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Police use of force following pursuit in Auckland

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that, following a pursuit in Auckland, a man was dealt with inappropriately and unprofessionally by a Police officer during his arrest.

Early in the morning on 4 March 2018, Police pursued a Nissan travelling at speed on St Lukes Road, Auckland. The Nissan was spiked and came to a stop in a carpark entranceway. Police told the occupants to get out of the car and onto the ground with their hands behind their backs.

A dog handler presented pepper spray at a man (who was one of the passengers) while he was restrained on the ground. The Authority found that this was both unnecessary and inappropriate in the circumstances.

The man complained that the dog handler used offensive and derogatory language towards him during the incident. Based on the available evidence, the Authority determined that the officer did so.

The man also said that he was assaulted during his arrest, specifically by being kicked in the head. The Authority accepts that the man may have received a blow to the forehead while being restrained but is unable to determine whether the blow was deliberate or accidental or who it was administered by.

"The dog handler acted unprofessionally towards the man during his arrest. He failed to act in a manner that would be reasonably expected of an experienced, well-trained Police officer", said the General Manager of the Authority, Warren Young.

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