27 Jan 2021

Police justified in tasering man four times - IPCA

11:45 am on 27 January 2021

The police have been cleared of wrongdoing after a man was tasered four times and hit with a baton during an incident in Palmerston North.

A NZ police-issue taser.

A NZ police-issue taser. Photo: NZ Police

Officers noticed a man not wearing a seat belt while driving on Featherston Street in January last year.

He pulled into a driveway and the officers followed, the man then ran away because he had a warrant for his arrest for breaching bail.

Police said the man resisted arrest, he threw punches, along with eye gouging an officer, so he was tasered and hit in the leg with a baton.

After the man was arrested, cannabis and methamphetamine utensils were located in his car.

The man denies he resisted arrest and claims the officers assaulted him.

However, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has concluded the use of force was justified.

Authority chair Judge Colin Doherty said on the face of it, the officers' actions appeared excessive, but considered the situation out of the ordinary.

"We believe the use of force was justified and the level of it proportionate to the risk the man posed, and the resistance he was putting up," he said.

Meanwhile, in responding to the IPCA report, Acting District Commander, Inspector Nigel Allan said use of force was necessary.

"While using force to carry out an arrest is not something police takes lightly, in some circumstances it is necessary to ensure the safety of the officers and the public," he said.

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