9 July 2020.
Police performed the haka “Ko Te Uru Pounamu” for slain police officer Constable Matthew Hunt at Eden Park. Video / NZ Herald
An apparent supporter of the person who killed Constable Matthew Hunt is being investigated after uploading material about Eli Epiha, who has pleaded guilty to the officer’s murder.
In 10 videos uploaded to TikTok, the anonymous user denigrated the dead police officer and mixes images of Epiha with gangsta rap music.
Two videos were removed from the page this afternoon but eight remained, including one with an image of Epiha seemingly taken from the public gallery, until the account was deleted last night.
Photography inside a courtroom or on court premises without judicial permission is generally prohibited.
The Herald has chosen not to use images from any of the posts.
The social media account user began uploading material on Monday, the first day of Epiha’s trial.
A song included on the page was “I shot the sheriff”.
Epiha, 25, is on trial at the High Court in Auckland charged with the attempted murder of Constable David Goldfinch.
Last week, Epiha pleaded guilty to the murder of Hunt and to reckless driving causing injury to a bystander.
Natalie Jane Bracken denies being an accessory to the murder of Hunt.
The TikTok user also uploaded a photograph of somebody the poster alleged to be a “snitch” in the case.
In a statement to the Herald, the Ministry of Justice said the trial judge, Justice Geoffrey Venning, was aware of the issue.
“His Honour Justice Venning spoke to the public gallery about the incident. He does not intend to take any further steps at present,” a Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said.
The Police Association was shocked by the post.
“It is disgusting and I won’t give it any more oxygen than that,” Association president Chris Cahill said.
The trial at the High Court in Auckland continues.
Killed policeman Matthew Hunt denigrated in ‘disgusting’ TikTok page – NZ Herald