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Acquittal Of Police Officers On Assault Charges

Acquittal Of Police Officers On Assault Charges

The jury in the Tauranga District Court trial of four Whakatane police officers charged with assaulting a man in police custody has returned a verdict of not guilty on all charges.

The officers were charged with an individual while he was in custody at the Whakatane Police Station on Labour weekend in 2006.

As soon as police commanders were made aware of the incident an immediate and thorough investigation was launched. The officers involved were stood down and the Independent Police Conduct Authority was advised and commenced a separate investigation.

The last eighteen months have been a difficult time for all concerned, for the complainant, the defendants and their families, the police inquiry team and Whakatane staff, Deputy Commissioner Rob Pope said.

However, the allegations made were very serious, and the CCTV footage from the Station formed part of the evidence to establish a prima facie case, Mr Pope said.

"The investigation completed by the Auckland City Police team was then reviewed by the Crown who recommended charges be laid having assessed the evidence."

Mr Pope said while the criminal case had now concluded with the acquittal verdict there would need to be consideration of employment processes.

"We will move as quickly as possible."

Mr Pope said he didn't want to prejudice that process by providing further public commentary at this point.


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