Alleged offences far more serious than downloading massacre footage

It isn’t surprising to see that one of the people charged with downloading footage of the Christchurch massacres is alleged to have committed more serious offences than just that.

Stuff: Teen on footage charge allegedly planned mass shooting at school

A high school student who allegedly downloaded footage of the Christchurch massacre also allegedly discussed plans of how best to conduct a mass shooting at his school with fellow students.

The 17-year-old appeared in the Hamilton District Court on Tuesday afternoon on a charge of possession of objectionable material, where he was granted interim name suppression.

The charge against the teenager reads that on April 8 at a location in the Waikato he, “without lawful authority or excuse, had in his possession an objectionable publication, namely camera footage of the Christchurch mosque shootings, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the publication is objectionable”.

The portion of the police summary that can be reported reveals that police allege they were called to the boy’s high school by the principal on Monday, after he was found to be in possession of a USB stick containing footage of the mass killings in Christchurch on March 15.

According to the police summary, he had allegedly been talking to other students about how easy it would be for a mass killing to take place at the school.

His alleged plan involved activating a fire alarm, which would prompt the students and staff to evacuate and congregate on the school fields, where they would be an easy target for a shooter.

The portions of the summary Bourke divulged in court also revealed the teenager had allegedly searched for footage of the Christchurch shooting using the Google search engine. However Google prevented this, so it is claimed he found “alternative ways” of accessing several files of the footage.

He allegedly showed the footage to other male students and the USB stick was passed around, however the teenager did not know whether any of those other students had made copies of the files.

So based on this there seems to be good cause for the police to have arrested and charged him.

Thousands of people will have accessed the video and the manifesto, and most of them won’t be investigated or charged. Only those who appear to pose more serious risks will (or should) attract the attention of the police.