Are we becoming a police state?

Photoshopped image credit: Boondecker

I want to make it clear that I have always respected our police force, and hope to be able to continue to do so. Some of their recent actions have made me wonder what is going on in the force though.

Perhaps those of our readers who are current or past police officers could shed some light on recent events. quote.

A community-minded contractor who dug the mass grave for victims of the mosque shootings for free says police went “way over the top” in raiding his house to seize his 11 firearms.

The colourful figure – who asked not to be named for security reasons but whose record of helping out people in the community and raising money is known to have endeared him to many – said about 30 police raided his west Christchurch block on April 2 about 5pm while he was still at work.

Some were Armed Offenders Squad members and others were in ordinary police uniform. A specialist search squad searched his house, outbuildings and a granny flat housing his 80-year-old mother.

“They even went through her underwear drawer. The worst thing was they pointed a rifle at my 12-year-old daughter who was picking up horse poo. They told her to put the fork down and walk towards them. She is still anxious and shaken. The whole family is.” end quote.

They went through an 80 year old’s underwear and pointed a gun at a 12 year old? Was that really necessary? quote.

Police then rang him at work. He arranged to stand in the middle of the yard and asked the police to leave their guns in their vehicles.

“They still pointed their guns at me and made me walk towards them with my hands up. I got to them and said, “put that away before you hurt yourself”.”

He is now waiting for an explanation. He does not believe police were acting on a tip that he was dangerous. Police refused to comment, citing privacy – despite the man providing a privacy waiver.

end quote.

This is not the only case either. quote.

An Ashburton farm manager, who also declined to be named, told Stuff he was also angry about the way he was treated by the police.

He was in his garage searching through his deep freezer shortly after eating lunch on Thursday when his wife told him there were some police officers coming up the drive.

“There were about three armed police that came out from the back of my section, and three more units pulled up at the driveway.”

Of the 14 police officers, eight were “heavily armed”.

The officers wanted to speak to him about the terror attacks, his views on police, Muslims and other religions. He was then asked if anyone was home.

The man said the officers told him the hour-long visit was initiated in part because he purchased an A-category AR15 from Gun City a day after the March 15 terror attack. His gun, which was being held in a secure safe, was seized, along with some other items including a scope and ammunition.

Stuff. end quote.

It was legal to buy those guns at that point, and there is no reason to think that either of these people would do anything inappropriate. People on farms and lifestyle blocks have weapons. It does not mean they will go out and kill people. They could do that with their other weapons anyway.

Also, I have seen claims on Twitter that the police are telling people to stop calling Jacinda Ardern a socialist on Facebook. The evidence for this is anecdotal, but apparently someone called Magic Talk Radio and talked about this on Thursday.

Is this the society we live in now? One where we cannot make what is a factual statement about the prime minister, who has been a socialist all her life?

I do not know what is happening here. It may just be a gross overreaction to the Christchurch massacre, but the police have got the guy that did it. It appears that they are now treating innocent people as suspects in a crime that they clearly had nothing to do with.

Why are the police ‘defending’ the prime minister from statements of truth? To call her a socialist is accurate. Why do the police think they have the right to tell anyone not to say so?

It seems to me that the police are searching out people with attitudes and opinions that they do not like. Even white supremacists are entitled to their opinions, so long as they commit no crimes. That is not, however, how things are starting to pan out. Now it seems that you can be interviewed by the police because you have right wing views.

It is good to see the police enforcing the law so vigorously on ordinary citizens. Shame they can’t treat gangs in an equally forceful way.