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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Use of force after a pursuit through Foxton justified

21 July 2020

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that an officer who punched an offender following a pursuit which concluded south of Foxton was justified in doing so.

On 14 February 2019 a man failed to stop for Police after being recorded travelling 113kmph in a 100kmph zone north of Foxton. At the conclusion of the pursuit the man drove directly towards an officer who had laid spikes.

After the officer approached the man's car the man punched him in the face and pulled him against the car, reducing his ability to breath. The officer punched the man in an attempt to release his grip. Two other officers took the man out of the car and restrained him on the ground.

Two of the officers involved in the arrest later raised concerns about the officer's use of force on the man during his arrest. They claimed while the man was on the ground the officer pressed his baton into the man's neck, pushed the man's head into the ground and dropped his knee into the man's back.

After considering the totality of evidence, including that of other Police officers and the arrested man himself, the Authority was unable to substantiate their concerns. On the balance of probabilities, their claims were irreconcilable with the rest of the evidence. The officer's initial punch was found to be justified.

"The initial force used by the Officer attempting to apprehend the offender was justified. The weight of evidence did not support the view the officer then subjected the man to unjustified force during the arrest. As we are unable to reconcile the claims of two other arresting officers with the other evidence, we believe they must have been mistaken in what they said they saw," said Authority Chair, Judge Colin Doherty.

Public Report

Use of force after a pursuit through Foxton justified (

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