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Claims of police brutality 'unfounded'

Mon 23 Feb 2015 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback View at NDHA

Police have reviewed footage of the Auckland Pride Parade protest and say allegations of improper action by police are unfounded – but “enquiries into the culpability of any other persons are ongoing”. A woman who was part of a protest group which made its way onto the parade route says she suffered a fractured arm in a struggle while she was moved back past the barriers. She believes the injury happened when security staff threw her to the ground. Auckland City Police District Commander Superintendent Richard Chambers says police have reviewed video footage of the incident, as well as witness statements that were taken at the scene. “Allegations of improper action by Police, are at this stage, unfounded. There is no evidence that the injury sustained by the protestor is the result of any Police intervention,” he says. “Enquiries into the culpability of any other persons are ongoing.” The woman who suffered the injury is not facing any charges. Police say they believe that the person who was arrested for breach of the peace was part of the protest group, “but, unlike his colleagues, did not run out into the path of the parade, and was arrested for a separate matter.” The statement from Superintendent Chambers adds that valuing diversity is one of Police’s core values. “NZ Police were very proud to be part of last night’s event and would like to thank the hundreds of people who attended, clapping and cheering as the police contingent came past.” The group of three protestors was from No Pride in Prisons, which say the injured protestor, a Maori trans woman, was brutally treated. They say their protest was “non-violent action to highlight the fact that the queer, Māori and Pasifika communities are disproportionately harassed and targeted by police”. The group intends to lay a formal complaint with the Independent Police Conduct Authority, and is currently seeking legal counsel.    

Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff

First published: Monday, 23rd February 2015 - 9:42am

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