A Queenstown cop’s been targeted by a US-based, anti-gun control Facebook page, which has shared his contact details with more than 220,000 followers.
A post featuring a photo of detective senior sergeant Malcolm Inglis’ business card appeared on the page ‘Gun Control Kills’ on Monday.
It showed Inglis’ contact details, including his phone number and email address. Facebook’s since taken down the post, saying it breached its rules.
Inglis says he’s aware of the post and has received emails, but can’t comment further. One of the comments on the post shows an email apparently sent to Inglis. It features an image of a rifle and the words “come and take it”.
It comes less than a month after the deaths of 50 people at Christchurch mosques, and the move to tighten New Zealand’s gun laws.
The page states its “mission” is “to stop everyone that believes you don’t have the right to protect yourself, your family and your country”.
There are multiple posts on the Facebook page criticising New Zealand’s push to change firearms legislation.
People are also encouraged to “mess with” police by falsely filling in gun surrender forms online.
In a statement, police say they’re aware of the post, and had asked for it to be removed.
A Facebook NZ spokesman says the post violated its policies and Facebook removed it as soon as it became aware of it.
“Our community standards outline the rules around what people can post on Facebook and we do not allow anyone to make statements degrading someone’s character.”
In response to questions from moderators of ‘Gun Control Kills’ say they posted Inglis’ details because they are “not fans of gun confinscation [sic], nor those who actively participate in it (especially for a pay check [US spelling])”.
“So as an unofficial protest, trying to get people to peacefully let him know how we feel about his participa-tion in gun confinscation [sic].”
They say they were sent the image of Inglis’ business card by former Auckland mayoral candidate Adam Holland.
Holland hit the headlines this week after his firearms were seized by police, a move he claimed on Facebook was due to his support for US President Donald Trump.
He posted a photo of a letter from police, signed by Otago-Central Lakes area commander Inspector Olaf Jensen, which stated the weapons were being seized due to concerns about Holland’s “mental and emotional wellbeing”.
He didn’t respond to a request for comment by deadline. Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker calls the post “disgraceful”.
“This is the dark side of social media coming out to play. Unfortunately social media gives the wrong people a soap box,” he says.
“The community is very lucky we have police like Malcolm keeping us safe, who has done a fine job for many years now.”
Walker says he backs Inglis and police “100 per cent”.
A spokeswoman for Police Minister Stuart Nash declined to comment.