20 Jul 2023

IPCA to probe scores of complaints stemming from Posie Parker's abandoned rally

2:09 pm on 20 July 2023
British anti-transgender activist Posie Parker, also known as Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, at a rally in Albert Park in central Auckland on 25 March 2023.

Posie Parker at the rally in Mt Albert in Auckland on 25 March. Photo: RNZ / Rayssa Almeida

The police watchdog will conduct a general review of the police response to an anti-trans activist's rally in Auckland in March.

Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, also known as Posie Parker, had to abandon the event, Let Women Speak, when trans-solidarity protesters broke through barriers.

She had liquids thrown over her by angry protesters, which resulted in her cancelling her planned rally in Wellington.

The police watchdog said it has received 162 complaints about policing of the event; of these, 34 were from people who attended.

The IPCA review will look at police conduct at the protest and planning for the event.

The authority's chair Judge Kenneth Johnston told Morning Report some of the complaints were from people who attended the rally while others were "instigated by media reports".

"They are serious complaints and need to be looked into."

The main theme of the complaints was concern about the apparent lack of planning for the event and as a consequence Parker was unable to speak.

He agreed that at the time there was criticism of the low number of police officers who attended.

"The crux seems to be a lack of preparation and a lack of expectation about the nature of the protests against Miss Parker ... The police presence or the number of police is an important aspect of that."

The IPCA has recently carried out an investigation into a group of complaints about the occupation of Parliament's grounds last year.

Judge Johnston agreed the latest investigation was "a thematic inquiry" as opposed to looking into a single complaint.

"One takes a group of complaints, identifies the central aspects of them, and looks at them as a whole.

"Of course, this is a much smaller exercise than the Parliamentary protest."

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