Yes, we know about the anger of a slain Sikh’s widow – now let’s find why the cops were tardy

When, oh when, will the news media stop beating the drum about a widow’s anger at the police delay in entering the liquor store where her husband was murdered almost two years ago?

The newspapers have regurgitated the story about her anger again today. The Herald says –

The widow of slain liquor store owner Navtej Singh believes police delays hindered her husband’s chances of survival, and is demanding answers over their actions.

Harjinder Kaur comforted her fatally wounded husband in their Manurewa store as police waited outside for 26 minutes, despite 111 staff having been assured the armed robbers had fled.

In the High Court at Auckland yesterday, as is being widely reported, one of the six men accused of Mr Singh’s murder, Anitelea Chan Kee, 22, was found guilty.

The other five were found not guilty of murder or manslaughter but were found guilty, or pleaded guilty, to aggravated robbery.

Mrs Kaur is shocked the five were acquitted on the murder charges, and remains angry about the way police handled the armed robbery of the liquor store in June 2008.

Mr Singh’s grieving family believe the police delays hindered his chance of survival.

“I’m still very angry with the police,” Mrs Kaur said. “I just can’t understand why they took so long …

I don’t believe any New Zealand citizen should be treated like that. The police did not do enough to save Navtej.”

Let’s make no mistake – this was a dastardly and cowardly slaying.

Mr Singh was shot in the chest with a .22 rifle – while holding his hands in the air – for a few boxes of liquor and the till cash. Security camera images showed the robbers laughing as they left.

Let’s also acknowledge that Mrs Kaur has much to be angry about, including the police delay.

But concerns about the delay were first expressed at the time of the slaying, almost two years ago.

Mrs Kaur certainly made her anger publicly known then, and on 16 June 2008 the Sikh community was reported to be planning to lay a formal complaint against police over their actions immediately after the shooting of Navtej Singh.

The 30-year-old Manurewa man died a week ago after being shot during a raid on his liquor store. Police are being criticised for a delay of more than 20 minutes in allowing ambulance staff onto the premises to help Mr Singh.

Manukau City councillor Daniel Newman and local MP George Hawkins are helping the Sikh community to draft a complaint about the delay.

By then four people had been charged with his murder and three others in connection to the armed hold up.

On 9 October 2008 there were reports of the formal complaint having being laid:

The family of murdered liquor store owner Navtej Singh have made a formal complaint against the police, who they say waited at a cordon for nearly 45 minutes while the fatally wounded man lay bleeding on the floor.

The complaint, by Navtej’s father, Nahar Singh, will be investigated by the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

Auckland Sikh Society spokesman Ajit Singh Randhawa said Navtej’s murder had deeply affected the Sikh community.

“It is something that keeps haunting us,” he said.

Three weeks ago the community met Navtej’s family, who were concerned they had not heard from police since his murder in June.

As a result of that meeting the family decided to lay a formal complaint that focuses on the delay in getting help for him at the scene.

“There are some questions that are still unanswered and we hope this inquiry will get to the bottom of what happened after the shooting of Navtej,” Mr Randhawa said.

He said family and witnesses had described “screaming for emergency services” from inside the shop.

“They could hear emergency services – the police and the ambulances – virtually hiding behind the bushes while life ebbed away from this young man.

“He lay there for almost 40-45 minutes before emergency services picked him up. That is something that has upset the community and something the family cannot come to terms with and they want answers to that.”

Navtej’s father said lodging a complaint would hopefully bring closure for his grieving family, who partially blamed the police for what happened.

More family anger was reported on 16 Nov 2008 –

Shock revelations from the police internal review into the fatal shooting of liquor store owner Navtej Singh have left his already furious family with “serious concerns” about the police response to the horrific crime.

There were reports of the family threatening to sue the police.

The family of a man shot dead in an armed robbery of his south Auckland liquor store has not ruled out legal action against the police.

The family of Navtej Singh, 30, was furious police refused to allow paramedics into his store for more than 20 minutes after he was shot during an armed holdup in Manurewa on June 7.

So one way or another, the New Zealand public has a bloody good idea that the family is pissed off with the police.

With good reason.

But Alf does not need reminding of their anger, surely, again…and again…and again.

He does want to know what the Independent Police Conduct Authority found, during its investigation of the Police response to the shooting.

He recalls being assured the report would be publicly released after the trial of the men accused of the murder.

So instead of asking Mrs Kaur about her feelings, why don’t the bloody media ask the cops to front up with the report?

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