The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that Police were justified in using force against a man who was resisting arrest.
Just after midnight on 16 July 2019, two Police officers noticed a car with a suspicious looking number plate parked at the Mangere Domain in Auckland. The officers parked behind the car. A passenger got out of the front passenger seat. After confirming the car was stolen, one officer arrested the man in the driver’s seat.
The man became agitated and resisted arrest, leading to the officer breaking the driver’s window with his baton, and pepper spraying him. This had little immediate effect, and the man attempted to start the car. The officer believed the man could not drive forward as there was a line of bollards in front of the car and was concerned the car was going to reverse and run him over. Because of this concern, the officer tasered the man three times.
Despite having been tasered, the man drove forward, through the bollards and onto a grassed area before driving out of the reserve. He was located and arrested some days later.
It later transpired that there were two warrants for the man’s arrest at the time.
The Authority found that the officer was justified in arresting the man and using force to overcome his resistance to being arrested. The Authority considered the officer’s decision to discharge the Taser on the third occasion was risky, as the man had started to drive forward, but understandable in the circumstances.