The Green Party is urging the New Zealand Police to rule out the use of Armed Response Teams, following their recent trial in communities around Aotearoa.
The call comes in a letter to Police Commissioner Andrew Coster, penned by Greens Co-leader Marama Davidson and Justice Spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. It follows global protests this week against the killing of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police.
“The recent trial of armed, roaming police patrols in low socio-economic and predominantly brown communities did not make people feel safer. As a mother of two Māori sons in one of the trial areas, I can say first-hand I was worried about their wellbeing,” said Marama Davidson.
“We only have to look to the United States to see how violent things can get under a militarised police force. This is especially so for minorities and communities of colour.
“Our request is very clear: that the New Zealand Police rule out any adoption of patrolling Armed Response Teams in Aotearoa.”
“Right now, the police have the chance to stop New Zealand shifting towards dangerous, military-style policing. We urge them to take that opportunity by heeding our call to rule out armed patrols,” said Golriz Ghahraman.
The letter was sent to the Police Commissioner this week. The police are currently evaluating the Armed Response Team trial that ended in April this year.
The full letter can be found here.