Police officer gets permanent name suppression

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A High Court judge has granted permanent name suppression to a Hawke's Bay police officer who accidentally shot an arrested and handcuffed man in Hastings almost three years ago.

In a decision released yesterday, Justice Brendan Brown has upheld the officer's appeal against a District Court judge's decision declining name suppression following a trial in February this year, at which the officer was found not guilty on a charge of carelessly using a firearm causing injury.

It related to an incident in Hastings on the afternoon of August 13, 2013, in which the arrested man, who was lying on the ground and complying with police requests, was seriously injured. He recovered.

The trial was told the officer's rifle apparently discharged when knocked against part of the AOS officer's gear, after the safety lever had been knocked out of position.

The officer returned to duty after internal investigations, but a report on an Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry is yet to be released.

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