PSNI and éirígí at loggerheads over alleged ‘death threat’

Newry Times News Posted by
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Monday, October 29th, 2012
Community, News

Newry spokesman for éirígí, Stephen Murney has said a member of the PSNI allegedly threatened to kill him.

Eirigi’s Newry spokesman Stephen Murney with slips which he insists are from each stop and search earlier in the year

According to Murney, the threat was made on Friday evening when Murney was stopped and searched by members of the PSNI just minutes after he left a community event in the town.

During the stop and search in Monaghan Street, one member of the PSNI allegedly told Murney, “I’ll put a bullet in your F***ing head”.

Commenting on the incident, Murney said, “I was stopped and searched by the PSNI in Monaghan St shortly after leaving the suicide awareness event. It was during that search that a member of the PSNI said he would put a bullet in my head.

“Given the history of collusion between the 6 county police force and loyalist death squads, I am taking the threat seriously. In the past, similar threats were made to people and, in many cases, those threats were later carried out by state forces acting in conjunction with their loyalist proxies.”

He added, “While the threat is a worrying development it certainly won’t be deterring me from my political activities. I will be recording the details of this threat with my legal representatives and with the human rights group CAJ”.

éirígí’s general secretary, Breandán Mac Cionnaith said, “Such behaviour by the PSNI is totally unacceptable, although it is far from surprising. The PSNI has inherited the old bully-boy tactics of the RUC.

“Indeed, half of the current manpower of the PSNI who patrol the streets of the Six Counties were themselves members of the RUC. It is little wonder that they feel that they can act with impunity.

He added, “Constitutional nationalist parties have created a smokescreen of cover for the PSNI to engage in widespread harassment and human rights abuses. Contrary to what those parties state, incidents such as these confirm the reality that the PSNI is merely the old RUC dressed up in new uniforms with a new name.”

Newry Times contacted Newry PSNI regarding the incident and a spokesman for the police said they have checks and balances in place to ensure no abuse of stop and search powers.

“Police in E District, like any other policing area in Northern Ireland, have processes in place to ensure that Stop and Search powers are used properly and proportionately in preventing and detecting crime.

“The use of these powers is monitored across all districts, effectively identifying highest levels of use and reasons for use.”

The spokesman continued, “It is important that we have the appropriate powers to help counter threats from terrorism. We recognize the requirement for proportionate and judicious use of such powers, and have strict protocols in place to oversee their use by our officers.

“It is a provision that is used only when necessary, to protect the community, and the police officers who serve it. Any member of the public who has a complaint in relation to Stop and Search should take it to the Police Ombudsman’s Office where the matter will be investigated fully and independently.”


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