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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Use of force in Matamata not excessive

1 July 2021

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that officers did not use excessive force on a man while in attendance at an address in Matamata.

On 13 December 2019, two officers visited the address to serve a Court document. On arrival they found the two occupants, a man and a woman, physically fighting on the driveway.

Shortly after the officers separated the two, the man had trouble breathing and became unconscious. The officers administered CPR until ambulance staff arrived however the man could not be revived and was pronounced dead a short time later.

The woman later complained to Police and then to the Authority that the officers had used excessive force on the man, which may have contributed to his death.

The Authority found that the officers did not use excess force on the man who was compliant with them.

The Authority also found that the officer who originally received this complaint, mistakenly overlooked it, which caused a delay in Police investigating and notifying the Authority about it.

Authority Chair Judge Colin Doherty said "Although the complainant was genuine in what she described in her complaint, there is no evidence to suggest the officers used excessive force on the man. I extend my condolences to the family for their loss."

Public Report

Use of force in Matamata not excessive (PDF 339 KB)
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