The mother of a man arrested in a violent struggle with police outside the KFC in Napier last night says it brings back memories of another incident with police which happened when her son was about 10 or 11 years old.
Kiri Turner, of Napier, alleges police overstepped the mark in both cases and need to be held to account, particularly for last night's incident which she she says happened while her family, including a one-year-old child, was at the KFC to get tea.
Police said in a statement that a video posted on Facebook last night of a police arrest does not give a full picture of what occurred.
Just after the family passed through the drive-thru to wait in the carpark police arrived, and a violent arrest took place with son Pitiroi Turner, 22, being pepper-sprayed and forced to the ground before being handcuffed. As a video of parts of the incident went viral on-line today, Pitiroi Turner appeared briefly in Hastings District Court, facing three charges to which no pleas were entered, and was remanded on bail to appear in Napier District Court on November 25.
He faced one charge of resisting arrest relating to the incident, one of driving while forbidden relating to being at the wheel of the car, and one of breaching community work, for which he was supposed to have appeared in Napier District Court yesterday.
Speaking outside the Hastings court early this afternoon, having missed her son's appearance which had been held several hours earlier, Kiri Turner said the police need to be accountable for what she in says was excessive force.
"They can't be allowed to get away with it," she said, fearing that nothing would be done.
She said as with the incident her son had witnessed when the family was stopped on the Desert Rd several years ago children should not have been subjected to what they saw last night. "It's not fair," she said.
She said police approached her son, he asked to be able to get something from the car, and they struggled with him and threw him to the ground.
She was catching-up with her son at home in Napier later this afternoon, and hoping to see a lawyer and then make a complaint.
In their statement police said they stopped the car at KFC in Napier to arrest a man who was wanted on a warrant, and had been banned from driving. The car was also to be impounded.
He was "uncooperative with police", and refused to get out of the car, police said.
"When he did, he became aggressive and resisted all attempts to handcuff him," the statement said.
"He struggled violently with police, who used pepper spray on him.
"The spray hit the man but also splashed back into the face of one officer, making him incapable of assisting any further.
"Despite the pepper spray, the man continued to struggle violently and refused to be handcuffed.
"His head was pushed to the ground by one officer in a bid to stop him struggling."
When police attempted to get the car keys out of the car, the man's mother, girlfriend and sister "became obstructive", police said, and refused to let officers into the car.
"They became abusive and violent and also resisted arrest."