The Authority oversaw a Police investigation into a complaint where it was alleged that an officer from Counties Manukau had used excessive force (physical force and pepper spray) against three members of a family and inappropriate language in relation to one member of that family.
After officers attended a car crash, the family members, who were related to the driver of the crashed car, were asked to move away from the scene but refused to do so. A verbal altercation became physical when the officer tried to prevent a family member from approaching the driver. He deployed pepper spray to end the altercation. Cell phone footage and independent witness accounts supported the accounts of the attending officers.
The Authority agrees with the outcome of the Police investigation that the officer's use of pepper spray was justified. It also agrees that the allegation of inappropriate language was not upheld due to conflicting accounts.