Police officers are entitled, and will continue, to use force when it is deemed necessary, the president of the Police Association has said. Greg O'Connor has stepped in after video footage emerged last week of an officer pulling a deaf man to the ground in New Plymouth's CBD.
Daniel Downes claimed he couldn't hear the officer's instructions telling him to put empty alcohol bottles back in his car rather than a nearby rubbish bin.
O'Connor said while people might not like it, officers were allowed to use force when required. "There's a belief that any force is wrong, that police shouldn't be using any force but they are allowed to use coercive force," he said.
"It's got to be controlled and justified but they're allowed. "People need to understand police are allowed to use coercive force and just because they do doesn't mean they are in the wrong."