Police notified the Independent Police Conduct Authority independently of the incident which occurred on 27 April 2016. The man had been taken back to Manukau Police Station after he was arrested for possessing an offensive weapon. This followed two dealings police had with the man that day, one in Waitakere and one in South Auckland where the man was threatening to harm himself.
While he was being processed in the District Custody Unit, an officer has attempted to conduct a thorough search of the man as a safety precaution to ensure he did not have a knife or other weapon that he could use to harm himself or others. This is when the altercation has taken place and an officer has tasered the man twice.
The man received appropriate medical care.
Counties Manukau Police Operations and Support Manager, Acting Superintendent Tracy Phillips says the man’s behaviour was unpredictable throughout the course of the day and it is always a challenge to deal with people suffering from health issues when we don’t have all of the information. Police accept the incident could have been handled differently for a better result for all involved.
“Our officers find themselves in difficult situations on a daily basis and have to make hard decisions with the information available to them at that time. We completely accept the IPCA’s findings and will be taking this as a learning opportunity,” says acting Supt. Phillips.
“We have carried out an internal investigation however we have the same privacy obligations when it comes to employment matters as any other employer, and I am not able to outline the results of that investigation. I can however say that a number of lessons have been identified from this case and we continue to provide training and constructive feedback to help inform decision making and judgment with our staff.”
Shelley Nahr/NZ Police