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New Zealand police officer is punished for slicing off a 14-year-old boy’s rat’s tail after arrest

Cop who chopped off a 14-year-old boy’s rat’s tail with a seatbelt cutter during a dramatic arrest is sanctioned over the ‘culturally disrespectful’ act

  • Constable Michael Hammond, 26, cut off a teenager’s hair with a seatbelt cutter 
  • The teenager was searched and arrested by another police officer at the time 
  • Hammond had wanted a discharge without conviction but he was convicted
  • However this was turned over on appeal due to the remorse shown by Hammond 

A police officer who chopped off a 14-year-old boy’s rat’s tail has been sanctioned by the force’s watchdog over the ‘culturally disrespectful’ act.

New Zealand Police’s Constable Michael Hammond, 26, cut of the boy’s hair with a seatbelt cutter after the boy was arrested following a car chase in Auckland in 2018.  

Hammond had thrown road spikes on the ground to stop the car the teenager was inside, according to Stuff.

New Zealand Police’s Constable Michael Hammond, 26, cut off the teenager’s hair with a seatbelt cutter after the boy was arrested following a car chase in Auckland in 2018 (stock)

The teenager was searched and arrested by another police officer, which is when Hammond pulled out the cutter and sliced off the boy’s hair. 

Hammond pleaded guilty to common assault in court last year however the charges were dismissed on appeal and his conviction and sentence was set aside.

An investigation by the Independent Police Conduct Authority agreed with the decision to sanction the officer at work.

Hammond and the police force as a whole both apologised to the child. 

‘Police expressed remorse for the officer’s actions, and acknowledged the assault was culturally disrespectful,’ the authority said.

Hammond said he had cut the teenager’s hair without thinking because he ‘saw cords’.   

The teenager was searched and arrested by another police officer, which is when Hammond pulled out the cutter and sliced off the boy's hair (stock)

The teenager was searched and arrested by another police officer, which is when Hammond pulled out the cutter and sliced off the boy’s hair (stock)

Justice Hinton, a High Court judge, said Hammond’s offending was ‘moderate’ during his appeal. 

‘Offending undertaken by a sworn police officer on a member of the public in the execution of that police officer’s duty is a significant aggravating factor,’ she said.  

‘He has hopefully learnt a very significant lesson. He has written a letter of full apology to the victim.’

Hammond is still a member of the police. 

Superintendent Karyn Malthus, Auckland City District Commander, said Hammond’s conduct was ‘inappropriate and unprofessional’.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk