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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Police use of force in SkyCity carpark

6 October 2020

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the use of a Taser three times in the proximity of a woman and using pepper spray on her by a Police officer was unjustified.

At approximately 11.50pm on 16 September 2017 Police pursued a fleeing driver through Auckland city for approximately 40 minutes. The pursuit ended in the SkyCity carpark when the male driver ran from the scene while the female passenger remained in the car.

An officer approached the vehicle to apprehend the woman and aimed his Taser at her before spraying her with pepper spray. Another officer then dragged the woman by her leg across the carpark floor where she was restrained by two other officers.

The first officer used his Taser for a second time by holding it near the woman's head while she was lying on the ground restrained and used his Taser to intimidate her in order to try and determine the identity of the fleeing driver.

The same officer used his Taser for a third time by arcing it while the handcuffed woman sat in the back of a Police patrol car.

Authority Chair, Judge Colin Doherty said: "The officer's actions were inappropriate, oppressive and threatening to the woman. He failed to act in a manner that would be reasonably expected of a Police officer."

The Authority also found it was unnecessary for the woman to be dragged across the carpark.

Public Report (PDF 618KB ) Media Statement

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