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25 January 2018

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that two Police officers were justified in using force while arresting a man in Christchurch on 6 March 2017.

The arrest took place after Police were called to a domestic incident at a block of flats. The attending officers were advised that a man had assaulted his partner and punched another person. The man was known for resisting and assaulting Police.

The Authority determined that the officers lawfully entered the address without a warrant, and that the arrest of the man was justified. Furthermore the officers were justified in using pepper spray, a Police dog and a Taser when the man resisted arrest.

The man complained that, shortly after he was tasered, he was again bitten by the Police dog and pepper sprayed.

The Authority found that the man was not pepper sprayed after he was tasered. However footage from the Taser camera showed that he was bitten by the Police dog after the Taser was used. Due to the speed at which the situation had escalated, the Police dog handler did not have sufficient opportunity to prevent this from occurring.

“This was a short-lived continuation of the melee, not a fresh and deliberate application of force after Mr X was incapacitated. It was not best practice for the Police dog to have been in a position to bite the man again immediately after he was tasered. However, that bite was unintentional and the officer has since been retrained to prevent similar occurrences” said Authority Chair, Judge Colin Doherty.

The Authority also found that Police provided the man with appropriate aftercare for the pepper spray and dog bites.

Public Report

Police use of force during arrest in Christchurch (PDF, 494 kb)
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