24 Jul 2020

Police cutting of teens hair abuse of power, culturally violent

From First Up, 5:53 am on 24 July 2020

A justice advocate says an assault on a teenager by a police officer was an abuse of power and culturally violent. The officer was charged after cutting the 14-year old boy's hair, following a fleeing driver pursuit in 2018. He later pleaded guilty to assault, but was discharged without conviction on appeal, and remains a sworn officer of the New Zealand Police force. Yesterday the Independent Police Conduct Authority released a statement, stating that it had overseen a police investigation. It said Police and the officer had expressed remorse for his actions, and acknowledged the assault was culturally disrespectful. Julia Whaipooti, who was a member of the Criminal Justice advisory group told our Youth Affairs reporter, Katie Doyle, it was appalling.