McVicar criticised over 'congratulations' on police shooting

Author
NZ Herald Staff,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Sunday, 1 April 2018, 1:41p.m.
Founder of the Sensible Sentencing Trust, Garth McVicar, has been criticized for his comments regarding yesterday's fatal police shooting of a man weilding a machete. (Photo: Brett Phibbs)
Founder of the Sensible Sentencing Trust, Garth McVicar, has been criticized for his comments regarding yesterday's fatal police shooting of a man weilding a machete. (Photo: Brett Phibbs)

Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar has been criticised after condoning police for shooting and killing a man.

McVicar took to Facebook yesterday to congratulate police after the fatal shooting of a 29-year-old east Auckland man after a police chase on State Highway 1 near Pohuehue yesterday morning.

His post read: "One less to clog the prisons! Congratulations to the New Zealand Police, our thoughts are with the officer who was forced to take this action to protect the public."

McVicar founded the Sensible Sentencing in 2001. The charitable trust is said to support victims of serious violent and/or sexual crime and homicide.

Glenn Jeffrey, of New Plymouth, contacted the Herald to voice his disgust at the post.

"My daughter was a victim of a horrific crime so I find Garth McVicar's statement to be abhorrent and I believe the Sensible Sentencing Trust should have its charitable status reassessed because of these comments.

"I am appalled that a fellow New Zealander has these opinions and the support he has received on his page is really scary," he said.

Most responders to the post have harshly criticised McVicar's stance. Only a few support his message.

One poster said: "I respect the police but there's no cause to rejoice at the death".

Others said he should be ashamed of himself and the comment was " totally inappropriate".

"The use of deadly force unfortunately is sometimes necessary / required but to suggest it should be 'congratulated' is appalling - especially given we as yet have no idea as to the facts of the case / circumstances of the individual involved whose family who are no doubt mourning his death," one person wrote.

One responder even said McVicar appeared to have "become the abuser" in his stance.

"I think you need to step away from your crusade, you are now becoming the abuser.

"Have you considered the family and friends of the deceased having to read this. Take a look at your mob that follow you now jumping in and attacking the deceased," he said.

A few commenters supported McVicar's message, stating "bloody good call" and that police had "saved the hard working taxpayer thousands of dollars".

The Herald has approached McVicar, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and The Department of Internal Affairs for comment.

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