August 12, 2021
Armed police risk for Maori
Justice reform group Just Speak says arming police is incompatible with the current push for policing by consent.
The latest Police Association survey has found about three quarters of front line members want to be routinely armed.
But Just Speak chair Tania Sawicki Mead says policing with the support of communities, which is the direction New Zealand is increasingly headed, is far more effective.
She says arming the police changes the power equation in every situation and puts sections of the community and especially Māori at grave risk.
"It is much more likely it is young Māori, young Māori men in particular who are more likely to die or be injured seriously by police if they carry guns. We know that by looking at every other comparable country how minority groups, indigenous people, people of colour are all affected by policing," she says.
Ms Sawicki Mead says if the only way police feel safe is to have a gun in their hands, that shows a shortfall in training.
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