March 08, 2021
Pain part of police toolkit
Police deputy commissioner Wally Haumaha is defending staff from claims of excessive use of pain techniques against Māori.
Information released to the New Zealand Herald under the Official Information Act shows officers resorted to the tactical use of pain to bring violent or resisting offenders under control nearly 1800 times in the last five years, with Māori making up half those cases.
People Against Prisons Aotearoa spokesperson Emilie Rakete says that amounts to sub-human and racist treatment.
But Mr Haumaha says it reflects the extreme situations police have to deal with, especially in the family harm incidents that take up 40 percent of frontline time – and too often involve Māori.
"Over 80 percent of Māori women will experience some form of family violence in their lifetime so our staff, they go out there and confront those situations and they may use or restrain people in those situations by making an assessment and confronting that violence. They do it in a way that is trying to keep families safe," he says.
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