Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A Weird Day in the Hood

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  • andrew llewellyn,

    I read some place that police here use the hollow nose bullets (banned from warfare by Geneva convention, but approved for police use everywhere) that don't tend to ricochet (that's exactly why they use them, so as to avoid "collateral" damage).

    But yeah, bring on the results of the investigation. I feel sorry for the cop(s) who fired, he/they must be distraught.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Julie Fairey,

    We've been talking about this at The Hand Mirror too, including also wishing Greg O'Connor would STFU. It is possible to find a balance between advocating for the workers you represent and always agressively and offensively maintaining their innocence. O'Connor needs to find it.

    Puketapapa Mt Roskill, AK… • Since Dec 2007 • 234 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Thanks for that - pretty much sums up my reactions.

    And yes, that was one scary day of traffic - I was headed up Albert Street then along K Road and New North through to Morningside. It was a thrill at first to be cycling through gridlock, but you rapidly got the sense that each driver was gradually building up frustration and fury.

    It felt OK with everyone crawling all the way up to Bond Street, but once those drivers got a sight of clear road through Kingsland it was like someone had dropped the flag at a boy racer grand prix. People weren't slowing down for nobody. I promptly GTFO'd onto the footpath.

    My other abiding memory of Friday is watering and pruning our (delicious) tomatoes on the balcony whilst the stationary 3 News chopper roared away overhead. One of those odd urban moments...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    The only TV journalist covering the story without disgracing them self was Lisa Owen - everybody else was clearly high on adrenaline and unable to hide their glee at breaking such a 'great' story. A symptom of the fact that too many of our TV journalists are young, (cheap) and hired largely on the basis that they look good on camera.

    Almost everyone I've talked to about this story has mentioned O'Connor and his grossly inappropriate comments. It's ironic that - for once - the police PR has been flawless - but all that good work has been spoiled by Greg O'Connor ranting like a maniac at every opportunity.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    McDonald is 50 years old? The things you assume--I just took it for granted that it was some 23 year old hoon on the run. What initiated the Friday events? If indeed it was something to do with a purse-snatching, then we do need to ask whether subsequent events (the pursuit, in particular) were justified.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2560 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Wood,

    The weirdness on the streets was something else. My poor sweetheart only had to get from Westmere to Pt Chev to pick up our 3-y-o from daycare, and ended up on Meola Rd for nearly half an hour with an 8-month-old nutter losing it in the back seat. Not pleasant. Fully two hours later I barrelled past stopped traffic on my way home from Parnell to Pt Chev on the scooter, and made up for being actually chased through Westhaven by a road-raging lunatic (actually, chased, at 80+ over speed humps until I could escape up the Shelly Beach Rd offramp by sliding round the corner at the bottom) by stopping to ask three separate similar baby-carrying cars if I could help, by picking up something from the dairy or anything. Cheered me and them up no end! I felt like a white knight on a trusty steed, only I was wearing black and my scooter is black. Um. Whee!

    Now back in Aucktown • Since Dec 2006 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Calder,

    Nice post, Russell.

    Re Poneke. He says: The job of police marksmen is to shoot the bad guy holding the gun to the head of the hostage, not to shoot the innocent, hard-working 17-year-old courier van driver being held hostage with the bad guy’s gun to his head.

    The job of journalists is to publish what they know to be correct. Not so bloggers. Halatau Naitoko (whose name he misspells) was not being held hostage. I think I would rather see what an official investigation discloses than rely on such intemperate, error-ridden and extravagant comment as his.

    My bad-taste prize of the day was of the witness from a nearby house whose shit-eating grin as he said something like "there's somebody lying there and he ain't moving" made me sick.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Gracewood,

    Having fired a few rounds from a police-esque Glock 9mm (at a pistol club as part of a stag do... long story), I have absolutely no surprise that the police failed to hit the suspect standing on an erratically moving flatbed truck.

    It's hard enough to hit a stationary paper target from 10 metres. Seriously. Do not believe the movies when James Bond downs a moving helicopter with a single shot from a pistol.

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Naly D,

    Russell, have you stopped proof-reading?

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 307 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    The question really seems to be about a "clear line of fire" type decision. The aerial photos look like the AOS members shot at the truck with the van directly on the other side - questions about movement of the different vehicles etc make it all much more difficult than that static post-event photo though.
    Seems like awfully bad odds fell the wrong way. And that's not particularly reassuring for anyone unfortunately.

    Traffic wise seemed fine for me - I even took the Southern Motorway to exit at Nelson St, with the expectation that the closed NW Motorway exit just before then would be chaos, but all flowed smoothly. Except for the two different cars swerving across lanes as their drivers tried to crane their necks over the barrier to see down the motorway. From all reports it sounds like it's a miracle there wasn't a lot more carnage around town.

    Russell I certainly hope that old man turned out OK.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    I only new about this AFTER I had put my mum on the bus in Parnellat 4.45 to go home to Pt. Chev.
    She got home at 7pm....

    I did see a bit of TV news and I am really appalled at how members of the public treat this things like sideshows, almost laughing as they are being interviewed.
    The value of life r the situation seems to be overshadowed by the fact the event is like a TV cop show (and their language reflects that too).
    People are more interested in getting home than someone losing their life.

    Once I witnessed a live-to-air cop chase in LA (on TV) with live coverage of the offender being 'taken out' (read killed) by cops.... pretty full on.

    Racial conspiracies and all: yeah, the cops did not kill a brown guy on purpose but I can't help but get the vibe that because this guy was a young brown kid (17 with a child) that public sympathy is not as big as it might be if it was some white, middle class guy with kids.
    Am I the only one who thinks this?

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    One more question - why did the police not take down the offender earlier when they had the chance?

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    have you stopped proof-reading?

    His proofreader is probably on a beach somewhere. It's damn hard to proofread your own writing, well I find it so, since I always read what I meant to write not what I actually wrote :).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    That TV coverage was dreadful - I couldn't believe the utter insulting banality of Petrie et al on this.

    I really feel for the cop who pulled the trigger here, but I don't know what else he or she could have done .

    And meurant? Why does anyone listen to him?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 230 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    It's damn hard to proofread your own writing, well I find it so, since I always read what I meant to write not what I actually wrote :).

    Known phenomenon. Scientifically proven and all.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    The thing that bugs me about these events is all the folks afterwards attacking the police. Yes from the benefit of the couch we all could have done it better than the cops, just like I know I could have taken that catch the stupid fielder dropped.

    It seems that some these folks make good TV and so get more airtime than they deserve.

    We won't know exactly what happened until after the investigation and even then they may still have to guess at some events.

    You can bet thought that the officer who fired the fatal shot feels like crap and wishes he could do something, anything, differently to prevent the loss of life.

    Nothing will heal the hurt the family feels and I have no problem with them being angry and upset. My sympathies go to them, not to the talking heads getting publicity from their loss.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    why did the police not take down the offender earlier when they had the chance?

    Their pies were too hot and they didn't want to burn their tongues by eating them too fast?

    We don't know why, but you can bet they tried to stop him, and they tried to do it with the least possible harm. Usually they get it right and when they do it doesn't make the news.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    I read some place that police here use the hollow nose bullets (banned from warfare by Geneva convention, but approved for police use everywhere) that don't tend to ricochet (that's exactly why they use them, so as to avoid "collateral" damage).

    The big advantage of a hollow-point round is that it mushrooms on impact. This means its shock value is much higher, and the damage it does is greater. That they don't ricochet so much, and are less likely to cause collateral injury through an over-penetration, is a fringe benefit. See Wikipedia for more details.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Russell, have you stopped proof-reading?

    There's no need to be a smartarse about it. I was under pressure of time this morning, writing fast so I could get out and record a voice track for the TV show. I think I've corrected the typos now I'm back in the house, but feel free to point out any I've missed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I have to agree about O'Connor every so often he shows up in the media as if he landed from another planet, I try to persuade myself that I'm sure he doesn't represent the views of most police - the problem of course is that he does represent them

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Julian Melville,

    Having fired a few rounds from a police-esque Glock 9mm... I have absolutely no surprise that the police failed to hit the suspect standing on an erratically moving flatbed truck.

    They were armed offender squad officers firing M4 assault rifles, not handguns, according to the Herald. From the pictures, it appears they fired from the side of the motorway, through the truck and hit the van driver on the other side. I find this concerning, my wife & kids were in that traffic.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    Yes - I agree it is very easy to sit back on the couch and say "oh they shoulda done this, they shoulda done that".

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    O'Connor needs to shut up for a while.

    No, O'Connor needs to shut the fuck up permanently after the Police Association have decided to hire/elect a public face that isn't a weeping credibility leak.

    Yes, I do realise the Police Association is, in effect, a trade union and as such should be advocating for the interests of its members. But I'm so damn sick of listening to O'Connor going off like an unmedicated Garth McVicar.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Having fired a few rounds from a police-esque Glock 9mm (at a pistol club as part of a stag do... long story),

    They've moved on from shotguns in these delicate matters then?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Calder,

    As a matter of interest, I copied my comments above to Poneke and 30 minutes later I was locked - permanently, I hope - out of his blog. What's that old Broadway saying? Ah, I remember: "If you ain't praising 'em, they ain't listening."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 66 posts Report Reply

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