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Home / Outcomes / 2022 Summaries of Police Investigations

Force used on a prisoner in Christchurch justified

10 March 2022

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation into a complaint that a Police officer assaulted a prisoner at the Christchurch custody suite in January 2020.

The prisoner had attempted to self-harm and was aggressive towards officers’ when they went to move him into a more suitable cell. When the cell door was opened the man spat at an officer in the doorway before walking towards him in a threatening manner. The officer believed he was about to be assaulted so punched the man once to the face. Several officers then entered the cell and struggled with the man to restrain him before he was taken to the more suitable cell.

The Police investigation found the officer was justified in punching the man because he was acting in self-defence. The force used to restrain the man after the punch was thrown was also found to be justified and necessary to move him to another cell.

The Authority agrees with the Police findings and outcome.

IPCA: 20-3531

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