The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that Police were justified in using force to arrest a man wanted for robbing a taxi driver in Mangere earlier in the day.
On the morning of 10 December 2022, two men threatened a taxi driver with a firearm, stealing property from him before driving off in a stolen car. After crashing the car, the men ran into a nearby house and concealed themselves in the cavity of the roof.
The Armed Offenders Squad attended the address and called for the men to surrender. Initially, the men did not respond, but eventually one of them, Mr X, agreed to exit the roof via a ladder.
When Mr X climbed down the ladder he was quickly taken to a nearby room and restrained by two officers. While on the ground being handcuffed, Mr X’s right arm was fractured and he was later taken to hospital for treatment.
When we interviewed Officer A, he acknowledged causing the injury to Mr X’s arm but said it was unintentional. He told us that Mr X was resisting arrest and holding his arms underneath his body. Officer A said he pulled Mr X’s arm behind his back to apply the handcuffs and, in doing so, caused the fracture to Mr X’s arm.
Mr X did not wish to engage in the Authority’s investigation and, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, we are satisfied that the force used to restrain Mr X was reasonable. “That Mr X sustained a broken arm is of course unfortunate” said Authority Chair, Judge Kenneth Johnston KC. “However, we have no evidence that the injury was anything but unintentional on the part of Officer A.”