5 Jun 2014

Police shooting justified - IPCA

5:37 pm on 5 June 2014

A police officer who shot a man in Hawkes Bay has been cleared by an Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry into his actions.

The shooting in 2011 left David Taite paralysed from the waist down.

Mr Taite was in a car stopped by police near Hastings, and became agitated, giving a false name.

One of the officers stood behind the patrol car with a rifle, while the other officer radioed to check Mr Taite's details.

Mr Taite got out of the car, holding an object under his sweatshirt, and said that he had a gun and was going to kill the officer.

The officer drew his pistol, telling Mr Taite he was armed and to get on the ground. After Mr Taite twice ignored the instruction, the officer fired a single shot at his chest.

Mr Taite fell to the ground but crawled towards the driver's side of the patrol car which was still running. He then said he had a grenade and was going to blow everyone up.

The officer struck Mr Taite in the face, stunning him before he was handcuffed.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority said the officer was justified in shooting Mr Taite. Judge Sir David Carruthers said both officers acted with a high degree of professionalism.

Mr Taite's lawyer Eric Forster said his client disputed some of the allegations but was treated fairly during the investigation.

"We would have to be realistic that his previous conviction for the attempted murder of a police officer meant that the police were always going to attach a high security risk to him."

Mr Taite would be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, Mr Forster said.