Hurt teen complains to police watchdog

By James Ihaka

Danielle King showing the marks on her face after an incident in Hamilton. Photo / Supplied
Danielle King showing the marks on her face after an incident in Hamilton. Photo / Supplied

A Hamilton teenager who claims police pushed her to the ground before dragging her face down from a party has lodged a complaint with the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

But police say they are comfortable with how their staff handled the situation.

Danielle King, a Fraser High School student, was left with a black eye and serious grazing to her face and says she had headaches for days after the incident on March 2. She claims she was dragged several metres to a waiting paddy wagon after police were called to a party that had got out of control.

The 16-year-old claims police ordered people to leave the party and she was doing so with a friend when she was pushed to the ground.

"The policeman grabbed me and said, 'You are coming with us,' and I said, 'Why? I didn't do anything,' and that's when I felt the push.

"I remember getting dragged but when they pulled me up a bit I had gravel all over my face and then I just remember them chucking me in the paddy wagon and that's it."

She claims she was not being abusive to police and was trying to co-operate with them. She said she was detained in police cells but not arrested - something the police have disputed.

Her mother, Veena, alleged the mistreatment of her daughter on Facebook about a month after pictures of a bloodied Ella Ekatone, 15, were posted on the social media website by friends who attended an 18th birthday party in Howick and claimed police heavy-handedness.

Danielle's father, Neville King, said he had delayed sending a complaint to the authority because the family needed to get pictures of Danielle's injuries.

He wants recognition that police may have over-reacted to the situation, and could possibly seek compensation.

"In extreme circumstances they may have to use extreme measures but my daughter wasn't doing anything extreme to them - she's just over five feet and 69kg. They were just flipping throwing her around like a rag doll."

Area prevention manager Inspector Karen Henrikson said police had responded to multiple calls from residents in north Hamilton reporting that about 50 teenagers had spilled onto the street from the party and were fighting. As police arrived the crowd pelted their car with bottles.

"Based on current information, police are comfortable with the arrest procedures and actions carried out by their staff," she said.

- NZ Herald

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