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Police Shooting: PM has a lot to answer for

Tony Ryall National Justice Spokesman

16 August 2000

PM has a lot to answer for

The Prime Minister must immediately apologise to the Police Officer involved in the Waitara shooting, his family and the entire New Zealand police force for accusations of racism over the Waitara shooting, National's Justice spokesman Tony Ryall said today.

"The Police Report released today concludes that there is 'absolutely no evidence race was an issue in this tragic event'. The PM waded in without the facts, with her own prejudices and came to a conclusion that was completely unfounded," Mr Ryall said.

The Prime Minister alleged on the 4th of May that Police relationships with Maori had a bearing on the Waitara shooting and compared the Waitara incident to 'shootings by the Metropolitan Police in London of young blacks and shootings by the Los Angeles police'. In Parliament on the 9th of May the Prime Minister stood by her statements and refused to apologise to the Police and other New Zealanders.

"At a time when the people of Waitara needed support, the Prime Minister inflamed racial tensions. The policeman and his family had to move out of the district.

"The New Zealand Police deserve an apology for the unfounded, undermining statements the Prime Minister made in the aftermath of the shooting," Mr Ryall said.

Ends



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