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Cops' use of force on boy, 13, who chased officer with hammer unjustified, IPCA finds

Police officers' use of force on a 13-year-old boy during an arrest in Napier has been found to be unjustified, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has found.

Police car Source: istock.com

In a statement about the January 4, 2019 incident police say the boy had been the passenger of a stolen car which was pursued and stopped by police in Napier. The boy reported feeling multiple kicks to his head during the arrest. 

Police say during the pursuit of the stolen Mazda, road spikes had been used to stop it, which is when the boy got out and ran away. 

The boy kept running, despite being chased by the officer and being told to stop. At one point during the chase police say the boy turned towards the officer chasing him and had a hammer in his hand. The officer then used a Taser on the boy. 

While the use of the Taser was unsuccessful, the boy was subsequently restrained by multiple officers and taken into custody. 

At a later date the boy reported he had "felt kicks to his head during the arrest".

While the use of the Taser was found to be justified, the IPCA has ruled that the use of force during the arrest was unjustified. 

Police were not able to establish the boy’s injuries were as a result of any use of force other than the force the officers stated they used to restrain the boy during his arrest.

Police say staff were debriefed following the incident, and lessons learned have been implemented.