Girl's teeth knocked out: No apology yet

KIRSTY JOHNSTON
Last updated 18:43 12/02/2013
COMPLAINT LAID: Ella Mere Eketone after she was allegedly assaulted by police.
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COMPLAINT LAID: Ella Mere Eketone, who claimed police assaulted her, posted this picture of herself on Facebook.

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Police will not consider apologising to a 15-year-old girl allegedly pushed by an officer at an out of control Auckland party, until an investigation is complete.

A photo of Ella Mere Eketone was posted to Facebook by Anna Gardiner showing Eketone with a bleeding face and lip (warning this image is graphic) after a party in Howick on Saturday night.

"Her front teeth got knocked out and she spent the night in Middlemore Hospital with a drip in her arm," she wrote on the page.

"What gives police the right to do this to an innocent teenage girl? Yes teenagers playup and get out of control at parties, we all know this but what gives the cops the right to enforce such violent actions on someone that wasn't doing anything wrong?"

Ella told ONE News she was shoved several times.

The second time she tripped and fell on her face.

‘‘I put my hand up to my mouth and my teeth were gone,’’ she said.

‘‘I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.’’

Her mother Nicola Healey said it was the worst night of her life and questioned whether the officers responsible should still have jobs, ONE News reported.

‘‘I don’t think they should probably be police officers.’’

Police have confirmed they are investigating the allegations.

However, Counties Manukau eastern area commander Jackie Whittaker said this afternoon there had been no formal apology issued to Eketone, despite speculation.

"This is an extremely unfortunate situation for everyone involved," Whittaker said.

"If police are at fault this will be addressed."

Whittaker said the officer or officers directly involved were yet to be identified, and exactly what happened was still unknown.

The sergeant in charge of the operation, which saw bottles thrown at officers when they arrived to clear the 500-strong party, had visited Eketone in hospital.

A police spokeswoman said the officer, Sergeant Scott Baker, had told the girl police were sorry for the situation but that police were not taking responsibility as yet.

Police were concerned for Eketone and wanted her to get better soon, the spokeswoman said.

The formal investigation should be completed in two to three weeks.

A complaint had been laid with the Independent Police Conduct Authority. 

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