Police acknowledge IPCA findings into use of taser

Published: Thu 22 Nov 2018 10:37 AM
Police acknowledge IPCA findings into use of taser during arrest in Auckland
Attribute to Superintendent Karyn Malthus, Auckland City District Commander:
Police acknowledge the findings of an IPCA report into an incident last year where a male, who was arrested for disorderly conduct, assaulting Police and resisting Police, was pepper sprayed and tasered twice by Police officers during the arrest.
Police were called to Olympic Park in New Lynn in the early hours of February 5th 2017, following a complaint from a couple who said they had been threatened by a group in the park.
Two Police officers arrived at the scene and encountered a group of about seven people drinking in the park, which is a liquor ban area.
Police asked the group to leave, however one of the males refused to comply with their instruction and became aggressive and threatening towards the officers.
The male continued to ignore multiple warnings to leave and continued to threaten the officers, despite warnings he would be arrested for disorderly conduct.
Police pepper sprayed the male as he advanced towards one of the officers.
He continued to resist arrest and other members of the group became more agitated, leading the two officers to fear for their safety.
Believing the male was about to assault one of the officers, Police tasered the male and used pepper spray on two other males at the scene who were also threatening Police staff.
Fearing the first male’s aggressive behaviour would continue, the officer tasered the male a second time while he was on the ground.
Additional Police officers arrived at the scene and the male was arrested and charged with resisting Police, assaulting Police and disorderly behaviour.
Police note the IPCA report’s findings into the incident which found Police were justified in using pepper spray on all three males to prevent harm on themselves and to assist in arresting the first male.
The IPCA also found Police were justified in discharging the taser the first time at the male.
Police accept the IPCA’s findings that the officer was unjustified in discharging his taser a second time on the same male.
Auckland City District Commander, Superintendent Karyn Malthus, says this was an extremely dangerous situation where Police officers, who were outnumbered by a large group with a number of aggressive males, were forced to take immediate action due to fears for their own safety.
“Our Police officers are put in high-pressure situations on a daily basis where they are forced to make quick decisions, often in the face of danger.
“While we accept the IPCA’s criticism of the additional discharge of the taser while the offender was on the ground, it is important to view this in the context of what was an extremely volatile situation where the officer, who anticipated the offender getting up to attack, was having to make a quick judgement decision to ensure his safety and the safety of his colleague.
“It is also important to recognise that the IPCA found the officers were justified in the use of pepper spray and the initial use of the taser,” says Superintendent Malthus.
The IPCA report also found Police staff ensured the appropriate medical assistance was provided to all three males involved.

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