What’s Changed?

Records held at Wellington’s Alexander Turnbull Library record:

A grieving father farewells his son

A grieving father farewells his son

“Emmanuel Papadopoulos jnr died of a drug overdose”.      

Three decades on those of us who were there remember it quite differently.

The Police Complaints Authority’s 40 page report published on 9 February 1990, just over a month after “Manny” Papadopoulos was strangled by policeman Paul Berry is a remarkable document and makes it one of the fastest whitewashes in the PCA’s history.  What makes it so remarkable is its arrogance and blatantly pro police viewpoint that is barely suppressed.

Even if you try to read this document from a completely objective viewpoint there are some disturbing trends that remain to the forefront in today’s Independent Police Conduct Authority.

Even in the opening paragraphs of his report Sir Peter Quilliam is adopting a position sympathetic to police by describing their investigation as “thorough and meticulous”.  These were unchartered waters for the PCA as it was the first investigation of its kind that the PCA had overseen.  It appears that Sir Peter Quilliam was anxious to establish a position from the outset.

Witnesses who are unsympathetic to the police at the time are discredited or rubbished and there is a general emphasis on preferring the versions of the witnesses who can help clear the police.  Overall the impression is that from the outset there was a determination to clear the police and that is how the “investigation” was conducted.

The PCA’s investigator was John Roberts who for the duration of his tenure with the PCA maintained a staunchly pro police viewpoint and was renowned for his ability to find in favour of police no matter how overwhelming the evidence was to the contrary.

There was a heck of a lot of background evidence that the PCA refused to look at, perhaps because it would have painted an entirely different picture.  Not the least of these being that the same police officer who strangled Manny Papadopoulos had been hassling him for weeks prior to that night.  This fact alone offers an alternative explanation as to why he ran away when stopped.  In those days the police officer concerned was well known around Wellington as a bully and thug and so it is a reasonable possibility that Manny  Papadopoulos, who was alone in the car, feared for his safety.

Consider also that back in 1989 the police did not become involved in “routine traffic stops” as this was before police merged with the MOT.  New Year’s Eve morning in central Wellington and the police are going to have far more important things on their minds that “routine traffic stops”.  So this is one aspect that just does not add up and has never been explained.  Up until that point it is unlikely that this police officer had conducted a traffic stop in his entire career.

One of the witnesses actually says in his statement that the thought the Sargent wanted to kill Mr Papadopoulos.

Throughout his report Quilliam refers to Mr Papadopoulos as “the deceased” and seems to have forgotten that he is dealing with a human life and the consequences of that being taken.

Read the report for yourself and make your own judgments:

PCA Report – PAPADOPOULOS Emmanuel

How many other historical documents of this nature have been wrongly recorded to distort the truth and give an inaccurate picture of our history?

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6 Responses to What’s Changed?

  1. julie pomeroy says:

    congratulations on such a brilliant new site.Im familiar with the likes of Paul Berry unfortuneately frm personal and luckily for me,infrequent shall we term ”encounters”..,as a punkrocker in Wellington me and my mates spraypainted inflammatory comments about his bully boy tactics tagged all around Mt.Victoria Wgtn. we are talking circa springbok tour and Berry is six ft.something suffice to say more was the pity that his towering and rather imposing figure looms long to be etched into the annals of our and the choker hold he was memories moreover as a cop whom took the life of one of Wgtns more ”colourful” identity”s….Emmanual was of small stature and the strength or should I say force in which the strangle hold he was put in would have been overzealous to say the least.

  2. Costa says:

    Wellington’s Greek community will never forget Paul Berry. No matter what the police complaints decided, he murdered Manny and they let him get away with it. Julie is right, manny was a “colourful” character but had a heart of gold and many, many friends around the city. We won’t forget him any time soon.

  3. Nick the Greek says:

    Even today Paul berry’s name is one that is loathed by many in Wellington. They shipped him out for a while after he killed Manny but surprise, surprise he came back. probably hoped that with time we would forget. Sorry paul we will never forget and one day all your bully boy tactics and thuggery will come back to bite you on the bum. karma is such a great thing that it will happen without intervention from any of the many people out there who hate you so

    • Hey Nick, how long has it been since Berry killed Manny, 30 plus years?

      “What goes around Does NOT come around….unless you make it so.

      Karma is a cop-out for those too lazy, stupid and cowardly to get their own back. ”

      I thought you Greeks knew how to even the score, apparently Wellington Greeks are a bunch of pussies. Maybe you need to learn from your brothers in Victoria, they know how to deal with rogue cops.

  4. suzyq says:

    Now there is a name that I never wanted to hear again. Back in the day Paul Berry used to be one of the creepiest cops in Welly and lots of girls were scared of him. I suspect that now he is just old and creepy. Paul Berry I hope that the ghosts of Many Sr and Manny Jr come back to haunt you on a daily basis and that your passing is equally distressing.

  5. Bobi Lloyd says:

    I heard half this story when I was out of the country at the time of his death and the subsequent whitewash/investigations, and I never got to hear the whole thing … until today.
    I used to work for Manny at Emmanuel’s Restaurant in Manners St in 1983 – 84. I knew something of his (and his family’s) colourful nature back then but that neither endeared me to him nor put me off him. About all we had in common was our status as ‘outsiders’ … still, he deserved better than this. I’m not surprised that the cops wanted him dead though – they weren’t very tolerant of ‘outsiders’.

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