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Police acknowledge unjustified use of force in Manukau District Court incident

Manukau District Court news
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Police acknowledge the findings of an Independent Police Conduct Authority report into the unjustified use of force by an Authorised Officer in the Manukau District Court cells in early 2023.

Counties Manukau Relieving District Commander, Inspector Alison Brand, says on 24 January 2023 Police received a complaint from someone being held in the court cells that they had been struck on the side of the head by an Authorised Officer.

“A thorough investigation was carried out and Police found when the man arrived at the court cells, Police observed he did not immediately follow instructions and didn’t engage with staff.

“A short time later, the man challenged the attending Authorised Officer, and verbally threatened him.

“Ten minutes later, the man verbally abused the Authorised Officer again while being moved back to his cell,” says Inspector Brand.

“During this altercation, the Authorised Officer struck the man on the side of his face with a closed fist.

“During the investigation, the Authorised Officer explained that he pre-emptively struck the man in self-defence as he felt threatened and believed the man was going to assault him,” she says.

Police note the Authority found the employee had less forceful options available to him and found the strike to be an unnecessary use of force and Police acknowledge these findings.

Inspector Brand says while Police made enquiries into this matter, there was not enough evidence to charge the Authorised Officer with assault.

“We note the Authority agrees with this finding.”

Police launched an employment investigation into the matter and can advise that the employee is no longer working for Police.

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Source:NZ Police

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