An Auckland police officer says the only thing he was guilty of was "caring too much", after being found not guilty of unlawfully detaining a 17-year-old in a 2015 "mock arrest" incident.
Inspector Hurimoana Dennis fronted up to media outside Auckland's High Court after the verdict today.
"The only thing that Vaughan and I have done wrong is be very proud Maori officers who were quite vocal about the number of Maori men coming into the judicial system.
"The only other thing we did wrong is we just care too much," he said.
Inspector Dennis says he and officer Vaughan Perry had carried out "common sense policing with a bit of heart" when they were jointly charged over an incident in which they pretended to arrest a teenager who was suspected of sleeping with his then-15-year-old girlfriend.
"This was more than just an underage relationship, there was so much more going on with this family and these young peoples lives that scared the heck out of me," he said.
While Inspector Dennis said he wishes the young people involved in the case the best with their lives, he was disappointed with some of the family members of the teenagers who didn't come forward to support him.
"Some family members should have come forward to tell the truth and they did not," he said.
Inspector Dennis said other family members did defend him during the case and he thanked them for their support.
Detective Superintendent Chris Page said in a statement: "Police reiterate that Court was the right place for this matter to be determined."
"This process represents how police hold ourselves to account and the expectations we have of our staff to act in line with our values and the high standards of behaviour expected by our communities.
"We have an employment investigation underway and are therefore not in a position to make any further comment at this time."