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  • Ex-cop 'unlawfully' arrested

    A former police dog handler wants compensation and an apology after he was unlawfully arrested in his Upper Hutt home by police who mistook him for his daughter's violent ex-partner.

    The Independent Police Conduct Authority published its report on Thursday into the incident on January 23, 2015. It harshly criticises a sergeant and a dog handler who went to the man's property searching for his daughter's ex, who had earlier threatened her and rammed her car.

    The father, who did not match the description the officers were given, answered the door and was immediately dragged out of his house, handcuffed, forced to the ground and bitten by a police dog.

    He protested that they had the wrong person. When his wife also told the officers they were mistaken, they swore at her.

    The pair finally accepted they had arrested the wrong person after they took the father to a nearby police car.
    His lawyer, Michael Bott, said the father was aged 54, about 1.8m tall and of thick-set build, which was completely different to the alleged offender's description, who was in his 20s, short and slim.

    This is Keystone Cops. It would be a joke if it wasn't so serious," Bott said. "It's just incompetence."

    Both officers are still working for police. The father, who was a dog handler for most of his working life, believed they were stood down for just one day.

    Police said "internal employment action" was taken against the pair, but refused to comment on what that amounted to.
    Bott described the action as a "wet bus ticket approach".The father, a respected Upper Hutt businessman who did not want to be named, is seeking compensation and a proper apology from police for the "prolonged assault", in which he suffered dog bites to his right buttock and hand, and grazes and bruising on his back and arm.

    "He was belittled and humiliated in front of his neighbours," Bott said.


    Having worked in the police force for so long, the man was shocked that fellow officers would subject him to such an attack, and complained to the IPCA about it.

    "He remains upset and traumatised by this event and waits with interest regarding whether he is offered a proper apology and compensation," Bott said.The man told Bott on Thursday he was disappointed that minimal disciplinary action had been taken over the officers' illegal behaviour, and believed they should have been prosecuted for assault.

    IPCA chairman Judge Sir David Carruthers said in his report that the arrest was unlawful because the sergeant had no reason to suspect the father had committed an offence, and neglected to take basic steps to identify the person he was arresting.Both officers used excessive and unlawful force to handcuff the man and remove him from his property.
    "The events of January 23, 2015, were stressful and humiliating for the man, who was forcefully arrested in response to a criminal act for which he was not responsible," Carruthers said. He found the father's version of events were "more credible" than the police officers' recollection.

    Police said they conducted their own investigations and upheld the man's complaint. "We would like to apologise to this man for the actions of these officers in this incident, which are not representative of how New Zealand police carry out their duties," acting assistant commissioner of police districts Bruce Bird said.

    Any application for compensation would be considered in line with the standard police process. Carruthers agreed with the police decision not to prosecute the sergeant, "in light of his personal circumstances".

    However, Bott said police typically charged offenders despite their personal circumstances, and let the courts decide whether charges should be dropped.

    Credit: STuff
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. golfa's Avatar
      golfa -
      And once again "oops" is the sufficient response of the Police and the Independent Police Coverup Authority.
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