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Institutional racism

Written By: - Date published: 4:20 pm, February 13th, 2009 - 108 comments
Categories: crime, racism - Tags: , , ,

Bruce Emery’s sentence of just four years and three months on a reduced charge of manslaughter for chasing 15 year old Pihema Cameron 300 metres down the street and stabbing him to death with a knife is a stark reminder of the institutional racism that still exists in this country.

Let’s not pretend for a second that Emery would have got off so lightly if he was an unemployed Maori and his victim a middle class Pakeha child, tagger or not.

And he certainly would not have gained the enthusiastic support of the so-called Sensible Sentencing Trust, whose spokesman Garth McVicar defended Emery as “a decent hard working citizen [who] is facing a murder charge because of his frustration over this issue” and argued he shouldn’t have to serve any time at all.

Some will no doubt baulk at the use of the term ‘racism’, New Zealanders don’t like to believe that such a thing exists in this country. But really, there’s no other way to describe what happened in the Emery case.

108 comments on “Institutional racism”

  1. coge 1

    Tane, that’s a very serious criticism to level at our judiciary. Care to back it up with proof?

  2. randal 2

    the proof is in the sentence coge
    duh
    if the cap fits wear it

  3. cha 3

    On the button Tane, the murderous sack of shit has gotten away with murder. And no doubt that with time on remand taken into account Emery will serve no more than two years of his sentence. The only consolation is that he’ll do most of his time in seps in the company of some very unpleasant people.

  4. coge 4

    Justice Williams was unable to find another case of this nature. So Tane’s comparison is pure speculation.
    Let’s have some reasoned proof tendered to back this accusation of racism.

  5. Siaosi 5

    The case of Jim Fletcher (ironically taken from SST’s own website) is instructive.

    Jim, 49 years old and a member of the powerful Fletcher dynasty, was stabbed to death with a butter knife during a botched burglery in 1993. His killer, 15-year-old Siale Fotu, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. I’ll leave it to you to work out the parallels.

    There’s no way Emery’s sentence can be explained other than institutional racism.

  6. Felix 6

    coge,

    Do you think “of this nature” means:

    A: a stabbing
    B: a fatal stabbing
    C: a chase followed by a fatal stabbing
    D: an angry stabbing
    E: something completely different

    If E, then what?

  7. coge 7

    Felix I’m just quoting what Justice Williams was reported having said. I’m not an appointed member of the judiciary, are you? Although I suspect some interesting appointments were made over the last nine years.

  8. burt 8

    Tane

    Balance…. Tama Iti fires a shotgun in public with no consequernces. Try that if you are a white guy wearing a suit and see how you get on.

    I’m not saying you are wrong in this case Tane, just that you have only highlighting one example of “special treatment” based on race in the justice system…

  9. higherstandard 9

    Although none of us are judges I’m interested to know what others think the sentence should have been.

    Personally I think the sentence is far too light and sends the wrong message, I do however believe there should be some account taken of whether Emery is likely to re-offend and his prior criminal history.

    I don’t know much about the judge in question apart from this interesting piece – I also note he was the judge during the Kahui case which from the outside appeared to be a cock up.

    http://www.kiwisfirst.co.nz/index.asp?PageID=2145845378

  10. Felix 10

    coge, I’m just asking you what you think about the quote you made. Any thoughts? Anything at all?

    burt, there are plenty of examples of illegal behaviour with little consequence, but can you think of one involving a killing?

    hs,
    yes, and I’d be particularly interested in hearing from “zero tolerance” ACT supporters about what sort of sentence would be appropriate.

  11. Billy 11

    Siaosi,

    For a comparison with the Fletcher case to have been valid, Fletcher would have had to be robbing Fotu’s house. I do not recall all of the details of that case, but that’s not the way I remember it.

    I am taking a deep breath and composing myself before…

    Of course there is another explanation apart from institutional racism. That is that the sentence had less to do with the race of the victim and more to do with the activity he was engaging in when stabbed. I am not excusing Emery or the sentence, just saying that I suspect that that had more to do with the sentence than the race of the victim.

    If you could find me cases where sentences varied depending on the race of the victim, I might be inclined to believe racism was a factor. The variable here was what Cameron was up to when he was stabbed.

    Now, you may be able to argue that this should be irrelevant, or that too much weight was placed on it. And good luck to you, because such an argument would have great merit. I just do not think the leap to the accusation to racsim is the only, or even the most likely explanation for the sentence.

  12. Rex Widerstrom 12

    I’d argue it’s an issue of class more than race, Tane. It just so happens (for a myriad of reasons of which we’re both aware) that the majority of poor, unemployed, uneducated people have brown faces.

    The same people (including the increasingly odious McVicar) who despise Cameron would wet themselves if invited to take tea with, say, Ron Mark, because he’s a “good” bloke with the “right” ideas on crime.

    Yet I know who I’d rather have a drink with.

    Don’t get me wrong, I loathe the vandal taggers (the idiots who scrawl just their moniker, as opposed to those who decorate urban landscapes with their art) and when some of the little bastards tagged my parents’ front fence I tracked them down and gave them the option of cleaning it up or a bit of summary justice. But that wouldn’t have run to capital punishment and if it had, I’d have expected a term similar to that Siaosi has highlighted above.

  13. Billy 13

    HS,

    I sat in on a bit of the Kahui case. No blame could be attributed to the judge (who, of course, did not even determine guilt or innocence). The police and the Crown fucked that up all by themselves.

  14. higherstandard 14

    Fair enough Billy – it still gets my hackles up that no-one has been called account for what happened to those twins – one could argue that the treatment of that family was another example of institutional racism but that might be drawing a rather large bow .. probably more likely that as you say there’s just some idiots in the police and crown prosecution who got it wrong – just as the judge, in my opinion, has in this case.

  15. That’s a very long bow you’re drawing Tane. And if what you allege is correct, how does that square up with the exceedingly lenient treatment dished out to Bailey Junior Kurariki for his THIRD parole violation?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10556515

  16. I thought he may of gotten Home Detention?

  17. higherstandard 17

    Brett are you channelling Garth McVicar or are you just having a psychotic episode ?

    Edit

    Brett good on you for at least realising you original vent was out of order and removing it.

  18. cha 18

    Whats with the edit Brett Dale, outed yourself as a racist 30k tory?.

  19. Yes I decided to get rid of that post!!!

  20. Billy 21

    To make sense of HS’s last comment, people need to know that Brett has edited out something long, incoherent and gramatically awful in favour of something short and grammatically awful.

  21. Pascal's bookie 22

    Billy, you are a very bad man. Thank you.

  22. Felix 23

    Interesting that when accused of being a “racist 30k tory”, Brett was offended more by being thought a tory than a racist.

  23. Quoth the Raven 24

    I agree with Rex I think this is a matter of class.

  24. spot 25

    Thought provoking stuff.

    I’m not a lawyer – do we get public access to the judges sentencing notes, or grounds/guidance on which said term was considered ‘appropriate’?

    Surely they don’t just make it up as they go, and hence wild disparities, opening up the argument of race or class bias, systemic failure on basis of etc etc.

    I also would have thought the initial not-guilty of murder to have been up for quite some debate.

  25. Billy:

    Yes I edited my post, dont want to get banned.

    I dknow in cases like this people tend to use emotion and not stats and hard data.

  26. bobo 27

    I was thinking the same thing, I can’t see how 4 years is anywhere near long enough , a euthanasia mercy killing = killing a Maori teenager about 3 years vs 4 years.. I was expecting a sentence of at least 9 years.

  27. mike 28

    Playing the race card I see Tane. Pretty poor form

  28. Billy 29

    I do not understand this idea that it is “classism”. If one believes in class, aren’t emery and cameron in the same one?

  29. I found it strange, this forum normally is against long sentences, but in this case it seems people want one.

    Just out of interest, Tane, what do you think he should his and the prison term should be for manslaughter?

  30. TBA 31

    Siaosi Said: “There’s no way Emery’s sentence can be explained other than institutional racism.”

    Yes there is, its called Justice.

  31. Felix 32

    Brett,
    this forum normally is against long sentences

    Could you show some examples please?

    TBA,
    its called Justice

    Could you please explain what that means? Soundbites like that are not very helpful.

  32. Felix:

    Just take any thread on prison sentences, on any thread on the sensible sentencing trust, anyone who asks for tougher sentences gets jumped on.

    But it seems Tane wants a tough one now, I guess if he wants to be a racist that is his business.

  33. the sprout 34

    racism is a fair call Tane, although Rex’s suggestion it could be about class is perhaps true too.

    either way it’s a disgraceful day for ‘our’ judiciary.

    the sentence needs to be re-visited or the fallout will be particularly nasty.

  34. Its like kiwiblog here, people calling for tougher sentencing.

    I wonder if the people screaming that the sentence is too soft, will get the same abuse as the sensible sentencing trust?

  35. Felix 36

    Brett,

    Please show an example of someone speaking against long sentences. If what you say is true, it won’t be a problem for you to find a couple of comments to demonstrate it.

  36. Felix:

    Im not about to do your homework for you, you have been on this blog for a long time, you know that whenever someone calls for tougher sentences here, they get jumped on and its explained that tougher sentences don’t work.

    Also look at the abuse that the sensible sentencing trust has gotten here.

    But now all of a sudden four years is not long enough, its racism, if you ask me.

  37. Siaosi

    That is in no way the same, except for the use of a weapon.

  38. Tane

    Stats and Hard Data are needed, how about some? instead of emotion.

  39. justhtefacts 40

    Yet no comment on the four years that Curtis senior received for his part in the death of Nia Glassie or on his total refusal to admit he did anything wrong.

    So lets see if I have this right…White man kills brown boy..racist murder
    Brown man kills brown baby……….no mention of it.

    I guess nothing is sacred when you lot are our to score cheap (and nasty) political points.

  40. Felix 41

    Brett,

    How can I prove a negative? You made the claim, not me. I can’t recall reading any opposition to long sentences here, especially not for killing people.

    Twice now you’ve claimed that this happens here frequently. I think you’re confused.

    Now stop being a child and back up your statement.

  41. Felix:

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So you cant recall any post that is against longer jail sentences?????

    Can you recall any posts against the sensible sentences trust??

  42. the sprout 43

    handmirror seems to agree with the racist interpretation

    http://thehandmirror.blogspot.com/2009/02/im-hearing-white-privilege-all-over.html

    Brett, nice that this topic is giving you so many laughs, but perhaps you should give it a rest now – you’re starting to look like jtf trying to “score cheap (and nasty) political points”.

  43. Rex Widerstrom 44

    Felix, Brett may be thinking of me, perhaps? I’ve certainly argued here and elsewhere that longer sentences per se don’t make a difference.

    Since a fair proportion of violent crimes are carried out either a) under the influence of drugs, b) while “seeing red” as Emery clearly was, or c) both a & b, the ridiculous nonsense that judges spout at sentencing about there needing to be “a message of deterrence” over and above what the particular individual deserves is frankly laughable.

    Do these learned adjudicators really believe that someone so off balance as to be tipped into a murderous rage by something as physically unthreatening as graffiti; or someone high on P and desperate for money for their next fix, truly stops for one second and says “Oh, hang on, Judge Beak handed down a nine year sentence last week for what I’m about to do. I’d better just go home and have a lie down”?

    I don’t think any judge does, so they are effectively colluding with our politicians to delude the pubic into thinking the way the system presently functions has the answers to keep them safe.

    As an aside, I spend a good deal of my life trying to make people re-think their gut reactions to crime and the fact that Brett did so in this instance is something for which he should be commended, not damned (that’s not directed at you, Felix).

    Meanwhile Billy posits:

    If one believes in class, aren’t emery and cameron in the same one?

    Have I missed something? (which is quite possible, being out of the country). Isn’t Emery what might broadly be termed “middle class”? Certainly his attitude to property suggests so.

  44. Felix 45

    Brett,

    Can you recall any posts against the sensible sentences trust??

    Yes of course, but not over the length of sentences. I think you’re confused.

    You seem to have completely missed that the outrage expressed at Emery’s sentence is due to a perception of inconsistency in sentencing.

    Rex,

    Brett may be thinking of me, perhaps?

    It’s possible, but I think Brett is mistaking an argument against knee-jerk “tough on crime” rhetoric for an argument about actual practicalities of sentencing. If he’d been referring to you I’m sure he would’ve said so.

    Btw I do enjoy your perspectives on these justice and crime issues Rex, always interesting and insightful.

  45. Ag 46

    Im not about to do your homework for you, you have been on this blog for a long time, you know that whenever someone calls for tougher sentences here, they get jumped on and its explained that tougher sentences don’t work.

    It depends on the crime. I think you would find a great deal of support for increased sentences for white collar crime.

    Otherwise, the arguments for increased sentences as they occur in New Zealand are usually stupid. Either people thinking that New Zealand should bring back the death penalty or adopt American style sentencing. In general, if we are talking about violent crimes and someone is proposing more than a 30% increase or decrease in average sentence, you can be sure that its just a kneejerk reaction.

    But the majority of arguments from the left for decreased sentences are for crimes caused by economic hardship and a perceived lack of a stake in society. We all know who commits these crimes, and as a society we should find something better for them to do.

    Vigilantism is to be discouraged at all costs, and potential vigilantes are usually people with enough of a stake in society to be deterred by a stiff sentence. There are plenty of New Zealanders who are just waiting for the opportunity to wreak state-sanctioned violence on perceived “evildoers”. They’re the kind of idiots that think Texas is a civilized place.

  46. Tane 47

    Sorry, I’ve been out having a few quiets. Don’t have time to respond to all of the criticisms right now, will try to later if I have time. Re the class vs race thing, I see class and race as mutually reinforcing – if you’re poor you suffer racism far worse, and if you’re brown and working class you’re also victim to forms of oppression that your working class whites don’t have to deal with.

    As for the “why are you arguing for longer sentences?” remark, I’m not. I don’t believe the current prison system, the length of sentences or even the concept of prison as we know it is a good thing. But I think a more fundamental democratic issue of fairness and equality is at stake here. People shouldn’t be getting more lenient treatment for killing someone merely because they are white and rich and their victim is brown and poor.

  47. Joshua 48

    The lawyer for Emery makes me sick with his attitude. Telling the family to just “get over it” is incredibly heartless. Then moaning about the financial woes of Emery’s family when he owns two properties.

    I know his job as a defence lawyer is to represent his client as best he can, but this really takes the cake. My word it makes me angry.

  48. IDS 49

    What was the name of the guy in the 80s who came out of prison, did another burglary with a gun and was deemed to have committed murder because he took the gun, so therefore ‘intended to use it’? I dont see how this man can be said to have committed manslaughter – for what purpose other than use did he carry the knife?

  49. ak 50

    Nicely put Rex, all the best in your work. As Tane notes, the issue in this one is not so much sentence length but consistency and the perception of equal treatment.
    And I’d chuck into the mix the effect of the unprecedented blossoming of right-wing hatemongering and irresponsible journalism we’ve seen in recent years: I don’t know Emery from a bar of soap, but if he’s a kiwiblog browser, talkback fan or Herald reader, then a portion of that poor kid’s blood is on a lot more hands than just his. Just “fomenting merry mischief” you say Pontious Farrar? Cute, but sorry old son, those stains are indelible.

  50. DeepRed 51

    Sprout: “the sentence needs to be re-visited or the fallout will be particularly nasty.”
    Either way no one wins. If the sentence is commuted, Camerons’ family or a street gang will extract their pound of flesh.
    If the sentence is held or lengthened, the Sensibles will scream, shout and arangue for Emery’s release – or possibly even break him out by force.

    I may have mentioned it before, but is it going to take a major social Chernobyl – ie, Los Angeles 1992 or Greece 2008 – to jolt the warring factions to their senses?

    Joshua: it seems symbolic of a wider problem of rank discrimination.

    IDS: Dean Wickliffe, maybe?

  51. Michael 52

    Oh f@$k I really want to do a come-sky joke but my Mum is a …ska so I won’t.

    If not pure racism, then an affiliation by the judge with the accused surely applies? Both are grey and balding with families, scared of youth, taggers (oh how evil they are), the brown, rappers, skate boarders, and of course instant death to Boy Racers (but not once they own a Porche or Merc or BMW).

    What would a 20yr old from Sth Auckland get if they did an armed bank robbery?
    In Christchurch if you are white (dads a mason?) & went to St Andrews ($10K per year) you would get home detention.

  52. Simon 53

    Bruce Emery is a hero.

    Emery stood up to the Labour electorate and refused to be intimidated. He protected his family and his property from a welfare-guzzling, violent criminal.

    Pihema Cameron is just one less burden on Kiwi taxpayers that we’re thankful to be rid of; one less scumbag committing crime against decent Kiwis while sucking back welfare generation after generation.

    [this is, without a doubt, the most disgusting thing I’ve ever read on this blog. And we regularly get spam from child pornographers. Simon, I’m only letting your comment through so others can see that people like you exist and be aware that we must be vigilant against your type. SP]

  53. Michael 54

    Whoops should have said. the “mitigating factor” the judge believed was that the ex-STAC old boy was threatened in the Christchurch Casino. That’s right, the boys set on him, in the only place in Christchurch under 24/7 CCTV and no video was presented to support this.

  54. ak 55

    Deepred: If the sentence is held or lengthened, the Sensibles will scream, shout and arangue for Emery’s release – or possibly even break him out by force.

    Force? Garth and the boys storming Paremoreno? You’ve got to be joking Deepo: redneck motivation is pure, scurrilous, momentary, adrenalin rush. Adolf and the KKK may adorn their peeling walls, but history’s eviscerated their tiny balls: I await with dreary anticipation the findings of some future study outlining the inevitable correlation between middle-aged pakeha male embrace of tory ideology and masturbation.

  55. Ben R 56

    How predictable & pathetic that someone would suggest racism in the sentencing!

    He hardly got off lightly given that he was chasing vandals off his property.

    Taggers are bullies. They realise that people are too scared of getting bashed to do anything. They prey on communities and destroy other peoples property for their own amusement.

    They realise that if caught they will probably get diversion or a minimal sentence of community work.

    I’m not convinced at all that if a white kid was stabbed after tagging a Marae the stabber would get a longer sentence than what Emery got. I also suspect the media would emphasise the fact that the guy was engaged in a disrespectful and criminal activity which provoked the angry response.

  56. Ben R 57

    “Joshua
    February 13, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    The lawyer for Emery makes me sick with his attitude. Telling the family to just “get over it’ is incredibly heartless. Then moaning about the financial woes of Emery’s family when he owns two properties.

    I know his job as a defence lawyer is to represent his client as best he can, but this really takes the cake. My word it makes me angry.”

    I thought the lawyer was unbelievably insensitive based on the excerpts on the news.

    I do feel sorry for Emery’s family though. Generally defendants qualify for legal aid, but Emery was one of the exceptions who had some assets so wouldn’t have been eligible. The costs of the defence would have been ruinous.

  57. tsmithfield 58

    I won’t state an opinion about whether the sentence was racist or not, even though, on the face of it, I thought the sentence was quite light.

    Trying to prove an argument with a sample of one case is hard to do.

    What is needed is detailed statistics showing for instance:

    The race of the offender
    The income of the offender
    The previous criminal history of the offender
    The likely ongoing threat of the offender to the community

    Enough cases to be statistically significant would be required. Then there would be a more compelling basis to make an argument for institutional racism. If we are going to argue on the basis of just one case, then as above, others will point to examples of cases that prove the exact opposite so the debate becomes meaningless.

  58. I read this post with a heavy heart, reading the messages I almost despair.
    The subject of this post is racism. Implied or real it does exist in this country.

    When this crime first occurred how many of us just assumed that the tagger was Polynesian? I did. Racism, or conditioning from the constant barrage of stories about Polynesians and Maoris misbehaving?

    I was mildly surprised that the attacker was euro. And my initial thoughts regarding him were “you poor b*stard”. No sentence would have been long enough for some or short enough for others.

    How did we get to this point?
    Putting aside skin colour I will try and explain what I think the problem is.
    As a 43 year old I still remember vividly how the young interacted with the police, teachers and parents 30 years ago.
    The police were on foot and if they caught you doing something stupid you got a clip around the ear or you were dragged home for something a bit heavier than a clip. We had boundaries and crossing those boundaries had consequences. The same applied at school.
    Removing consequences and discipline has seen the tragic conclusion in this story.
    Taking the commodores, speed guns and ticket books of the cops would be a good start, reintroducing corporal punishment in schools would be another.

    Using this tragic case to blame whitey for everything is beneath the author of this post and is in a similar vein to the antics of Brendan Sheehan attempting to launch a political career over the corpse of a dead woman.

  59. Graeme 60

    Jim, 49 years old and a member of the powerful Fletcher dynasty, was stabbed to death with a butter knife during a botched burglery in 1993. His killer, 15-year-old Siale Fotu, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. I’ll leave it to you to work out the parallels.

    There’s no way Emery’s sentence can be explained other than institutional racism.

    There is a another way. The further definition of murder in section 168 of the Crimes Act. It couldn’t apply to the Emery case, and it could apply to the Fotu case.

  60. Anyone have the stats of sentences handed out by this judge, what is his history?

  61. dave 62

    it’s blatantly obvious that something is wrong here, how can a middle aged man chase two teenagers 300 metres down the road, stab one to death, then get four years prison?? im sorry, but that sounds like a complete crock to me, especially when hearing that he was emotionless in the dock. he should be held accountable for his actions, and that he is guilty of murder

  62. Ianmac 63

    The debate seems to have missed the most compelling point regarding leniency for Emery. He was described early on as being a “good Christian.” And everyone knows that being so is proof that you are above reproach. Right????

  63. the sprout 64

    Herald reports Emery could be eligible for home detention in 11 months

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10556726

    What’s odd is that the reported comments by judge Justice Williams seem to suggest Emery should have received a much stiffer sentence than he got.
    The sentence reeks of inconsistencies.

  64. Ben R 65

    “Rex Widerstrom
    February 13, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    I’d argue it’s an issue of class more than race, Tane.”

    Indeed, and that’s why Tane’s counterfactual is deceptive. If he wants to isolate race as a factor he needs to hold other factors, like social class, constant.

    So instead the comparison would be:

    A 53 year old Maori business man Mr Tapsell is at home with his wife of 20 years and young daughters. His wife is preparing food for an indonesian church the next day. He lives in a poor white suburb and is the owner of an upholstery business he runs from home. His garage is regularly tagged.

    About 11pm he sees someone tagging his garage door of his home and business.

    There are two, identities disguised by hoodies. Mr Tapsell isn’t anonymous. They know his property and therefore who he is. He hurries downstairs, grabs a fishing knife, gives chase. He is dressed in shorts and T-shirt, his feet bare.

    There is an altercation. The knife had a 14cm blade but penetrated 5cm, so it’s hard to say it was some frenzied attack. Mr Tapsell claims he was defending himself.

    Mr Tapsell is convicted of manslaughter. Mr Tapsell had no prior criminal record.

    Judge John Parata sentences Mr Tapsell to 4 years 3 months in jail. Judge Parata notes the danger of using knives.

    Mr Tapsell’s lawyer sought a sentence of home detention. He also sought donations to help his family. Mr Tapsell did not qualify for legal aid, his business had to close and he had exhausted his finances on his defence.

  65. expat 66

    Institutional racism – big call.

    Lets get some more evidence out there huh.

    [what constitutes evidence in this fools’ minds? A signed admission of a latent racism in his decision for mthe judge? SP]

  66. randal 67

    hands up who got creeped out listening to Garth McVicar on the radio this morning saying he should not have gone to jail at all
    in mcvicars world having no paint on the garage door is necessary and sufficient reason to murder
    this is the real face of the tightunderpants anally fixated rightwingers

  67. Justice Williams is an experienced and respected Judge.

    His hands were somewhat tied after the Jury threw out the Murder charge and convicted Emery of manslaughter. When that stage was reached personal circumstances became relevant and given that Emery had never been in trouble before and appeared to be “respectable” the Judge had to give substantial discount and 4 years is not out of the range of possible results.

    I do not wish to disagree with my leftie mates but the Jury is where the “problem” is and their world view is obviously tainted. The system is colour blind and just gets on with the processing of charges but it would appear pretty obvious that members of the Jury felt some sort of sympathy for the defendant and little if any sympathy for the deceased.

    Maybe defence counsel managed to find 12 Act Party supporters and got them all selected.

    The presumption of innocence means that some guilty people are acquitted as it is better than innocent people being convicted. This is something that we change at our peril.

  68. expat:

    What would count as racism in this case, would be a history of shorter sentences for Pakeha, carried out by this judge.

    Since no one has showed this is the case, I don’t see how anyone can call him racist.

  69. shonkey 70

    i’m not sure the Pakeha/brown kid flip is that relevant. consideration of this crime requires acknowledgement of context. It happened In January 2008, during feverpitch media coverage of South Auckland gang violence. This media coverage — in the herald and allother MSM — had by that time whipped up public fear of gangs, so much that every brown kid in a flat-peaked baseball cap and baggy pants conjured the words ‘gangster’, ‘P-crazed’ and ‘killer’.

    This was great for the MSM because fearful people tend to consume more information about the things they fear. But — plainly — it was bad for society. It was also great for the political right-wingers. Consider:
    — the frothing rightard bloggers at that time
    — John Key’s ‘Underclass’ speech:

    “illiterate and innumerate school leavers; youth gangs prowling our neighbourhoods and sporadically dishing out beatings”

    The Court heard evidence that Bruce Emery took the knife with him because he feared being attacked. None of what happened excuses his crime, but a fair degree of moral (rather than legal) culpability should be laid at the feet of those who naiively and wilfully whipped up the fears that went some way to motivate the crime.

  70. I hate it when the Media and Political parties use FEAR and not FACTS.

  71. Santi 72

    Wrong sentence! The guy should be freed.

  72. Chris Auld 73

    Siaosi,

    Unless Mr Fletcher was the one committing the botched burglary and Siale Fotu was the poor victim of such ‘botched’ theft then I think the ‘parallels’ you speak of don’t go much beyond the fact that the crime involved a knife.

    If you can’t tell the difference between a situation where someone was killed by an agressor who broke in to their home in the pursuit of a crime and the situation of someone who was killed while actually in the pursuit of a crime then I’m afraid you need to have a bit of a rethink.

    Chris

  73. Rex Widerstrom 74

    shonkey suggests:

    This media coverage — in the herald and allother MSM — had by that time whipped up public fear of gangs, so much that every brown kid in a flat-peaked baseball cap and baggy pants conjured the words ‘gangster’, ‘P-crazed’ and ‘killer’

    That is an excellent point. While not wishing for one moment to devalue Cameron’s life, how good would it have been Emery’s defence lawyer had put the media on trial, laying the blame for his client’s irrational fear and otherwise inexplicable rage squarely at their feet?

    If it had wound back the drooling hyperbole into which crime reporting had descended, it would almost be worth it if it worked as a defence.

    If this were “Boston Legal”, some smart lawyer would now be suing the media on Emery’s behalf, alleging his downfall was due to the fear of anyone young and brown they’d implanted in Emery’s head. And I for one would be cheering them on to win.

  74. Ben R 75

    “The Court heard evidence that Bruce Emery took the knife with him because he feared being attacked. None of what happened excuses his crime, but a fair degree of moral (rather than legal) culpability should be laid at the feet of those who naiively and wilfully whipped up the fears that went some way to motivate the crime.”

    Wouldn’t you fear being attacked in that situation? I think most people for that reason would lock the door.

  75. Pascal's bookie 76

    Wouldn’t you fear being attacked in that situation? I think most people for that reason would lock the door.

    Not quite sure what you mean here Ben. The fact that he didn’t lock the door, but instead picked up a knife and chased them down the street, tells us some things.

    He wasn’t afraid of confronting them, but wanted to do so. We know this because this is what he did.

    He wasn’t content with seeing them off, but wanted to confront them. We know this because he chased them some hundreds of meters up the street.

    He may have been concerned that in that confrontation he was seeking out things might turn violent, and that he would need a weapon. So he took one, which he used to stab someone, who died.

    Whether or not he was scared is not the point. He wasn’t scared enough to stay put, he was only scared enough to escalate to killing someone.

  76. Karen Rees 77

    It seems more people pity a businessman and his property than the loss of a young man’s life. A life full of potential – if he’d been lucky enough to have lived in the UK or Holland he would’ve been encouraged to find his graffitti voice and become an important graffitti artist with something to say; he’d have been encouraged to do so and not treated like a criminal. I take photos of the graffitti street art when I visit my friends in Barcelona or Paris, those cities and countries where the people fight for what is right, where they stand up to be counted and sometimes change things for the better. Banksy (a UK graffitti artist, yes, an ARTIST, there’s a book on him in the Waikanae library if you’re interested), Banksy was applauded for his bravery when last year he graffitteed peace symbols on the famous wall keeping the Palastinians out of their own country, away from their own land and homes. He could’ve been killed doing that but he did it anyway. But in New Zealand, the man who murdered the young boy (who admittedly made him angry, but who didn’t deserve to be chased down and knifed like an animal for it) should be tried for murder. And he should serve an appropriate term for committing such a crime. And if we don’t stand up against such injustice then the next time it will be us. It’s not racism or classicism, it’s apathy and ridiculous laws passed without any thought or bother by white middle class men in suits who get angry if they don’t get their own way. Let us take courage from the boy’s name, a good Scottish name Cameron, with a famous song to go with it –
    “There’s many a man of the Cameron Clan,
    That has followed his chief to the field;
    He has sworn to support him, or die by his side,
    For a Cameron never can yield.
    I hear the pibroach sounding, sounding,
    Deep o’er the mountain and glen;
    While light springing footsteps are trampling the heath,
    ‘Tis the march of the Cameron Men.
    Oh! proudly they walk, but each Cameron knows
    He may tread on the heather no more;
    But boldly he follows his Chief to the field,
    Where his laurels were gathered before.
    I hear the pibroach sounding, sounding,
    Deep o’er the mountain and glen;
    While light springing footsteps are trampling the heath,
    ‘Tis the march of the Cameron Men.
    The moon has arisen, it shines on the path
    Now tread by the gallant and true;
    High, high are their hopes, for their chieftain hath said
    That whatever men dare they can do”.

  77. Lew 78

    It seems likely to me that Bruce Emery’s house or front fence or whatever will be tagged regularly for the rest of his life. People who aren’t white, middle-aged, middle-class men with a chip on their shoulders are taking this pretty personally.

    L

  78. Redbaiter 79

    “People who aren’t white, middle-aged, middle-class men with a chip on their shoulders are taking this pretty personally.”

    White middle aged men are probably sick to death of cowardly little c*mmie skunks threatening their property too, and the failure of the justice system to protect them from such vile products of the left’s social engineering.

  79. Lew 80

    RB,

    White middle aged men are probably sick to death of cowardly little c*mmie skunks threatening their property too, and the failure of the justice system to protect them from such vile products of the left’s social engineering.

    I see. Summary execution for property defacement.

    That chip sure suits you.

    L

  80. I have seen a few people ask for evidence of this institutional racism and nothing yet to back it up. Will Tane or anybody answer this?

  81. expat 82

    Steve plays the man not the ball on an innocuous comment.

    >> expat
    February 14, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Institutional racism – big call.

    Lets get some more evidence out there huh.

    [what constitutes evidence in this fools’ minds? A signed admission of a latent racism in his decision for mthe judge? SP]

  82. Karen Rees:

    I think there is a difference between tagging and Graffiti???

    Still no one deserves to die like he did.

  83. hack 84

    Simon does have a point though

  84. Well the chain of events are simple:
    Pihema Cameron – bored loser kid (known to the law, who was drinking alcohol and getting stoned at age 15) decides to vandalise the property of someone who did nothing to him.
    Bruce Emery – Otherwise innocent man catches Cameron and calls him to stop, and goes over the top. Chases after him and whatever happens at the time, stabs him. We’ll never really know what happened then. The wounds kill Cameron. Emery returns home shaken and keeps quiet. Stupidly or callously fails to call Police or an ambulance.
    Cameron is dead.
    Emery charged of murder, manslaughter sustained (insufficient evidence of intent to kill) and gets four years in prison, for effectively a mistake in going overboard in self defence.
    Cameron’s family calls for retribution. A family that clearly did little to stop the boy from alcohol and drug abuse, or gives a damn that he was a criminal.

    Many New Zealanders understand Emery’s anger and frustration, having themselves been victims or known victims of the anti-social destructiveness of the likes of Cameron, and who instinctively believe the likes of him are a drain on taxes, criminal justice resources, insurance premiums and their own hard work.

    Many others seem to empathise with the vandalising underclass teenager who paid the ultimate price for his foolishness, or even Tariana Turia who seems to think tagging is just another form of expression.

    The real point is that Cameron was a criminal, he was caught in the act by the victim, who grossly overreacted and then was too scared to turn himself in or seek help for the boy. Emery got the right sentence, he was provoked, had no previous record, is hardly a risk to anyone else and so loses several years of his life and his career.

  85. lprent 86

    Pihema Cameron – bored loser kid (known to the law, who was drinking alcohol and getting stoned at age 15) decides to vandalise the property of someone who did nothing to him.

    Duh! Where have you been living for the last 30 years. Some kind of la-la land? You just described most of the kids I’ve known since I was a kid myself. For that matter with the exception of the dope – you described me. Guess that I’d kind of expect that would also be the case with a lot of the people around here and on most of the blogs. The only real difference as far as I can see if that it is happening a few years earlier these days.

    I’m kind of sure that if you got you to open up about some of the stuff you pulled – we’d see similar patterns. I’ll bet your parents knew as much about it as mine.

    All it would have taken to shift it to this case would probably be some maniac with a knife chasing any of us down a street.

    Bruce Emery – Otherwise innocent man catches Cameron and calls him to stop, and goes over the top. Chases after him and whatever happens at the time, stabs him.

    Emery charged of murder, manslaughter sustained (insufficient evidence of intent to kill) and gets four years in prison, for effectively a mistake in going overboard in self defence.

    And there we differ again. As far as I’m concerned carrying a weapon and using it gives a prima facia case of intent. Otherwise how can this bozo be regarded as an adult. If he couldn’t see the probable consequences of carrying weapon and attacking someone then then I’d say he is also too dangerous to have on the streets. This is the kind of maniac that would engage in road rage because someone bumped into his car and winds up killing. It is the sign of a sociopath who considers that their rights outweigh those of everyone else. It is a behaviour that we see in adolescents – not adults*.

    I notice that in your summary that you failed to mention that he was carrying a weapon and that he used it.  For self-defense? When he was running down the road after the little shits* rather than the other way around.

    Emery got the right sentence, he was provoked, had no previous record, is hardly a risk to anyone else and so loses several years of his life and his career.

    He got the wrong sentence. The jury should have convicted on murder. I cannot see anything in the published evidence that shows he didn’t intend to use the weapon after he deliberately forced a confrontation. That is what his actions and the events say. Since Emerson killed the only witness to the terminal events, I’d say that his ‘evidence’ has to be regarded as being somewhat self-serving.

    The sentence was pretty much what the judge was forced to give after the jury returned that daft result. It was wrong.

    Hopefully the Camerons will get hold of a good civil lawyer and add to the sentence. Hopefully the police will appeal the judgement. It is a really bad precedence to set.

     

    * I intensely dislike taggers – but not to the point of killing them. In my opinion being convicted of tagging should carry a prison sentence of a few years. Something like what Emerson got for killing.

  86. Redbaiter 87

    So, if you were going to chase any criminals from your property and attempt to apprehend them, you’d do it, in violence saturated NZ, without any kind of arms? The guy took a knife with him, as any sane person would. I’d say that the violence that ensued after that could have been down to anybody, and four years is too high a sentence for a conviction that is largely circumstantial.

  87. Billy 88

    It seems likely to me that Bruce Emery’s house or front fence or whatever will be tagged regularly for the rest of his life.

    Not so, apparently, Lew. I read something recently which reported that Emery’s street is now tag-free.

  88. higherstandard 89

    “So, if you were going to chase any criminals from your property and attempt to apprehend them, you’d do it, in violence saturated NZ, without any kind of arms”

    A little rat bag stole a bike from my garage last Friday, I chased him with a largish stick – but I certainly wouldn’t have grabbed a knife and gone after him….clearly I am getting old as I failed miserably to catch the shite … the insurer has told me the replacement price of the bike has to take into account depreciation plus the increase because of no claims i.e waste of time claiming…..bah bah and double bah

  89. vto 90

    All I can say about this whole unfortunate affair is that old saying “life can turn on a dime”. sad sad sad.

    edit: HS, you should’ve chased the shite on another bike

  90. Billy 91

    Riding bicycles is undignified anyway, HS.

  91. Felix 92

    hack
    Simon does have a point though

    Yes. On his white hat.

  92. Redbaiter 93

    “A little rat bag stole a bike from my garage last Friday, I chased him with a largish stick – but I certainly wouldn’t have grabbed a knife and gone after him .”

    Not at all parallel circumstances. Emery took the knife to protect himself against stronger and potentially extremely violent and more numerous offenders. (and he may not have had a similar opportunity to grab a stick even if he had had time to consider)

    Nothing pisses me off more than listening to the left whine about this when the whole damn event is a direct result of their long term attacks on the moral fabric of society. They have deliberately destroyed law and order, they have deliberately created a violent and amoral underclass, and they have done it as a means to political power, always the obsession behind everything the left do.

  93. @ work 94

    I would have thought 300 meters would have been enough, having chased them that far, I wouldn’t have thought Emery would have needed to attack them in self defence.

  94. Libertyscott

    Very good post indeed.

  95. Chris G 96

    “and they have done it as a means to political power, always the obsession behind everything the left do.”

    You wouldnt happen to subscribe to the Hollow Earth Theory would you RB?

  96. rave 97

    The white racism that was introduced to this country by the settlers who grabbed and otherwise stole the land to create their god of private property is still alive and well, and getting off murder charges.

    The Maori/polynesian so called underclass is the product of being colonised by racists and oppressed as low paid workers, and when failed by society, turn to crime against that society.

    The destruction of Maori society is still reflected in the self-destruction of the survivors of that society, a universally documented reality of oppressed people. The Maori cop who shot Steven Wallace in cold blood is an example of that self-destruction.

    The racist civilisation mongers commenting on this post who celebrate the death of Cameron and hero worship Emery are the white mongrel descendants of those who visited their capitalist plague of death on the indigenous people of this country, who enlisted as vigilante colonial troops to sack Parihaka, and now call for a new race war to protect their sacred private property.

    The tragedy is that Cameron and all those like him was expressing his alienation and resistance to the society that failed him. Perhaps his political assassination will wake people up to the need to stop acting as uncle toms fighting over the crumbs from the table of finance capital, and unite to destroy the parasitic rule of capital instead of destroying themselves.

  97. SBlount 98

    “A little rat bag stole a bike from my garage last Friday, I chased him with a largish stick – but I certainly wouldn’t have grabbed a knife and gone after him .clearly I am getting old as I failed miserably to catch the shite the insurer has told me the replacement price of the bike has to take into account depreciation plus the increase because of no claims i.e waste of time claiming ..bah bah and double bah”

    My brother and I once chased a group of burglars with an axe and a cricket bat for several k’s. It was the fourth time that year we had been burgled, and through a modest measure of violence we managed to reclaim our possessions, and the culprits beer for good measure. A very satisfactory outcome.

  98. higherstandard 99

    Rave

    Can you go and wring your hands elsewhere .. around your own neck perhaps ?

  99. SBlount 100

    “white mongrel descendants of those who visited their capitalist plague of death on the indigenous people of this country.”

    ‘A Moriori survivor recalled: “[The Māori] commenced to kill us like sheep…. [We] were terrified, fled to the bush, concealed ourselves in holes underground, and in any place to escape our enemies. It was of no avail; we were discovered and killed – men, women and children indiscriminately”. A Māori conqueror justified their actions as follows: “We took possession… in accordance with our customs and we caught all the people. Not one escaped…..”[3]

    After the invasion, Moriori were forbidden to marry Moriori, nor to have children with each other. All became slaves of the Ngati Tama and Ngati Mutunga invaders. Many died from despair. Many Moriori women had children to their Maori masters.’

  100. edited.

    Opps I have just been to your blog, you aren’t joking, I thought you were someone from kiwiblog, trying to have a laugh.

    Anyway back to your blog, how are things with the is the communist party of New Zealand?

    What are the views on Taxes and health and education and such?

    PS: If you want to be taken seriously you need to get the chip off your shoulder about the states.

  101. QoT 103

    Emery took the knife to protect himself against stronger and potentially extremely violent and more numerous offenders.

    Seriously, Redbaiter? Emery took a knife to protect himself against “stronger … numerous offenders” he was CHOOSING TO CHASE. This isn’t a farmer whose house is broken into grabbing the rifle off the mantlepiece and ending up facing manslaughter charges. Emery chased Pihema Cameron down with a knife.

    If you’re going to bait, try to make it vaguely plausible, yes?

  102. teitei 104

    [deleted]

    [lprent: If you cannot spell, then don’t write here. This isn’t a txt. Read the policy before writing again so you know what things are unacceptable ]

  103. expat 105

    K-Wality.

  104. teitei 106

    hey fuck you. spel chek tht bahtch..

    i’ve seen heaps of spelling mistakes on here. so fucken what. the message was spot on. so spell check it and put it back on.

    [lprent: Sure there are spelling mistakes, they aren’t performed as a style. Your efforts are unreadable, make me wince and generally qualify you as an eyesore to a sysop. You are heading to being classed as a public eyesore, a sub category of bloody nuisance. There are sites that like that type of self-expression – this isn’t one of them – because I have to read it.]

  105. teitei 107

    Ok I read the policy. So I apologise for my personal attacks towards those fuckwits. But you should put the non-offensive part back up because its true.

    [lprent: You’ll have to write it again. When I kill something it stays dead. You don’t have to apologize – just do it with more finesse]

  106. teitei 108

    Well dickhead, I was basically saying that the lowest form of life is a Pakeha. And its maggots like BD and SB that prove that statement.

    IrishBill: and you’re banned for a week for insulting the blog owners.

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