Ex US Marine Corp member Jason Palmer has been named as the prison officer killed by an inmate at Spring Hill prison in the Waikato. Mr Palmer died from his injuries after an assault that took place on May 15 2010.
Members of the Trademe message boards have talked about under-staffing being a problem at the prison
Sources have told reporters at the Dominion Post that the man responsible for the attack was a member of the Killer Beez, one of many gangs that terrorise the small islands of New Zealand (read Killer Beez a school for gangstas). Their activities and recruitment has spread out of South Auckland into areas like the North Shore, however their presence is often downplayed and kept out of news reports so as not to generate adverse publicity.
The press will often refer to gangs now as “rival groups” and muggers/armed robbers will be said to have been “wearing bandannas” (code for gang members)
Even children aren’t safe from these gangs. A 4 year old boy was recently attacked in a park for wearing a red T shirt – the official colour of the Mongrel Mob and an innocent 15 year old kid was deliberately ran over in a gang initiation ritual.
Some towns in the country are very keen to play down their gang problem, one council even edited a Wikipedia page to remove references to gang crime.
Mr Palmer emigrated from America eight years ago, no doubt looking for a better and safer lifestyle in which to raise a family. He leaves behind a 13 year old son named Taylor Palmer who lives with his mother in Kingsville, Texas; his present wife Tracy and their two small children Riley, 5, and Abbey, 2. Our heartfelt condolences go out to them all for the sad loss of their father and husband.
“An inmate accused of assaulting a guard who later died was a Killer Beez gang member under segregation, sources say.
Jason Palmer, 33, a former member of the United States Marine Corps who came to New Zealand eight years ago, died yesterday after an inmate at Spring Hill Corrections Facility, about 65km south of Auckland, punched him in the head about 1pm on Saturday.
Mr Palmer was one of three officers unlocking an inmate’s cell when the attack happened. The punch threw him to the floor, where he hit his head. He was taken to Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital suffering massive head injuries. Life support was turned off yesterday afternoon.
…The prisoner involved was under segregation at the time of the attack, and has since been shifted to the maximum security unit in Auckland Prison at Paremoremo. He will appear in Hamilton District Court this morning charged with assault. More charges are likely.
He has not been named, but sources told The Dominion Post that he was a member of the Killer Beez, a South Auckland gang.
Department of Corrections chief executive Barry Matthews said it appeared Mr Palmer was punched shortly after he and two other prison guards opened the segregated inmate’s cell.
He fell back and hit his head on the floor as the other two guards restrained the prisoner…more
According to the book Gangs by Ross Kemp (see video in the side bar to the right) New Zealand has more gangs per head then any other country in the world, with about seventy major gangs and over 4,000 patched members in a population of about 4,000,000 people.
According to the sociologist Jarrod Gilbert, New Zealand has had problems with youth and street gangs since the 1950s. However organised crime gangs such as those which currently dominate the New Zealand scene mostly date from the 1970s. ‘Gangsta’ style gangs have been a presence in New Zealand since the early 1990s but individual gangs of this type are typically short lived.
New Zealand gangs have generally been heavily influenced by their American counterparts. Although Black Power takes its name from the black liberation movement of the same name, in many ways it and similar gangs are much more akin to white American motorcycle gangs such as the Hell’s Angels. Since the early 1990s newer gangs have primarily been influenced by African American street gangs such as the Crips and Bloods.
Gangs of New Zealand (source Wikipedia)
Black Power was formed in the late 1960s in Whakatane, and its membership is primarily Māori and Pacific Islander. It has been involved with various kinds of crime, particularly drug dealing. Its symbol is the clenched fist of the American black power movement, and its colours are blue and black.
Hells Angels MC
The Hells Angels motorcycle club founded a chapter in Auckland in 1961 and has since taken over gangs in Wanganui. New Zealand had the first chapter of the Hells Angels outside the US.
Highway 61 MC
The Highway 61 motorcycle club is currently the largest outlaw motorcycle club in New Zealand. The motorcycle club currently has chapters in Auckland, Hastings, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch and also Sydney, Australia.. By 2008 it had expanded into Brisbane and the Gold Coast in eastern Australia.
The Mongrel Mob was formed and organised in Hastings about 1968 and, like its Black Power rivals, is primarily Māori and Pacific Islander. The gang has been active in organised crime and has been involved in several murders. Its symbol is a bulldog wearing a German Stahlhelm helmet, and the gang makes use of other Nazi imagery. Their colours are red and black. The Mongrel Mob is currently the biggest gang in New Zealand.
In 1977 the Nomads split from Black Power.
Road Knights MC
The Road Knights motorcycle club operates in the South Island. They are based in Invercargill, Timaru and Christchurch. The gang has ties with the Hells Angels, Red Devils and the Harris Gang and are rivals with the Mongrel Mob.
The Tribesmen is a prominently Māori motorcycle club formed in the 1980s in Otara. It is connected to the Killerbeez youth street gang.
- Devil’s Henchmen MC (Christchurch and Timaru) – the original South Island outlaw motorcycle club, formed in Christchurch in 1973
- Epitaph Riders MC (Christchurch and Greymouth)
- Filthy Few MC (Tauranga, Rotorua, Waihi and Matamata)
- Forty Five MC (Auckland)
- Greasy Dogs (Mount Maunganui)
- Headhunters MC (Auckland, Wellsford, Northland and Tauranga)
- Huhu MC (Tokoroa), started as a largely bush crew from the early 1950s, MC in the early 1970s.
- Lone Legion MC (Blenheim)
- Lost Breed MC (Nelson)
- Magogs MC (New Plymouth)
- Mothers MC (Palmerston North)
- Outcasts MC (Hamilton)
- Outlaws MC (Napier)
- Red Devils MC (Nelson)
- Satans Slaves MC (Wellington)
- Sinn Fein MC (Upper Hutt)
- Southern Vikings MC (Dunedin)
- Templars MC (Christchurch)
- Tyrants MC (Pahiatua)
- Ara Toa Whanau MC (Palmerston North, Horowhenua, Heretaunga)
- Hammerskins (Nationwide) – Nazi-skinhead gang.
- King Cobras (Auckland) – formed in central Auckland during the 1960s, K.C started as a largely Samoan gang but including some Pakeha and people from other Polynesian countries.
- StormTroopers (Dargaville)
- Tribal Huk (Ngaruawahia)
- FBI’s (Full Blooded Islanders)- Pacific Islanders – Wellington/Nationwide[
- Bloods (Youth Gang,Nationwide)
- Crips (Youth Gang,Nationwide)
- Darksiders (Youth Gang – Connected to Black Power, Wellington)
- Dope Money Sex (Youth Gang) – Central Auckland
- Killerbeez (Youth Gang – Connected to the Tribesman)
A snapshot of gang activity in NZ 2009
June – Tuari Damyn Karipa-Rangi pleads guilty in the robbery and assault of two men in Christchurch. The gang associated with the violent mugging is named as the YSK – Young Skuxx Klicxx at youth street gang with 10-20 members
June – ‘Two bashed in gang turf clash’ -Two patched Mongrel Mob members were set upon and beaten up by at least four rival gang members in the car park of the Tamatea Pak’nSave supermarket at 3.45 in the afternoon.
June – Gang violence out of control in New Zealand – In the Hawkes Bay region of the North Island, police say it is a matter of pure luck that they are not dealing with multiple murders after members of a local gang chapter tore apart a 21st birthday party, using knives, baseball bats and a machete.
Feb – “Gang life is one of petty terrorism, violence and hatred” Said Wellington’s mayor after the gang related drive-by shooting in which three year old Jhia Te Tua died in her parents’ home. Gangs involved were Black Power and Mongrel Mob.
Feb – “The danger of serious youth violence is increasing as juvenile gangs take up weapons, Hastings’ top police officer has warned. In a police crime report to be discussed by city leaders, Inspector Dean Clifford says the suburb of Flaxmere has between 13 and 15 gangs for just 10,300 residents.”
Feb – “Mayors play down gang problem after brawls – Brawls in Wairoa and Gisborne including one between Black Power and Mongrel Mob members, resulted in arrests at the weekend but local mayors are defending their area, saying it does not have a gang problem”
Other gang related blog posts:
Also see posts tagged GANGS on blogspot
Spring Hill Prison
We have a friend who was an officer at Springhill and he left about 6 months ago as he said that the place was way understaffed and that something like this was going to happen and sadly it has.
“Each prison is issued with a LIMITED amount of stab proof vests & batons but staff are not allowed to wear them on duty – only for certain incidents or tasks…The Dept. of Corrections mislead the public with how they do their press releases.
Last week, in Milton Prison alone, 4 staff were assaulted, one hit from behind be a meal tray & then kicked in the head whilst down. It’s insane, prison staff are unsafe and need better resources to deal with the violent prison population. The Dept. and Government don’t want to listen to the prison guards union because what is needed costs money & they’re too busy being cheap ar*es…”