Police have spoken out after a video of their interaction with two men on their way to the supermarket went viral.

The video, filmed in Whangarei earlier in this month's lockdown, shows police questioning two men and confiscating their driver's licenses, despite their pleas that they are going to the supermarket for essential items.

Now police have revealed one of the man is a patched gang member who has been warned by police for repeatedly breaching lockdown conditions.

The heated exchange has been shared widely on social media and reported on by overseas news sites.

Advertisement

The passenger and the man speaking in the video is Stephen Daly, a patched member of the Headhunters gang.

"Do you want us to drive without a licence?" Daly asks in the video.

One of the officers then tells that while it's not an offence to drive without a license, it is an offence to not produce it when asked to.

Police repeatedly asked the men which supermarket they were travelling to. Photo / Facebook
Police repeatedly asked the men which supermarket they were travelling to. Photo / Facebook
Stephen Daly is a patched member of the Headhunters gang. Photo / Facebook
Stephen Daly is a patched member of the Headhunters gang. Photo / Facebook

Police then ask Daly and the driver which supermarket they are heading to, saying they will follow them there and then back to their bubble.

Daly then produces his shopping list and criticises the attitude of police, telling them that he needs to be outside to get "Nana's meds" along with other essentials.

The driver then swears at police as Daly attempts to calm him, saying: "We don't do angry".

The shopping list. Photo / Facebook
The shopping list. Photo / Facebook

READ MORE:
Covid 19 coronavirus: Man in Hamilton charged after spitting at police
Covid-19 coronavirus: Police notice traffic increase, remind motorists NZ still in lockdown
Covid 19 coronavirus: Man sentenced to 14 days in prison for spitting at police
Covid 19 coronavirus: Police to remain 'highly visible' enforcing alert level 4 over weekend

Daly posted the video to his Facebook account but later removed it, saying it was due to a request from a family member.

Advertisement

He also thanked his supporters and criticised the police with an expletive.

Daly is active on social media and has posted videos showing himself doing burnouts and firing guns.

Inspector Marty Ruth of Northland Police told the Herald that the police take community safety seriously and have been carrying out regular patrols to ensure that those out in public are only undertaking essential travel.

"The man shown in this video is a patched gang member who is known to Police," Ruth said.

"He was previously spoken to during the lockdown period on three separate occasions and was warned after being found by Police doing burnouts in public and breaching other alert level 4 restrictions.

"The man was stopped again by Police after he was found in public and this time claimed he was going to the supermarket. The man is a suspended driver and was being driven by an associate.

Advertisement

"He was again spoken to by Police and warned that if he was not carrying out essential travel that he may be arrested for being in repeated breach of the restrictions."

The encounter went viral. Photo / Facebook
The encounter went viral. Photo / Facebook

Police also revealed why they made the decision to carry the pair's licences, revealing that they made the decision in light of his previous breaches.

"Officers made the decision to carry his licence on them while they followed him to the supermarket, to ensure he was indeed undertaking essential travel, where they would return his licence to him afterwards," Ruth told the Herald.

"After waiting in line at the supermarket for a short time the man and his driver left without purchasing anything. Police have yet to locate the man's associate to return his licence."

Ruth said the officers "acted in a calm and professional manner despite facing verbal abuse by this man".

"I commend their actions and I want to reiterate that Police will take necessary action if people are found to be repeatedly breaching the restrictions and putting our community at risk," he added.

Advertisement

"Our response is to educate and speak to people during this unique environment, arrests are typically made as a last resort."

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website