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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Authorised Officer's treatment of a detainee in Wellington found to amount to misconduct

4 May 2021

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation into a notification received about an Authorised Officer's actions towards a detainee in the Wellington Court cells.

The detainee was shouting verbal abuse and disturbing court proceedings so a decision was taken to move the detainee to a different cell. The Authorised Officer decided it was necessary to handcuff the detainee during the move. During the application of the handcuffs the officer took the detainee to the ground in an unsafe manner, causing him to bang his head on the concrete floor and sustain injury. The detainee was left in handcuffs in the cell for over an hour without any further medical assessment or attention.

Police conducted a criminal and employment investigation. They determined the officer's actions did not meet the threshold for criminal prosecution but did amount to misconduct and the officer's conduct was addressed by way of a sanction.

The Authority agrees with the outcomes of the Police investigations.

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