5 May 2016

Police didn't use excessive force on crushed hand man

1:14 pm on 5 May 2016

Police who crushed the hand of a man being arrested outside a Hamilton nightclub last year have been cleared by the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

Police booze bus.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The 17 year old, named in the just-released report as Mr X, was arrested for disorderly behaviour and put inside a police van in the early hours of 17 April.

Mr X received injuries to his hand during the trip to the Hamilton police station and was taken straight to hospital where he had surgery.

The man complained to the authority that officers hit him during the arrest, used excessive force causing injury and that one officer used an offensive comment to him a few weeks later.

The Authority has found that while no excessive force was used, the tactic by one officer to control the man was not an approved method and should not have been used.

It said police accidentally injured the man's hand when putting him in the van.

But the report said that an officer did not act in a professional manner when talking to the man a few weeks after the incident.

Authority chair Judge Sir David Carruthers said it was a difficult situation, in which police had to load an intoxicated and uncooperative prisoner into a police van.

"Unfortunately, he lost his balance as the rear door was being closed and, unknown to the officers, his hand was crushed."

Sir David said the officer could not reasonably have foreseen this occurring and acted swiftly to get him medical attention.