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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Police unlawfully arrested and detained a man

1 October 2021

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation into the actions of officers who arrested and detained a man in Browns Bay, Auckland in May 2019.

The Authority agrees with most of the Police investigation's findings, including that the man's arrest was unlawful. However, we disagree on three significant issues:

1) Police found that the arresting officers' use of force was reasonable and justified under the circumstances. We disagree, because the illegality of the arrest made any use of force to detain the man unreasonable and unjustified.

2) We find that the Police searches of two vehicles at the scene following the man's arrest were unlawful and contrary to the Search and Surveillance Act 2012.

3) We believe Police should be liable for damage to the man's phone which occurred during the arrest.

We also identified shortcomings with Police internal processes and procedures in relation to their investigation, and inconsistencies between the outcomes reached in this case and in other similar cases. We recommend that Police develop a policy and guidelines covering compensation and ex-gratia payments for cases like this one.

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