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Police action probed after girl complains: 'My teeth were gone'

Published: 5:34PM Monday February 11, 2013 Source: ONE News

  • Ella Eketone tells ONE News she was pushed by a policeman outside an Auckland house party and lost her front teeth
    Ella Eketone tells ONE News she was pushed by a policeman outside an Auckland house party and lost her front teeth
  • This image of Ella Mere Eketone, after she was allegedly assaulted by police, has been posted on Facebook. (Source: Facebook)
    This image of Ella Mere Eketone, after she was allegedly assaulted by police, has been posted on Facebook. - Source: Facebook
  • Ella Mere Eketone's injuries, after she was allegedly assaulted by police. (Source: Facebook)
    Ella Mere Eketone's injuries, after she was allegedly assaulted by police. - Source: Facebook

An investigation has been launched after pictures appeared online of a teenage girl who claims she was shoved by police at an east Auckland party.
 
ONE News has now tracked down 15-year-old Ella Eketone whose teeth were knocked out in the fracas, while the incident is now under investigation by the Independent Police Conduct Authority. 
 
Ella has more than photos to remember Saturday night - her two front teeth now in a plastic bag, allegedly because of the police.

The photos too paint a grisly picture. Graphic photographs have been published on social media showing the teenager with blood smeared across her face and mouth, holding her bloody hand to her cut lips.

Another image, apparently taken after she had received treatment, shows her with cuts to her face, running from her forehead down to her chin, as well as a bust lip.

Ella said the incident was horrible.

"I just started bawling my eyes out because I was in so much shock," she said.

Hundreds of teenagers turned up to a Howick address in east Auckland for an 18th birthday party.

Hours later, riot squads and a police helicopter followed.

Ella was out the back of the house with friends, waiting for a ride home. She said it was then that riot police jumped the fence, ordering everyone out of the house.

"He shouted at me 'move the f*** out of the way and f*** move'.  And he pushed me and I didn't fall and he pushed me a second time. And that's when I tripped over and I fell on my face. And I put my hand up to my mouth and my teeth were gone," she said.

It is a situation friends and family still find hard to believe.

Ella's mother, Nicola Healey, said her daughter was drinking "but there was no excuse to do that. She was doing as she was asked."

Homeowner Marie Williams said it did get out of control,

"One person threw the first bottle, and once that first bottle was thrown, everybody else sort of followed suit. Silly behaviour. I was actually yelling out the window for people to knock it off, but completely being ignored, obviously," Williams said.

Police did not want to comment to ONE News on camera, but said with around 500 people at Saturday's party it was impossible to know exactly what happened at this stage. They said they would be interviewing witnesses and the police officers who were there.

Police, who were called to the street shortly after 11.15pm, also said some of the partygoers were intoxicated and had passed out on the grass.

Their officers came under attack as they tried to clear the revellers, with bottles being thrown at police patrol cars, police said.

Counties Manukau Police District Commander, Superintendent John Tims, said around 50 bottles were thrown at a police car and that around 35 officers attended the callout.

"The officers moved in to the address and tried to disperse the party-goers from the house and also the surrounding areas," he said.

"No one was arrested as a result of the house being cleared of party-goers."

But Ella's family and friends who were there say there were only around 150 people at the party and that police forces overwhelmed the teenagers.

A young man who was there said police with batons, helmets and shields ran through the fence.

All the chaos, however, will not stop Williams from throwing another party.

"Sorry to say it wouldn't. You're only young once. We just wanted to give her a good time," she said, apparently referring to the 18-year-old who the birthday party was for.

Tims said police have interviewed the 15-year-old and her complaint is now being investigated by the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

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