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Police Assoc shouldn't justify excessive violence

30 September 2008

Police Assoc shouldn't justify excessive violence: Greens

Green Party MP Keith Locke says the Police Association should not be justifying the excessive use of pepper spray in police cells.

"Last night Television New Zealand and TV3 showed a video clip of Rawiri Falwasser being repeatedly pepper-sprayed and beaten, while in Whakatane Police Station on Labour Day 2006.

"It is not OK to repeatedly pepper spray an unarmed man confined in a police cell and with several police officers on hand to restrain him," Mr Locke, the Party's Police Spokesperson, says.

"It is wrong for Police Association President Greg O'Connor to simply present what happened as part of the job.

"It would do the association more credit to reassure New Zealanders that such an over-reaction will not happen again.

"It is true that four police officers were acquitted on charges relating to the incident, but what we saw on our TV screens last night is not acceptable behaviour from our law enforcers.

"The Green Party welcomes the more balanced approach of Deputy Police Commissioner Rob Pope, who said he was disappointed when police occasionally slip below the standards expected of them.

"We await the result of the Falwasser family's damages claim over the incident, which is being represented by Rodney Harrison QC in the Rotorua High Court."


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