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Greens criticise police report on Waitara shooting

Green MP Keith Locke today criticised the police report claiming that a policeman acted lawfully in shooting Waitara man Steven Wallace.

"This sets a very dangerous precedent, giving the police a green light to shoot offenders who don't have firearms and who present no immediate danger to the public," said Mr Locke, who is the party's police spokesperson.

"It is outrageous that the police can justify shooting a man approaching them armed only with a baseball bat.

"There were two police confronting Mr Wallace. If they didn't feel confident about apprehending him without recourse to arms, they should simply have retreated until further help arrived.

"The constable who shot Mr Wallace mistook his identity, pointing a gun at a man he at the time `had no reason to believe... was a dangerous man' and that he was `confident' he could `talk to'

"The report shows that it was the pointing of the gun at Mr Wallace that inflamed the situation.

"The decision not to prosecute will not be accepted by many in the Waitara community and throughout New Zealand.

"The police report does not answer many important questions which surround the shooting, including relations between police and community in Waitara.

"Nothing less than a full public inquiry into the shooting will be able to address all the concerns that have been raised. The terms of reference of the Police Complaints Authority Investigation are not broad enough for this. In addition, the authority is too reliant on police investigatory assistance to be sufficiently impartial in a case with these ramifications."

Ends

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