George Floyd protests spark at Aotea Square in Auckland

George Floyd protests spark at Aotea Square in Auckland

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On Monday afternoon, multiple media organizations in New Zealand submitted and published articles that push for George Floyd protests to happen in New Zealand from a Facebook group called Black Lives Matter March For Solidarity.

A comment in the group said many need to realize is that by supporting anti-racism and anti-police brutality in the U.S, New Zealand people are supporting the fight against anti-racism and anti-police brutality also.

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“If the government and NZ Police are aware that we can take a stand on a global issue, it should make them think twice about abusing their power. Stay PEACEFUL. Stay POWERFUL.”

The world has seen what has happened in the U.S with the mass destruction of innocent businesses and police brutality. The protests in the U.S was caused by the death of a black man named George Floyd. 

Derek Chauvin, the police officer, involved kneeled on George Floyd’s neck for about 8.5 minutes.

The Police officer Derek Chauvin never removed his knee from George Floyd’s airway so he could breathe. 

George Floyd passed away shortly after, and After George Floyd’s passing, protests had formed all over the U.S, calling for the end to police brutality & racism. 

The Police officer was fired and then three days later charged with third-degree murder.

The march in Auckland is in response to the murder of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis after a police officer pinned him to the ground and knelt in his neck for 8.5 minutes.

American attorney Michael O. Freeman said in a press conference at 1:00 pm on Friday, May 29th 2020, “I am here to announce that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is in custody. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged by the Hennepin County Attorney’s office with third-degree murder and with manslaughter.”

If the protests get out of hand, the small businesses expect to fear that their buildings could get torn to shreds or lit on fire if outrage sparks with police force crowd control. 

The protest group claims to be peaceful and stay powerful and assuming what the media wants? The same problem the U.S is experiencing.

It is a very touchy situation to be frantic. The protest starts on Monday, June 1st, at 3:30 pm as of this article being posted.

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A march will start on Aotea Square then moving forward to the United States Consulate General on Customs St in Auckland City.

The media is pushing for the “same white supremacy exists in NZ” but our police force is mere as gun control as the U.S in terms police brutality up until April 2020.

There is racial profiling from police forces in New Zealand that may not be seen or just not advanced enough to be filmed in time for a record. Still, the media mostly mentions black and white people in jail, not the actual problem New Zealand may face in the future.

Police conducted a trial of ARTs (Armed Response Teams) as a new way of deploying the existing armed response provided by the AOS (Armed Offenders Squad.)

“Police is essentially an unarmed service, and there is determination both within Police and in public to keep it that way. But the AOS provides Police with the means of effectively and more safely responding to and resolving situations that pose a high risk.”

“ARTs have access to a range of tactical options, and on average, they comprise a minimum of three specialist AOS personnel. At times ARTs may be supported by additional staff, such as our specialist dog units.”

“As part of the trial, Police want to seek the public’s views on whether or not ARTs make communities feel safer, and, whether they should be established across New Zealand.”

Action Station released a survey on the trial of Armed Police in New Zealand.

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Maori were less likely to call 111 if they know police presence are armed.

  • Demographics of survey participants:
  • 1,155 people took the survey
  • 82% were Māori (854) 
  • 26% were Pasifika (209)
  • 8% of respondents were Māori and Pasifika (92)
  • 66% were female (764)
  • 29% were male (334)
  • 2% were gender diverse or non-binary (27)
  • 14% identified as LGBTQI+ or takatāpui (156)
  • 11% identified as having a disability (127)
  • – Support for the trial of armed Police:
  • 85% do not support the trial going ahead (978)
  • 7% support the trial going ahead (86)
  • 6% did not know if they support the trial or not (71)
  • 2% selected ‘other’ (20)
  • When asked why Police use force against Pākehā less than Māori or Pasifika:
  • 88% said it was more because of structural racism (1,013)

78% of survey participants experienced or witnessed Police acting with bias or racism.

457 people shared more details about their experiences of police racism.

159 people had witnessed or experienced police officers using excessive force, violence or even saying racist slurs and comments.

The real problem for the racial profiling issue is the militarization of the New Zealand police, and the trial ended on Sunday, April 26th, 2020. A review is currently being undertaken with the results expected at the end of June.

The New Zealand police have said in a detailed explanation of why they’re wanting to be “the safest country in the world.”

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said that the trial was about having specialist police personnel immediately ready to deploy to critical or high-risk incidents.

In terms of the planned mass protests around the country, Police said they are aware of them happening but are to remind people attending to be knowledgeable of the alert level 2 restrictions on gatherings.

If people fail to comply with the restrictions, what’s next for the whole agenda on a peaceful protest. 

Armed Response Teams could become a 24/7 thing, and it concerns about what this could mean for Maori people and police brutality.

New Zealand doesn’t want Police that makes them feel unsafe, and the leading buildup to this protest and other protests could potentially drive the AOS to become a permanent deployment to enforce a crowd control or different uncertain arising situations.

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