New Zealand Police Association president and former Napier detective Chris Cahill hopes there will be no further recriminations for the four Hawke's Bay officers who were yesterday found not guilty on assault charges.
In Auckland last night, Mr Cahill was speaking after the acquittal at the end of a seven-day trial in Napier District Court, and Judge Phillip Cooper's decision to allow the publication of three of the officer's names.
Mr Cahilldid not attend the trial and, having not served in Hawke's Bay since the 1990s, did not know any of the officers. He said there were "no winners" in the case, with the association recognising the grief of Gregory McPeake's family and what officers had been through on the morning of March 13, 2015, when he died during an arrest at Westshore Beach, Napier.
"Certainly our thoughts go out the family of Mr McPeake," he said. Mr Cahill said that the association was "disappointed" that the events had gone to court, but added: "Sometimes it is the right environment to have it tested by an independent authority."
The association believed the verdicts were the right decisions, and Mr Cahill said: "What it shows is the police will judge their own, possibly more harshly than it will any member of the public."
He said he could understand officers' angst over the events and their identification in public, but with the "full facts" now known he expected the public would understand the officers' position. The officers had been "fully supported" by their association throughout, he confirmed.