Actions of cop who Tasered woman three times labelled 'oppressive and threatening' by watchdog

An Independent Police Conduct Authority investigation has found a police officer who pepper sprayed and Tasered a woman three times in a 2017 arrest were "inappropriate, oppressive and threatening". 

Source: 1 NEWS

On September 16, 2017, police pursued a fleeing driver through Auckland for about 40 minutes. 

The pursuit ended in the SkyCity carpark when the male driver ran from the scene while the female passenger remained in the car.

The officer in question approached the car to arrest the woman and aimed his Taser at her and sprayed her with pepper spray. 

Another officer told the IPCA he saw the woman "lying on the ground screaming". 

CCTV footage then shows that officer dragging the woman by her leg across the carpark floor, where she was restrained by two other officers.

The first officer in question used his Taser for a second time by holding it near the woman's head while she was restrained on the ground. CCTV footage shows the woman beginning to flail her legs as it happened. 

The IPCA said he used his Taser to intimidate the woman to try and determine the identity of the fleeing driver.

The woman told the IPCA: "I was crying because I thought [the officer] would [Taser me] and I thought I was going to die."

The same officer then used his Taser for a third time by arcing it while the handcuffed woman sat in the back of a police car.

Police initially charged her with two counts of assaulting police, assault with a blunt weapon (for shutting a police officer’s leg in the police car door) and possessing an offensive weapon (a CRC canister). The four charges were later withdrawn by police. 

The IPCA also found it was unnecessary for the woman to be dragged across the carpark.

Authority chair Judge Colin Doherty said: "The officer's actions were inappropriate, oppressive and threatening to the woman. 

"He failed to act in a manner that would be reasonably expected of a police officer."

The officer’s colleague reported the incident. 

The use of Taser by the officer was subject to a criminal investigation. The officer was subsequently prosecuted. 

The officer was found guilty of presenting a restricted weapon and received a discharge without conviction on appeal.

Police said the officer continues to work for police “on restricted duties”, and an employment investigation was “ongoing”.

Auckland City District Commander Superintendent Karyn Malthus said police agreed with the findings of the IPCA. 

“I believe police [have] shown by our actions in charging the officer that we do not accept the type of behaviour that was shown during this incident,” Malthus said.