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Police Surveillance Of Young People Of Colour Needs To Stop

In reaction to the news today that Police are putting photographs and details of innocent young people into a national database, AUT Associate Professor Camille Nakhid says:

“The hyper-criminalization of our Māori youth and youth of colour through the photographing of innocent youth conflicts with Police Commissioner Andrew Coster’s comment that the New Zealand Police ‘police by consent’.

“If healthy relationships, free of discrimination and fear are to take place between the Police and Māori, the incessant surveillance of our young people of colour needs to stop.

“The behaviour of the police stems from an ingrained belief that Māori and other people of colour are criminals or have criminal intent.

“The police need to be reminded that when they colonized Aotearoa and brought over their British laws almost two centuries ago to supersede Māori laws, there was not a single prison and not a single Māori in prison.

“If they want to police by consent, New Zealand police first need to understand what consent means.

“Otherwise, it is just plain intimidation on their part and a revival of colonialism’s beliefs and practices.”

Associate Professor Camille Nakhid does research on issues relating to ethnic communities, migrant identity and ethnicity within a social context.

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