An investigation has been launched into a video showing a Christchurch police officer shoving a student to the ground after calling a young woman a ‘skank’.
The video emerged after a party in the suburb of Ilam, near Canterbury University last night.
Although it’s a grainy video, the confrontation is clear and the footage has been circulating on social media attracting hundreds of comments expressing concern.
And it's left a criminal justice advocate shocked.
“Police officers using force against members of the public is completely unacceptable in situations like that,” says Just Speak director Tania Mead.
The altercation happened on Waimari Road in the suburb of Illam, after a party attended by 200 young people spilled out into the street and police were called.
“That’s really concerning that not only was he walking away but that he turned around and came back and instigated violence, rather than being provoked in any way and that’s really concerning,” Mead says.
In a statement, police have confirmed a formal complaint has been received in relation to the actions of one police officer, and an investigation has now been launched to understand the circumstances that led to the video and the actions of the officer involved.
Canterbury University says it's extremely concerned at the police officer’s actions, offering support to those involved, and encouraging witnesses to come forward to police.
“My question is, what charges will this officer face for behaving in that way, violently towards a member of the public?” asks Mead.