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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Police Officer in Bay of Plenty District used excessive force to restrain a man

1 June 2021

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation into a notification where a Police officer in the Bay of Plenty District used force to restrain a man.

The man was very intoxicated and had a self-inflicted injury. Police called an ambulance to attend to him. While waiting for the ambulance the man became aggressive towards Police officers who felt it necessary to restrain him. Several officers placed him on the ground and restrained him. One of the officers placed his knee on the back of the man's head while the man was lying on the pavement. The officer applied force by leaning forward onto the man's head, causing some of his teeth to crack.

The investigation found that the force used was excessive and not justified. The man did not want to take the matter any further and Police decided not to charge the officer. Police dealt with the officer's conduct through an appropriate employment process.

The Authority agrees with the Police findings and outcome.

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