Police respond to footage of an officer punching Auckland teen

Drive 29/05/2018

Police have defended the actions of an arresting officer seen punching a teen who was resisting.

A video of the incident has gone viral on social media but police say the actions of the officer were justified and the technique is widely used on those resisting arrest.

Inspector Wendy Spiller of Counties Manukau Police joined Ryan Bridge and Lisa Owen on RadioLIVE Drive.

She says the 13-year-old boy had been pursued by police for 5 – 10 minutes.

“Police had gone to Highland Park at numerous requests of the public for this boy who had been allegedly assaulting another young boy and also threatening others to fight,” Inspector Spiller told RadioLIVE.

When police asked to speak to him, the boy rode off - but was followed by an officer riding a bike he'd taken from another teenager at the scene.

The video shows the officer dismounting and chasing after him, who seems to then be tackled from his bike to the ground by a second officer.

The two officers can be seen restraining the boy with some force and placing him in handcuffs while the boy lies face-down on the grass.

One officer punches the teenager in the left side of his ribs, to cries of protest from other young people witnessing the arrest.

Listen to the full interview with Wendy Spiller above.

Drive with Ryan Bridge and Lisa Owen, 3pm - 6pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.