Thursday, 12 January 2017 - 10:03am
Police accept the findings of an Independent Police Conduct Authority Investigation into the use of a Taser on a Greymouth man in June 2015.
Police went to the man’s property to arrest him following an earlier incident with neighbours involving a tomahawk.
Upon arrival at the address the man was very intoxicated and abusive and it took officers 20-25 minutes to contain and handcuff him due to continual yelling and screaming, resisting and refusal to follow Police instructions.
The man was tasered once with no effect, before being tasered a second time, with effect as Police attempted to get him into a Police van cell following arrest.
The IPCA found the use of the Taser was a disproportionate and unjustified use of force as the man was not being assaultive at the time.
The IPCA also concluded that an experienced Sergeant should not have instructed a probationary Constable to use the Taser in this situation.
“We agree with the IPCA that the use of Taser in this instance was unjustified and the Sergeant should not have directed an inexperienced officer to contact stun the man because he was not being assaultive,” says Superintendent Steve Kehoe, Tasman District Commander.
“We understand the pressure felt by the Probationary Constable to follow their supervisor’s orders and have provided advice around this matter to them.”
The Sergeant involved in this investigation has resigned and no longer works for Police.
“There have been a number of lessons learned from this incident and we acknowledge the mistakes that have been made and have reviewed some procedures as a result, including the Tactical Options Report (TOR) review process,” says Mr Kehoe.
“During the TOR review a senior officer correctly determined that the use of Taser in this instance was a breach of policy and referred the incident to Police Professional Conduct whom then notified the authority.”
Issued by Police Media Centre