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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Use of Taser during arrest in Auckland

22 November 2018

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that a Police officer used excessive force while arresting a man in Auckland on 5 February 2017, by inappropriately 're-energising' a Taser on him after he had fallen to the ground.

Police had been called to Olympic Park in New Lynn, where they found a group of about seven people drinking alcohol. Due to the group's alcohol consumption and allegations that they had been threatening members of the public, Police asked them to leave. However one member of the group, Mr X, became agitated and threatening.

The situation escalated, and Police used pepper spray on Mr X and two others. An officer then tasered Mr X and he fell to the ground. While Mr X was on the ground, the officer re-energised his Taser, causing a further electrical current to pass through Mr X's body.

The Police notified the Authority of the matter in July 2017, after TaserCam footage was reviewed.

The Authority concluded that the Police's use of pepper spray was justified, as was the initial tasering of the man. However, once the man was on the ground, he was not in a position to pose an immediate threat. Therefore the officer was not justified in re-energising the Taser.

"After using a Taser on someone, Police should provide a reasonable opportunity for that person to surrender and obey their instructions before they use further force. Mr X was not given that opportunity" said Authority Chair, Judge Colin Doherty.

Public Report

Use of Taser during arrest in Auckland (PDF 521 KB)

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