Father outraged after 13yo punched by police in Auckland

Father outraged after 13yo punched by police in Auckland
Photo credit: Supplied

An Auckland father has laid a formal complaint after police punched his 13-year-old son in the ribs as he lay on the ground.

Geoff Garnett posted a video to social media showing his son's arrest in east Auckland on Sunday. Geoff Jr had been riding his bike with friends near the Pakuranga Highway, and was not wearing a helmet.

When police asked to speak to him, he rode off - but was followed by an officer riding a bike he'd taken from another teenager at the scene.

The video shows the officer dismounting and chasing after Geoff Jr, who seems to then be tackled from his bike to the ground by a second officer.

The two officers can be seen restraining the boy with some force and placing him in handcuffs while he lies face-down on the grass.

One officer punches Geoff Jr in the left side of his ribs, to cries of protest from other young people witnessing the arrest.

Mr Garnett says after watching the footage, he has lodged a formal complaint with NZ Police.

He told NZME that his son told him police had "given him a hiding" after he was brought home by officers on Sunday. He didn't believe that he was telling the truth until he saw the video.

Counties Manukau East Area Commander Wendy Spiller says police had been made aware of a group of teenagers behaving aggressively and trying to fight other people in Highland Park on Sunday afternoon.

She says the punch is a standard police move often used on suspects resisting arrest.

"The officer is shown carrying out a tactic that can be used to get an offender to release their arm so that we can put handcuffs on them."

She says videos posted to social media of encounters with police often don't tell the whole story, and that officers are routinely assaulted and abused by members of the public.

Geoff Jr has been charged with disorderly behaviour, failing to stop, dangerous driving and resisting police.


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