Did Police kill Stephen McIntyre?

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Did Police kill Stephen McIntyre?

Post  sativa on Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:08 am

Stephen McIntyre was a good man.

He was a passionate father, husband and activist who fought against the marijuana laws of this country and within the anti-prohibition community, his warmth and calm sensibilities made him a well known and well liked leader.

I met Stephen years ago and had re-connected with him recently as he worked to set up Green Cross. In his later years, Stephen had moved from campaigning for the decriminalization of marijuana to focussing on medical cannabis. Green Cross was the realization of that activism. It provided medical quality marijuana to patients with a doctor's prescription. NZ law allows for doctors to prescribe synthetic marijuana and the 2010 Law Commission review called for that to be widened to organic marijuana as well.

That's where Green Cross came in. They had a list of patients with doctor's prescriptions whose illnesses ranged from those with chronic pain to cancer. Synthetic product did not work for many of these people.

I would joke to Stephen that he wasn't so much 'Doctors Without Borders' as 'Stoners Without Borders'.

Green Cross opened an office with a members lounge room and dispensary, similar to the California model. The office served as an information center on medical marijuana. The organisation was tireless in its dealings with the Ministry of Health in trying to shift the policy debate to allow those with written prescriptions to legally purchase organic marijuana from a registered center like Green Cross without fear of prosecution.

At the beginning of June this year, the Dactory was raided. The Dactory was a wild west shed out in New Lynn that was an open shop for marijuana smokers and dealers. It was the very type of operation Stephen shunned because of it's lack of self regulation or competence. During this raid, some of those arrested were allegedly yelling, 'why are you arresting us, what about Green Cross'?

Days after that raid, on June 8th, Police officers went to Green Cross demanding to be let in. They became very agitated and aggressive when refused entry and they were told to come back with a warrant if they wanted access to the building. They threatened to smash down the door, but calmed down very quickly when it was pointed out that the Green Cross security cameras were watching. Police then claimed to have an arrest warrant for one of the club members for breaching a protection order. The member met them outside and went cooperatively.

On the 20th of June two uniformed, friendly Police officers turned up at Green Cross and met Stephen. He said that both officers made very sympathetic noises about what Green Cross were trying to do on the medical marijuana front. Stephen was definitely left with the impression that they thought Green Cross were operating on the edge of the law, but because there is no profit based criminal activity going on, that they would be left alone.

On the 22nd of June, Police arrived at the Green Cross office while Stephen was there and pulled the old 'we smell cannabis' trick and started a search. They found 350 grams of medical quality marijuana and $1470 worth of cash. Stephen was arrested.

I met with him shortly after his arrest and he spoke with passion about how he would defend these charges. I remember the defiant look in his eyes as he spoke about the patients he worked with. He declared that this was going to be the moment that the medical marijuana debate was sparked, so to speak. The decriminalization debate, which had stagnated and gone no where of late, could open a new front.

I wished him all the best in this endeavor and pledged that I would do what I could to publicize the debate when it came to court. I wanted to help because I also found the idea of making sick people seeking pain relief from marijuana (and those who help them get that marijuana) into criminals a complete injustice.

Sadly, we'll never have that court date.

On Monday 16th July at approximately 8.15pm the Police turned up at the McIntyre's house. Stephen was teaching guitar lessons to 4 students while his wife and two teenage sons were at home. The Police claim they were conducting a bail check. However, Stephen had no bail conditions imposed upon him after the arrest other than agreeing to remain living at the address given at the time of arrest. There was no curfew.

What happened next is crucial to the question of whether or not the NZ Police used tactics that killed my friend.

The Police intimidated Stephen outside the front of his house and claimed they could smell cannabis while demanding to know what he would plead and threatening him with further charges if he turned the issue into a campaign.

It is now apparent that having the Police turn up at his home at night and demand to know what he was going to plead while threatening further charges had a terrible impact on Stephen.

On Sunday 22nd of July, Stephen, terrified beyond his wits by the Police threats, took his own life.

I was shocked and horrified the next day when I was informed. It would appear to me that the visit and the manner in which it was conducted, was intended to pressure Stephen into backing off his campaigning and into pleading guilty.

I want answers from the NZ Police and I'll do all I can to draw attention to what I see as despicable bullying tactics.

I have questions:

Why were the Police at Stephen's home on the 16th of July 'checking bail conditions' when Stephen had no bail conditions?

Why did the Police threaten and intimidate Stephen with further charges?

Is it normal to appear at a person's home when their lawyer is not informed and able to be present? and then to threaten further charges if a person doesn't plead guilty?

Why did the Police want to know how he would plead? Why was this information sought at night, at his home?

Why did the Police claim they could 'small cannabis'? And if they could, why did they not conduct a search of his house?

Are these bullying tactics supported by Police leaders?

I believe that these dirty intimidation tactics by the NZ Police must be exposed.

Stephen McIntyre was a good man, and he sure as hell didn't deserve to be terrified to death by the Police in his own home.

Part 2 and 3 of this story will be published this week.

sativa

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From NZ Herald

Post  sativa on Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:22 am

The wife of a medicinal marijuana advocate who died suddenly while awaiting trial for drug charges claims police "harassment" of her husband put him under unbearable strain.

Stephen McIntyre was charged with supplying cannabis after police raided the Auckland offices of GreenCross, a group which dispenses low-grade marijuana to patients with prescriptions for legal synthetic versions of the drug.

His wife Reiko Yanai said McIntyre was initially upbeat about fighting the charges. But his mood changed after police officers turned up at the family home to check on bail conditions on July 16, eight days before his death.

Yanai claimed McIntyre, who was teaching guitar lessons at the time of the police visit, was threatened by the officers.

Yanai said the officers told her husband they could smell cannabis, asked him how he was going to plead and told him he could face further charges.

"Stephen was very upset by this experience," she said. "Stephen was a law-abiding, gentle man who was not used to aggressive police behaviour. He felt his security and privacy was unjustifiably violated. He felt scared and intimidated."


Father-of-two McIntyre, 47, was found dead at his home in Avondale, Auckland, on July 24. His death has been referred to the coroner.

Yanai said she planned to write to Police Commissioner Peter Marshall to complain about the force's actions.

Relieving Western Area Commander Detective Inspector Karyn Malthus said officers went to McIntyre's home to check he was living there, as his bail conditions stated.

Malthus said police could smell cannabis smoke within the address when the door was answered and chose to speak to him outside the address to "avoid causing him embarrassment".

Police chose not to pursue any charges over the cannabis smell, she said.

"Police inquired as to who Mr McIntyre's lawyer was so that any communication that might be required should go to the correct counsel. This is a normal police activity."

Blogger Martyn 'Bomber' Bradbury will today publish a letter on his Tumeke blog written by McIntyre immediately after the police visit on July 16.

"In retrospect, his friends now all see that the police turning up at his home at night and demanding to know what he was going to plead while threatening further charges had a terrible impact on Stephen," Bradbury said.

Drug Foundation chief executive Ross Bell said McIntyre was a "lovely guy" who had a "heart for helping people in need".

"He wasn't your typical cannabis law reformer, he was very pragmatic and a great advocate.

"I think Stephen had a real sense of what needed to be achieved because the people who are suffering and in pain do need to have advocates."

In its 2010 report into drug law, the Law Commission recommended a policy of non-prosecution against medicinal marijuana suppliers.

However, several GreenCross members have been charged with cannabis dealing in recent months. Last month a prominent member of GreenCross, Billy McKee, was sentenced to 12 months' home detention for supplying an undercover police officer.

Bell added: "It's at the whim of local police. I have seen lots of cases where the police have been willing to prosecute and some of those are very stark cases where a little bit of compassion would have gone a long way."

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Re: Did Police kill Stephen McIntyre?

Post  sativa on Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:59 pm

The Police have responded to the NZ Herald*about the exclusive story Tumeke broke this morning regarding their bullying and intimidation tactics that occurred before Stephen McIntyre's suicide.

I have been contacted by Stephen's lawyer this morning and he points out that their answers to what they were doing at Stephen's home on the 16th July don't stack up and I would argue that they are demonstrably false.

Relieving Western Area Commander Detective Inspector Karyn Malthus said officers went to McIntyre's home to check he was living there, as his bail conditions stated.
Stephen's lawyer says to this...

I also agree that there was no point or need for a Police visit as Stephen was not on a curfew condition of bail and was perfectly entitled to be away from his home at any time of the day or night. I have never known Police to make night time bail checks on clients where no curfew condition is in place.

...so this claim that they were just checking his bail conditions were a nonsense because Stephen had no curfew set. His only condition is that he lived at his address. The Police are pretending that such checking would be standard, they are doing that because they need to justify why they were at Stephen's house at 8.15pm on a Friday night.

Malthus said police could smell cannabis smoke within the address when the door was answered and chose to speak to him outside the address to "avoid causing him embarrassment".

Police chose not to pursue any charges over the cannabis smell, she said.

Really? Let's get this straight. On the 22nd of June, according to their own fact sheet from the arrest, the two officers could smell cannabis and conducted a search of the Green Cross premises based on that smell. Does anyone honestly believe that the Police after using that tactic at his workplace wouldn't then use it again at his home? There are 7 eyewitnesses, the 4 guitar students, Stephen's widow and his two teenage sons who can attest to the fact there was no marijuana being smoked.

Ask yourself, if the Police really did smell cannabis, wouldn't they invoke a search? They had him up on 350 grams plus $1400 odd dollars using that exact same tactic of 'I smell cannabis' at Green Cross on the 22nd June but they didn't on 16th July?

It's Tui ad-esk isn't it?

I suggest that the Police couldn't smell any cannabis at all because if they could, they would have searched and arrested him again.

"Police inquired as to who Mr McIntyre's lawyer was so that any communication that might be required should go to the correct counsel. This is a normal police activity."

This attempt to explain what they were doing at Stephen's home is the most demonstrably false part of their explanation because the Police knew who Stephen's lawyer was.

This from Stephen's lawyer...

That is absolute nonsense. Police well aware that I was acting for Stephen as my office had been involved in the case from the very day of Stephen's initial arrest. I had already represented Stephen at his first Court appearance and we had also had several subsequent communications with the Police officers dealing with the case, regarding receiving disclosure material and the such like.

So the Police are lying when they say they turned up at Stephen's house to find out who his lawyer was because his lawyer had been there from the 22nd of June, the day he was arrested. He appeared in Court for Stephen and spoke to the Police several times regarding the case.

So we have to believe that they were checking up on a bail condition that didn't have any conditions, that they smelled marijuana and didn't search his house, and that they just wanted to know who his lawyer was when his lawyer had already represented him and had communicated directly to them several times already?

I put to people that the answers by the Police are false and that they are trying to create a cover up to what their Police officers were really doing which was to bully and intimidate Stephen into pleading guilty and that this bullying ultimately had a terrible conclusion.

The answers given by the Police raise more questions and there needs to be an Independent Police Conduct Authority investigation into the events surrounding Stephen's suicide.

Part 2 is an open letter to the Police Commissioner and head of the Auckland drug squad by Stephen's widow and Part 3 is a transcript written by Stephen approximately 20 minutes after the Police had threatened him on July 16th.

*Green Cross Auckland would like to clear up 3 points from the NZ Herald story.

1: It was not 'low-grade' marijuana.
2: Green Cross Auckland have nothing to do with Billy McKee and his GreenCross syndicate.
3: Stephen died 22nd July not 24th.

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Re: Did Police kill Stephen McIntyre?

Post  x-factor on Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:38 am

A little bit of compassion could have gone a long way indeed.
police are very well known to threaten with other charges and start filthy stories amoung the community if you dont play the game the way they want.
I Am a victim of this myself.

May steven rest in peace as he was a rock for the cause with a heart of gold..
I hope his wife and children are okay and my heart and full respect goes out to them.

I am watching this topic with interest.
if you find out any more info sativa or any one else please keep us informed.

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