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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Police Officer throws baton at fleeing vehicle to apprehend occupants

21 November 2019

In January 2019 Police notified the Authority of an incident where a Police Officer threw his ASP baton through the rear window of a fleeing vehicle causing a minor cut to the nose of a back-seat passenger. The vehicle had earlier failed to stop for Police in Whanganui, but that pursuit was abandoned due to the manner of driving. The vehicle was again followed by Police after driving off from a petrol station without paying for petrol. When the vehicle evaded road spikes an officer threw his ASP baton at the vehicle with the intention of smashing the front windscreen.

The investigation found that the use of the ASP baton was unjustified and an inappropriate tactical option. It also found that Police actions in following and pursuing the vehicle after the drive-off were unnecessary, given the relatively low-level offending involved and that there were strong lines of enquiry available to apprehend the driver later.

The Authority reviewed the Police investigation and agreed with the findings and outcome, noting that Police have taken appropriate action to address the shortcomings identified.

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