuana being smoked. 

Ask yourself, if the Police really did smell cannabis, wouldn't they invoke a search? They had him up on 350 grams plus $1400 odd dollars using that exact same tactic of 'I smell cannabis' at Green Cross on the 22nd June but they didn't on 16th July?

Tumeke suggests that the Police couldn't smell any cannabis at all because if they could, they would have searched and arrested him again.

"Police inquired as to whom Mr McIntyre's lawyer was so that any communication that might be required should go to the correct counsel. This is a normal police activity." 

This attempt to explain what they were doing at Stephen's home is the most demonstrably false part of their explanation because the Police knew who Stephen's lawyer was. This from Stephen's lawyer: 

That is absolute nonsense. Police were well aware that I was acting for Stephen as my office had been involved in the case from the very day of Stephen's initial arrest. I had already represented Stephen at his first Court appearance and we had also had several subsequent communications with the Police officers dealing with the case, regarding receiving disclosure material and such like.

I [Tumeke] put to people that the answers by the Police are false and that they are trying to create a cover up to what their Police officers were really doing which was to bully and intimidate Stephen into pleading guilty and that this bullying ultimately had a terrible conclusion. 

So the Police are lying when they say they turned up at Stephen's house to find out who his lawyer was because his lawyer had been there from the 22nd of June, the day he was arrested. He appeared in Court for Stephen and spoke to the Police several times regarding the case.

The answers given by the Police raise more questions and there needs to be an Independent Police Conduct Authority investigation into the events surrounding Stephen's suicide.
*Green Cross Auckland would like to clear up 3 points from the NZ Herald story.

1: It was not 'low-grade' marijuana.
2: Green Cross Auckland has nothing to do with Billy McKee and his Green Cross syndicate.
3: Stephen died 22nd July not 24th.

Less than a week after this intimidation, on July 22nd, Stephen was found dead. 

This is the open letter to the Police Commissioner from Stephen McIntyre's widow, it was posted yesterday and a copy sent to the head of the Auckland Drug Squad.Dear Police Commissioner,
Please find enclosed an introductory letter explaining who we are and what we do...
Mission Statement Auckland Greencross Charitable Trust is a patient-orientated organisation committed to assisting sick, disabled, and dying patients in the accessing of information and resources required to enable medical support for medicinal cannabis use.
to advise inform and assist patients who may not tolerate conventional treatments, and who seek help with the relief of conditions where cannabis is known to be efficacious.

To assist those who are already self-medicating with cannabis to seek professional support and guidance.
To create a network support system of interested medical professionals who approve of their patients using medicinal cannabis.

To assist patients who wish to legally apply for Sativex with ACC and WINZ support.

To advocate for patients’ rights and lobby appropriate government departments to have medicinal cannabis placed within the regulatory framework of the Medicines Act.

To meet the needs of both patients, and society, through open and honest education, and by doing so help, create safer and healthier communities.

Stephen McIntyre was a founding trustee who voluntarily took on the role of office manager. As such, he was the only person present when our offices were raided by police on the 22nd June. Medicines were found, and Stephen was arrested and charged. After recovering from the shock of having our premises violated, our medicines confiscated, confidential patient records stolen, and our office manager being victimised; we were enthusiastic about publicising our cause and organisation through Stephen’s court case.
On Monday 16th July, at eight fifteen pm, two police officers visited the McIntyre residence unannounced. Stephen was in the middle of giving a guitar lesson to four adult students. Stephen was a guitar teacher. Our sons Terumi, Takumi and I were also home at the time.
The officers asked to speak with Stephen outside, where they told him they could smell cannabis. This was impossible. Stephen explained that he was in the middle of a lesson and that no illegal behaviour was or had taken place at his home.

The officers then asked if Stephen had a lawyer and who that is. They asked how he was going to plead in court and what he was going to say. 

The male officer then became threatening, he stated that Stephen could be facing more charges if the arresting officer decided to dig further, and that it could all turn out much easier depending on what Stephen did in court. He made mention of how other people have made noise and turned cases like this into a campaign. The officer asked Stephen if he was a cannabis campaigner. Stephen explained he had been an activist for cannabis law reform for 13 years.

Once again the officer made reference to smelling cannabis, and once again Stephen pointed out that was impossible and he was in the middle of work.

The police then explained they were checking on his bail conditions and could be coming back whenever they chose to.

Stephen was very upset by this experience. Stephen was a law abiding, gentle man who was not used to aggressive police behaviour. He felt his security and privacy was unjustifiably violated. He felt scared and intimidated.

Less than a week later on 22nd July, Stephen took his own life.
I know that that the behaviour of the police at my house on 16th July created more fear and stress than my husband could cope with.
My questions to you are, firstly; what were the police doing visiting our home in the first place? Bearing in mind that Stephen’s only bail condition was for him to reside at home. Stephen was not on a curfew, so he was not obliged to be home at 8 15. Secondly; how do you justify intimidating behaviour by police in the sanctity of our home?
I look forward to your reply.
Reiko Yanai

Well Greig O’Connor what's the police associations excuse for this bit of sound police performance?

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