Graphic video: Footage of man being tasered in Napier shortly before he died released by court

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Footage from two Taser cameras, which was used as evidence at the trial of four Hawke's Bay police officers, has been made public.

The officers had been accused of using excessive force when arresting 53-year-old Gregory McPeake, who died soon afterwards.

They were charged with assault using a weapon but were acquitted of the charges by a jury late last year.

The vision from the court's file shows a portion of the events of 13 March 2015, when police officers found McPeake in his vehicle in a car park at Napier's Westshore Beach.

He’d earlier assaulted his mother and father at their home.

Police searching for him had been told he was a large man, and that he might be armed with a crossbow.

McPeake stayed in his car despite police appeals for him to get out. Officers broke the windows and used pepper-spray with no effect.

It was at that point that two officers gave warnings and deployed their Tasers, while another two officers let their dogs loose.

The Tasers were ineffective, with McPeake able to pull the probes out.

He was eventually pulled from the vehicle, but died while he was being arrested.

The jury considered all the evidence and took little over an hour to acquit the officers"
Police Association's President Chris Cahill

McPeake's death was attributed a serious heart condition, the fact he'd been drinking and had potentially overdosed on codeine. It was accepted that his death had nothing to do with the officers' actions.

The police officers involved are still the subject of an investigation by the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

The Police Association's President Chris Cahill says: "It is vital to remember that the actions of the officers were fully tested in a court of law, and the decision from that trial is the most informed.

"The jury considered all the evidence – including the footage Judge Cooper has agreed to release - and took little over an hour to acquit the officers."

Mr Cahill says the Association is very aware of the distress caused to Mr McPeake's family.

"I am therefore very concerned that the Taser footage the wider public will see captures only a few moments of a difficult, protracted and ultimately tragic night’s events."

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