22 Jun 2021

Police shooting investigation contradicts official version of events

From Morning Report, 7:10 am on 22 June 2021

The official version of how police came to shoot a Māori man in Rotorua is contradicted by the police's own investigation of the shooting. 

Shargin Stephens was shot and killed in 2016 after smashing up an empty police car with a weed slasher. 

A year later an Independent Police Conduct Authority report said police actions were justified.  

Four years on and the Stephens whanau are still battling for a full coroner's inquest into his death.

Now an RNZ investigation shows the IPCA was not told the full story about police actions.

For more than a month before Stephens lashed out and was shot, police made constant late night bail checks on Stephens, arriving as late as 2 and 3am. 
RNZ has also obtained a report by a digital imaging expert which says a seven second chunk of video taken right before the shooting is missing from police taser camera footage, raising questions about whether police have edited the video.

Guyon Espiner has been investigating.

He spoke to Corin Dann.