IPCA finds Taupo police officer used excessive force on 15-year-old

  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) has found a police officer used excessive force on a 15 year old boy at Taupo Police station.

According to the IPCA, another officer present at the time of the incident reported his concerns to a supervisor after witnessing the boy being grabbed by the throat.

The IPCA report says on the 21st of November 2014, two Police officers were informed of two boys acting suspiciously south of Taupo.

When the officers picked the boys up, one was returned home but the other refused to give his address and was taken to the Police station.

On the way back to the station, a can of alcohol was discovered in the boy’s possession and one of the officers held him down and handcuffed him in the backseat.

On arrival to the station, the boy was told he would be taken home and became upset, he told officers he did not want to go and was taken to an empty cell.

The report says one of the officers followed the boy into the cell and grabbed him as he was sitting on a bench and held him against the cell wall by his throat.

The Authority’s report found this was excessive force, however, it also found that police were justified in detaining the boy and taking him back to the station. It also found the officer used reasonable force in the car to remove the can of alcohol and search the boy.

Independent Police Conduct Authority Chair, Judge Sir David Carruthers said: “The Authority is satisfied that the boy was only verbally resisting going to his mother’s house when he was grabbed by Officer A and held against the cell wall by his throat. This degree of force was not justified in the circumstances. Officer A’s actions escalated the situation rather than resolved it”.