Use Of Force Against Man In Christchurch Justified

Published: Thu 8 Jun 2023 10:15 AM
The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that Police officers were justified in using force against a man who advanced on them with a knife in Rolleston, Christchurch, on 26 November 2021.
Earlier in the day the man had stolen two vehicles, been pursued by Police, and attempted to steal a third vehicle at knifepoint. Armed Police later confronted him at a private rural property where he had been hiding.
The man was armed with both a long-handled axe and a knife. He dropped the axe when challenged by officers but would not release the knife. He then began to target one of the officers, advancing on him while brandishing the knife.
To avoid shooting at the man, the other officers instead used Tasers, a sponge round and a dog to gain control of him and place him under arrest.
“The situation was fast-moving and dangerous and the Authority accepts that the officers could not delay taking action. The man’s continued aggression posed a direct and imminent threat to officers. He needed to be brought under control as soon as possible” said Authority Chair, Judge Kenneth Johnston KC.
The man was found to have broken both bones in his lower right leg. He later complained to the Authority that the fractures were caused by the Police dog biting his leg after he had already surrendered to Police and was restrained on the ground.
The Authority found that the man had not surrendered to Police when the dog bite occurred.
The Authority also obtained clinical advice on the injuries which showed that, although the dog bite was on the same leg, it was above the fracture site and did not directly cause the fractures. The fractures were spiral in nature and most likely caused by the leg twisting while full weight was bearing on the foot.
This advice, together with the Taser camera footage, indicated that the man likely sustained the fractures to his leg while running from Police in an attempt to evade arrest. The injury was not directly caused by either the Police dog bite or by officers effecting the arrest.
Officers provided the man with prompt and appropriate medical care until he could be transported to hospital.

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