‘I had a gun in my face’: Camouflage-clad man, 30, who arrested by police during terror attack ‘for wearing the wrong thing’ claims wrongful arrest
- A camouflage-clad man says he was wrongfully arrested by police officers
- Stephen Millar was detained by police in the wake of the mosque massacre
- He was picking up a teenager from a school 10 minutes drive from the shooting
- He says he had a gun ‘in his face’ and he was told to get down on the floor
- Police defended their actions, and said there was heightened police presence
A camouflage-clad man who was arrested near to the scene of the mosques massacre in New Zealand claims he was wrongfully apprehended by authorities.
Stephen Millar, 30, said he plans to seek compensation after he was mistakenly detained by police who were in the midst of dealing with the horrific attack, which took place on the country’s south island.
Mr Millar had just arrived at Papanui High School, around a ten minute drive from the Al Noor mosque, to pick up his 13-year-old brother-in-law when he was held by police.
Stephen Millar (pictured) said he plans to seek compensation after he was mistakenly detained by police.
He claims a police officer pointed a gun ‘in his face’ and demanded he get on the ground before he was arrested and put in a car.
‘I looked up at the cop and he said “look at me again and I will shoot you”, I had no weapons on me. They had me on my knees, they had a gun in my face,’ Mr Millar told The New Zealand Herald.
‘I said “I’ve done nothing wrong”, they said I was an idiot for wearing camouflage clothing,’ he added.
When the situation was eventually resolved Mr Millar, who said he’d been dressing in camouflage clothing since he was a child, claims he received a verbal warning ‘for stupidity’.
The image shows a man being taken away from the shooting scene on a stretcher by medical staff
The image shows the police trying to move people away from the scene outside the mosque
He added the police allegedly called it ‘disorderly behaviour’.
‘I still don’t understand how I was doing disorderly behaviour for wearing the wrong thing in the wrong place at the wrong time,’ he added.
The police have since spoken out to defend their actions.
A spokesperson said due to the timing of the incident, which was ‘immediately after the massacre’ police had been responding to numerous reports which were ‘potentially related to the unfolding situation’.
In a statement released to Daily Mail Australia, a police spokesperson confirmed there was a ‘heightened police presence’ in most of the Christchurch area as part of the response to the terrorist attack.
‘As you will no doubt be aware there is a heightened police presence and increased patrols in most areas of Christchurch as part of our response to the terrorist attack and there will be for some time,’ the statement read.
‘As the Prime Minister stated yesterday, this has been designated a terrorist attack.
‘Our response yesterday was in the early stages and we were obviously looking closely to build a picture of any of the individuals involved and all of their activities prior to this horrific event.
‘This was a fluid, fast, live and evolving situation.
‘Police were responding to a multitude of reports potentially related to the unfolding situation,’ the spokesperson stated.
The spokesperson also warned all New Zealanders to remain ‘extra vigilant’.
‘There is no guarantee the risk is limited to Canterbury and we need all New Zealanders to be extra vigilant. Police are also vigilant and will respond appropriately to requests for service such as this.
‘Our entire focus remains on managing the situation and supporting the community in Christchurch and protecting the citizens of New Zealand,’ the statement concluded.