OPINION: I am shocked the treatment of Corey Vreugdenhil by New Zealand police officers.
I have the greatest respect for officers of the law but when this sort of incident occurs it is very hard to maintain that respect.
This is definitely an excessive use of police force.
From your article, police officers broke into his dwelling without permission, assaulted him with pepper spray when he had done nothing except use foul language, forced him to travel down steps while impaired by pepper spray, assaulted Mr Vreugdenhil physically and with a ''non- lethal'' weapon.
His daughters were threatened with arrest by the officers and he was imprisoned for the night.
Even without the initial complaint being dropped, this is a travesty.
Mr Vreugdenhil was awarded a sum by the courts.
However, it seems the officers escaped censure, apart from being spoken to by Southland area commander Inspector Todd.
This is for offences that would have had a civilian behind bars for years.
I am disgusted with the response by police authorities in this case and others like it.
They seem to fail to understand the serious nature of the offences that their officers have committed.
These incidents tar the reputation of police officers nationally, the majority of which uphold the law with integrity.
I am concerned that the lackadaisical response to serious incidents of this nature will lead to these incidents happening with more frequency to any one of us.
- The Southland Times