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If your loved one is killed by police

25/05/2015

“There’s people who think there’s a system in place that seeks to determine facts and deliver justice. It’s tough learning the truth while grieving over a family member killed by police.” – me

You can expect three things:

1. The killer(s) will not be penalised

No Australian police officer has gone to prison for killing someone while on duty. Not one. Ever. Not for murder. Not for manslaughter. Not for negligent homicide. They are never convicted of unlawful killing. That won’t change for you.

Occasionally the perpetrators may face disciplinary charges or receive minor official reprimands. But they won’t be dismissed from the police force. Their careers will not suffer. They may receive an award or promotion.

The killing will be investigated by other police. Maybe by friends or colleagues of the killer(s). They will not search hard for incriminating evidence. They will not ask hard questions. After all, the killers are going through a difficult time aren’t they? Their families are upset and worried. This sort of thing could happen to anyone with a badge and a gun. And guaranteed impunity.

The case will probably end in the coroner’s court. The coroner will pretend to believe everything said by police witnesses, no matter how unlikely, unless there is strong evidence contradicting them. The coroner will try to avoid looking at evidence that may implicate police in a crime. It will probably be declared justified homicide, an accident or death by misadventure.

If the coroner can’t cover it up it will be sent to the public prosecutor. The Director of Public Prosecutions may then exercise his discretion to no bill the case. Dismiss it because “It’s not in the public interest to proceed” or “There is little hope of a conviction”. Or for no reason at all. The DPP doesn’t have to give a reason. If he proceeds the case will be given to a prosecutor who will be unlikely to pursue it. One who always works closely with police. Maybe an ex-cop. Possibly an alcoholic or incompetent.

If the victim is from a minority population in a racially divided area the jury will be composed primarily or exclusively of members of the majority population. As will the judge, lawyers and court officials. If the jury seems sympathetic to the victim the judge may take the decision out of their hands. Instruct them to return an innocent verdict. Or abort the case due to “lack of evidence”. He will cast police in the most favourable light possible when summing up.

The killers will go free. They won’t be remanded in custody. They won’t be disqualified from policing. They will be given a brief holiday then sent back onto the streets. Armed.

2. The deceased will be publicly vilified

Initial reports will suggest the victim attacked police. That he or she had a deadly weapon and a history of violence. Corrections will be slow in coming and given less prominence than the original claims.

It will be claimed the victim made aggressive movements or seemed to be reaching for a weapon. Maybe for the weapon of the cop who fired the fatal shot. That police had good reason to fear the victim.

If the victim has ever been convicted of anything s/he “had a criminal record”. If s/he was cautioned or arrested but acquitted s/he was “known to police”. If a cousin was once done for assault s/he’s “from a family of violent offenders”. If a friend went to jail for selling cannabis s/he “has connections to the drug industry”. If s/he was treated for depression s/he “had a history of mental illness”.

It will be suggested the victim deserved to die. That we are all better off for it. Including the victim. Perhaps the victim brought it on. Suicide by cop. The police had no choice. Just doing their duty. They should probably be commended.

3. Dissenters will be dealt with

Those who demand justice will be punished.

If they are young they will be harassed by police. They may be threatened with violence or worse. Some will be arrested on trumped up charges. Such as ‘the trifecta’. Offensive language. Resist arrest. Assault police.

Older ones will be charged with minor traffic violations. Their house may be searched for drugs, weapons or “evidence in connection with the case”. Neighbours and employers will be questioned by police about their activities. The media will portray them as hysterical, fanatical or deranged by grief. It helps sell papers. It maintains relations with ‘police sources’.

These things will happen if your loved one is killed by police.
This is the nature of justice.

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From → cops, hurts

8 Comments
  1. That is very very sad.

    Like

  2. Sad, yes. Also deeply disturbing.

    Like

  3. …to have…to have not…to have…to have not….

    My fine feathered friend, did you ever work with Whistleblowers Australia
    and Dr Jean Lennane? Before I transition into scampi for salties, I think
    I will whistle me a happy tune and maximise my Rodgers and Hammertime.

    I am not Thor; it’s just a lispth

    Like

    • I’ve shared a few podiums with Brian Martin. A nice guy, if understandably a bit obsessive and paranoid.

      But I’ve only ever worked against Jean Lennane. A nasty, authoritarian harridan – and I thought that even before I found out she was a shrink.

      Mostly we crossed swords over her organisation Friends of Callan Park (and Enemies of the Mentally Ill). While we could agree that Callan Park shouldn’t have been handed over to developers and that its elderly, chronically institutionalised residents should have been allowed to live out their lives there in peace, Lennane wanted to perpetuate and expand Callan Park as part of her ongoing campaign to wind back the cuckoo clock to the glory days of the 1950s with the reinstitutionalisation of the mentally ill in rathouses run by Nurse Ratcheds (or Dr Ratched in her case). She not only gathered the usual cadre of authoritarian ‘carers’ to her cause – those in favour of anything that infantilised and removed rights from their embarrassing rellies – she also got the NSW Greens on side (who never saw an instance of educated middle-class liberal fascism they didn’t like).

      Last I spoke to Dr Lennane was about twelve years ago and she was already showing signs of incipient Alzheimers. Hopefully she is now safely in the arms of one of her beloved institutions being pacified with the antipsychotics she so enjoyed inflicting upon others.

      Like

      • For Fox Sake permalink

        Then you’ll be pleased to know that Jean of D’ark popped her clogs
        September last year; but you’ll have googled that by now, yes?

        Ta muchly for sharing your experience and insight. Be well.

        Like

        • Oh no!
          One less person to hate.

          At this rate I’ll soon have to fall back on hating myself.

          Like

    • I am not Thor;

      I just assumed you were a fan of MC Hammer. Or Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.

      I’ve never been into rap but for a couple of years in the early 80s it was hammer time several times a day to me.

      Like

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