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Officer appears to knee, punch man near Toa Samoa fan zone


Footage has emerged of an officer appearing to strike a man near the Toa Samoa fan zone with his knee, then attempt to punch him in the head while he was in police custody.

The incident took place near the Ōtara fan zone at 2am, ahead of the Rugby League World Cup finals.

The video shows several officers around the man as he’s on the ground. One officer appears to knee him in the head, and as the man is escorted away by another officer, the first officer appears to try to punch him – also in the head.

Bystanders can be heard urging the police to stop, shouting: “What the f*** was that?” as the man is escorted away by the officers.

One witness who filmed the incident, and wished to remain anonymous, told 1News she saw it unfold as she and her family were walking to their car.

She said another witness told her the man was arrested after he refused to hand over the alcohol he was holding to police.

“All of a sudden they tackled him down, started smashing his head into the concrete then two other cops held him down while the other stomped on his back and that is when I started recording,” the woman said.

The video has been widely shared across social media, with many users condemning the officer’s actions.

Counties Manukau District Commander Superintendent Jill Rogers said in a statement to 1News that “images and videos often do not provide the full context of the situation”.

“However, in this case, we acknowledge some of the behaviour shown falls below the standards we would expect from our officers,” Rogers said.

Rogers said police would be following up with the officers involved to determine the full circumstances of the incident.