|Award winner Mihingarangi Forbes|
Timothy Morrison, right, you’ve never heard of him, unless of course you follow Maori Televisions’ award winning current affairs programme ‘Native Affairs’
No he is not a journalist presenter like the brilliant Mihingarangi Forbes, nor is he is a producer or cameraman…he was the subject of an item that had all the qualities of a second rate detective yarn and of yet again another police stuff up. I must admit this is becoming a habit we could do without.
Here was a man who for 26 years had not been in trouble with the police, here was a man who was in the middle of becoming a much needed and vital Para-Medic, and here was a man who worked for the Salvation Army supervising at a hostel.
On July the 28th 2012 the hostel he was supervising was vandalized by a drunken man, glass was smashed and damaged done. Timothy Morrison after checking the welfare of those in the hostel then pursued the vandal and was attacked by that same person, who in turn was knocked or slipped to the ground.
Timothy could have left the scene, but he didn’t after all he was training to be a qualified Para Medic, so using his cell phone he called for an ambulance which duly arrived and took him to the hospital. A couple of days later the vandal died…and the police after a very superficial investigation in their wisdom charged Timothy Morrison with Man-Slaughter.
And so began his nightmare, a nightmare that still haunts him to this very day.
Timothy Morrison was partway through his training to be a qualified Para-Medic, which he hoped would lead to a job that paid enough for him and his son to live on and that then he could give up the midnight shift and the Salvation Army Hostel… Once charged by the police, his training ceased and his job at the hostel ended and his only income was the benefit of around 220 dollars.
So naturally he couldn’t afford a lawyer so one was appointed and funded by legal aid, after the police decided to go to trial his lawyer was made the offer that Timothy would sentenced to three and a half years if he pleaded guilty.
Like any person would, he considered the offer, after all the police hadn’t believed him up to this point why would they do so at a trial. So he decided to stay firm and he refused their weird offer. Thank God he did.
Why did the police via the legal system make this offer, now that’s the real question that needs asking, but will it ever be answered? We can guess of course, after all what else, can we do…
Firstly Timothy is Maori and that automatically triggers the Polices natural bias, we are all fully aware of the institutional racism that permeates our police force.
Secondly Timothy had a record from some 26 years ago…and we all know that once a crim always a crim… especially if that crim is Maori…yeah right
A trial date was set and eight days were allocated…but it was all over in two and the question must be asked why?
Firstly the charge sheet used did not relate to Timothy Morrison, the photo was of someone else, the past criminal record didn't relate to him, but more telling was some close circuit TV footage that showed the victim assaulting a petrol station worker in exactly the same fashion as Timothy had said he had attacked him.
Timothy was found not guilty and rightly so… but wait there is more… just remember that at this point Timothy is innocent and not guilty of any offense.
Timothy has been ordered to pay eight thousand dollars for his legal aid and if he hasn’t paid it by early next year he get 8% added on to bill… beat that for justice, Judith Collins style.
Justice Minister Judith Collins and Deputy Justice Minister Chester Borrows were both asked to appear but both were too busy or had better things to do. The Police were asked to appear but declined but they did send a letter that simply said what they did was within the law. The Maori Party MP Pita Sharples was invited but he too declined. Only Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little was willing to appear on the show.
It is worth pointing out that the police are often found guilty of breaking the law, [Kim Dotcom Raid] jailing innocent people [far too many to name] gang rape, drug dealing, assault and other such crimes, but alas they rarely if ever get charged why because they have ‘No criminal intent’, and if you believe that then you really must be blind in both eyes.
This item on Maori Televisions Native Affairs proves yet again that they are the only public television network worthy of the name. If you’d like to watch the Native Affairs programme go to: http://www.maoritelevision.com/tv/shows/native-affairs
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http://www.accessmanawatu.co.nz/Shows/Show-Details.aspx?SHOWID=8c464e43-cbed-43d9-842c-e0458fc75424 is my show page on access website. It has all of my available on-demand episodes. Or you can also use this link: http://www.accessradio.org/media/ondemand/play.asx?uid=1216772083-629 to play the latest on demand episode at any time.