Police speak out after Christchurch arrest video circulates online

Police have spoken out after video of a violent arrest circulated on social media, with some comparing police actions to cases of brutality overseas.

An edited version of an incident that occurred on Madras St in central Christchurch last month has been shared widely on social media, showing two officers arresting a man.

The edited clip shows him kicking out at two standing officers while he lies on the ground, before a male officer brings his foot down hard on the man's face, with the impact audible on the video.

Officers then sit the man up to arrest him as his head hangs limply; he doesn't resist any further.

Critics online said the video was proof the police were not adequately trained and used hashtags such as #policebrutality and #GeorgeFloyd.

In response to enquiries from the Herald, police said incidents like this that were shared without context often did not tell the full story.

The video of the Christchurch arrest is circulating on social media. Image: Supplied
The video of the Christchurch arrest is circulating on social media. Image: Supplied
Superintendent Lane Todd, Canterbury Metro Area Commander, said that police were called on two separate occasions within a short period of time to a Madras St address on March 2, following reports of an aggressive and intoxicated man.

"The man was arrested by police and placed in handcuffs. He began to actively resist the attending officers and was taken to the ground in an attempt to keep everyone involved safe," Todd said.

"Police then tried to assist the man to his feet, and he has allegedly kicked an officer in the head. The second officer attempted to control the man but was also allegedly kicked in the head by him. Both police officers were later assessed by a doctor for minor head injuries and are being supported by police.

"Following this, one officer attempted to place the sole of his foot on the man's shoulder however the man has moved, causing the officer's foot to connect with his head once."

"It is important to note that short videos of police incidents often exclude relevant context. This particular video is a small excerpt from a fast-moving and dynamic situation."

Photo Supplied
Photo Supplied
Police said they have the full video footage of this incident, including audio, and had investigated the circumstances.

A 44-year-old man appeared in the Christchurch District Court facing two charges of assaulting police and one charge each of resisting police and disorderly behaviour.

He is due to reappear on May 31 for sentencing.

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