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Arrests and use of force in Hamilton unlawful

5 March 2024 

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that officers in Hamilton acted unlawfully in arresting a man in a Hamilton carpark on 10 June 2022.

Three on-duty officers and one off-duty officer used force to handcuff a man after arresting him for obstructing them, while trying to carry out a vehicle check in a Hamilton shopping centre carpark. The man’s partner was also briefly arrested, as was a shop owner who came out to film the incident. No-one was charged following the arrests.

The Authority found that the officer who stopped the car did so because he had profiled the man based on his facial tattoos, not for a genuine purpose under the Land Transport Act 1998. For this reason, the vehicle stop was unlawful, as were the subsequent arrests and use of force. Even if officers had lawfully arrested the man, the force they used to do so was excessive.

Police have advised that the officers have since undertaken appropriate cultural competency and tactical communication training.

Public Report 

Arrests and use of force in Hamilton unlawful (PDF 35 KB)
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