22 Jun 2020

Tagger claims police spear tackled him

From Morning Report, 8:55 am on 22 June 2020

A tagger who was restrained by police in Auckland in the early hours of Sunday morning says he was spear tackled into the wall by police officers.

Bystanders who filmed the altercation are claiming excessive use of force by the four officers holding him down.

Nikau Andrews, 26, spoke to us from his hospital bed.

In an official response, Auckland District Commander Superintendent Karyn Malthus says: "The man violently resisted [arrest] and it took several officers to restrain him, one of whom sustained minor injuries.

"The arresting officers struggled to apply handcuffs to the resisting man, and additional officers created a protective arc in order to allow them to complete the handcuffing action."

Superintendent Karyn Malthus says police acted in an appropriate and professional manner in a volatile and dynamic situation and upon becoming aware, prioritised the man's medical treatment over keeping him in custody. 

He was taken to hospital shortly after being taken into custody. He has since been released and is due to appear in the District Court on charges of wilful damage and resisting arrest on 10 July.