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Home / Outcomes / 2022 Summaries of Police Investigations

Officer in Bay of Plenty accused of using excessive force during arrest

21 March 2022

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation into an allegation an officer dragged a woman from a car by her hair, forced her head down onto the footpath three times, and that her top was pulled down exposing her breasts. The woman lost a significant clump of hair as a result.

A criminal investigation found the woman had not been pulled from the car by the officer and due to her assaulting the officer while he was arresting her partner and her continued attempts to do so, the officer’s use of force was justified. The investigation also found that as the woman was spitting at the officer, he was justified in pushing her face into the ground to avoid the possibility of COVID contamination. The investigation also discovered the incident had taken place on grass and not the footpath.

An employment investigation found the woman’s top had become dislodged during her arrest, but this was inadvertent and not a deliberate action by the officers. Because the use of force was justified, there was no employment outcome.

The Authority agreed that the complaint was not upheld.


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