Police apologise for phone video threat

police nz
Filming in public is legal in New Zealand. Photo credit: Newshub.

Police have apologised to a teenager who was told by a police officer to stop filming him, or he'd start writing out tickets.

Whakaari Peri, 16, was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by a driver on a restricted licence when they were pulled over by an officer in Whangarei, Stuff reports.

He reportedly gave the driver a warning before noticing he was being recorded on a cellphone.

"You can keep filming me all you like mate, right, I've given your driver a pretty good break tonight," he was recorded saying.

"If we are going to carry on this way, and I think you are not going to learn tonight's lesson, I can use my discretion and write a traffic ticket or I can use my discretion to let people go with a warning.

"So either put your phone down or I will start writing out the traffic tickets." 

Police told Stuff the officer was disciplined, without elaborating further. Whakaari's mother said she was "really annoyed" at how her son was treated, saying it fuelled his distrust of the police.

"No wonder so many youth, especially Māori youth, have bad attitudes toward the police."

Filming in public is legal in New Zealand.

Newshub.