Hat snatched led to police officer sacked

The determination released by Employment Relations Authority justifying the dismissal of a Police Officer after a complain launched against him to the Independent Police Conduct Authority shows that there are basic rights people should be aware of when dealing with police officers.

An uniform police officer went with another police officer and two military officers to an unnamed  nightclub where a woman grabbed his hat. The long-serving Canterbury officer who was only known as Q in return put the woman who she was only known as V in a choker-hold and ejected her from the night club.

He was also accused of being “heavy handed” while handling the woman.

Authority member, Rosemary Monaghan from ERA heard that,

“The authority was told such pranks are not uncommon, and that tolerance is the best approach,”

“However, Q took the matter seriously and sought to speak to V about it outside the club.”

Q’s action was reported by V to the Independent Police Conduct Authority two days later.

V  alleged that Q placed  her in a “headlock/choker hold, dragged her into the nightclub’s hallway and yelled at her, then dragged her outside”.

Q denied the excessive force allegations.

He said the woman’s behaviour had been unruly and that he used an approved technique to restrain her and eject her from the nightclub.

“Q’s conduct amounted to a breach of obligations in the code of conduct to: treat all people with dignity and respect and avoid behaviour that may cause unreasonable distress; and to act in a manner that is efficient, competent and loyal”.

In her conclusion Ms Monaghan said that the officer exercised poor judgment during the incident while his attitude to the woman was “disparaging and belittling”.

She said, that “He considered the hold he used to be necessary and appropriate, when it is at best doubtful that the hold he used was the minimum restraint necessary in the circumstances”.

“He believed it was necessary to show anger in order to control V, but that was a poor exercise of judgment.

“He was unable to see that his actions appeared heavy-handed.”

Your rights:

  • You can complain and report a police officer if you feel that she or he was heavy handed on you in any arrest made


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