Police say it is an "absolute priority" to establish what
happened to a teenage girl who says she was assaulted by an
officer at an out-of-control party in Howick at the weekend.
But they are yet to identify which of the 30 officers called
to shut down the party was behind the alleged assault on
15-year-old Ella Ekatone.
An investigation was launched after pictures of Ella, injured
and bloody, were posted on Facebook by friends who attended
the 18th birthday party on Saturday.
Police were called by members of the public, who saw
teenagers passed out in the streets. Upon arrival, police
were pelted with dozens of bottles and had to call in back
Eventually, 30 police officers dispersed about 150
party-goers. Ella claimed she was pushed by an officer,
causing her to fall face-first into the concrete and lose her
two front teeth.
Yesterday, Inspector Jacqueline Whittaker said when police
arrived the situation was difficult and unsafe.
The team investigating the incident were yet to speak to all
staff who attended, she said.
"The facts haven't been established yet. There is a lot of
speculation," said Ms Whittaker.
"There are a large number of people being interviewed,
including police staff and party-goers. It will be
She said all officers who attended the party were still
The complaint is also being investigated by the Independent
Police Conduct Authority.
Ella told RadioLive yesterday she decided to speak to the
media because the officer hurt her and "I don't want him to
get away with this".
"If this is happening on a regular basis it can't just go
unnoticed because he's a policeman. People need to realise
that this is happening a lot more than they think. I knew
many people at the party who got hurt that night."
Ms Whittaker hoped the investigation, which would include
reviewing photos and footage, would be wrapped up in two to
"It's an absolute priority, we've got extra staff working on
the investigation. This is an extremely unfortunate situation