that recommends officers shoot people armed with knives.My comment was along the lines that while police have as much right to defend themselves as anybody (a right that should be recognised for all of us, including those who carry knives for that purpose), and that since police put themselves in harm's way on our behalf they should be expected to have to defend themselves more often, but given all that this email would only make things harder for good policemen.
Under the heading "Why Cops Shoot Guys With Knives", the email contains stomach-churning photographs of a police officer with massive slashes to his back, chest and stomach.
The text of the email exhorts officers to shoot anyone with a weapon. "If you've got a knife, then you should die ... period."
The email has been forwarded to more than 30 officers and then to addresses that appear to be members of the public.
It will makes things harder because, my post said, when or if a policeman does shoot someone in self-defence who comes at them with a knife, or club, or some other weapon -- as Constable John Abbott did with full justification in Waitara a few years back -- then any prosecution is going to use that email as a strong argument that any such force was pre-emptive, and any twelve men and women in a jury are likely to believe them.
It's a shame I never finished the post, because such a tragedy is already entering its First Act with the shooting overnight of a man wielding a hammer in a domestic dispute in Christchurch.
The policeman who fatally shot a man wielding a hammer last night feared for his life, police say...I really do feel for this policeman, because whoever wrote and sent out that email and whoever made it public have now made it almost impossible for him to ever get a fair hearing. Perhaps both author and publicist could contemplate that as he sits on suspension awaiting the outcome of that investigation.
Head of the Canterbury police, Superintendent Sandra Manderson said at a press conference this morning that the threats made to the policeman were "serious enough" for a shooting to take place.
"Obviously very serious indeed. Obviously (the man) was relatively close (to the police officer) because he feared for his life" ...
The officer would not be working for a while, but had not been stood down "at this stage".
Asked if she backed the actions of the officer, Ms Manderson said: "We are doing an investigation."