Officer's excessive Taser use a 'training issue'

KATIE KENNY
Last updated 07:31 13/06/2014
GREG O'CONNOR
DAVID ALEXANDER/The Press
GREG O'CONNOR: Police made a decision to treat it for what it was - "a training issue".

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The police union has defended a decision not to prosecute an officer for excessive and unlawful use of a Taser.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority yesterday found a police officer's use of a Taser during an arrest was "excessive and contrary to law".

On Christmas Day 2011, Mark Smillie was arrested at his home in Whakatane. The arresting officer used OC spray, baton strikes and a Taser when Smillie resisted arrest.  

The authority found while the officer, who is unnamed, was justified in using the spray, the first and second use of a Taser was excessive and contrary to law.

It recommended police take disciplinary action against the officer in light of its findings, but police did not prosecute.

Speaking on Breakfast this morning, New Zealand Police Association president president Greg O'Connor said it was important to consider the event in context.

"The man was preventing the officer from doing his job," he said.

However, he said police admitted 13 seconds "may have been a little long" on the taser trigger.

He said police have made a decision to treat it for what it was - "a training issue".

The officer has been retrained, and is now back doing his job.

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