Shop owner cleared . . . but to police he’s still a criminal
My congratulations this morning to stabbed shop owner Virender Singh, who fought back against intruders into his shop only to have to fight back against police who charged him for having the temerity to defend himself.
Just as they did when Greg Carvell defended himself and the occupants of his family’s gun shop.
Just as they did when Paul McIntyre defended his property and his family.
Just as they did when Michael Vaimauga was arrested for assault after he stopped a burglar breaking into a shop.
And just as they would have if the late Navtej Singh had managed to fight back successfully against the armed intruders into his bottle store.
As an Avondale dairy owner said when a colleague was stabbed in the neck and back by a robber, “When we protect ourselves, we get charged - and if we don’t we get stabbed. What do we do?”
So my congratulations to Mr Singh not just for being cleared in a depositions hearing at the Manukau District Court, but for having the gumption to defend himself and his young nephew when the police have already made it perfectly clear they view anyone who does as a criminal .
Make no mistake, Virender Singh’s exculpation yesterday by Manukau JPs was not a ringing declaration of your right to self defence – despite the Crimes Act allowing it, and basic human rights demanding it. No, his case was not dismissed based his right to self defence, but only because there was insufficient evidence to charge him.
And it was backed up by hand wringing Retailers Association president John Albertson who simpered “he would be concerned if retailers started arming themselves” – which is to say, he’d be happier if it were only their robbers who were armed – and from Singh’s own lawyer who said that this was “not a licence for shop owners to take unwarranted retribution in the course of their business” – indicating that even he has no conception of the fundamental distinction between one who initiates force, and one who defends against it.
So what do you think about his chances of an apology from the police?