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Police face media in teen alleged assault case

Published: 7:24PM Tuesday February 12, 2013 Source: ONE News

Police have faced media questions about the alleged assault of a teenage girl who claims she was pushed to the ground by a police officer.

Ella Eketone, 15, alleges she was shoved to the ground as police attempted to break up an out of control party in east Auckland at the weekend.

The schoolgirl has cuts down her face and lost two front teeth in the incident.

An investigation has been launched by the Independent Police Conduct Authority to determine what happened.

Today police faced the media as questions of alleged police brutality and misconduct mounted.

"My number one priority is to establish exactly what occurred that evening, and there is a full investigation underway," area commander Inspector Jackie Whittaker said.

Trouble was sparked after hundreds of teenagers turned up to an 18th birthday party at a house in Howick on Saturday night. Police were called in and after being attacked with bottles, back-up, riot squad and a helicopter were brought in to break up the party.

Ella says she was at the back of the house with friends, waiting for a ride home, when riot police jumped the fence, ordering everyone outside.

"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," she said.

"And I put my hand up to my mouth and my teeth were gone."

Graphic photographs of Ella's blood-streaked face were uploaded to social media sites yesterday, sparking outrage in the online community.

It has also forced police to launch an investigation.

Police visited the bruised teenager in hospital and apologised, but say that was not an admission that a police officer was at fault.

"I know there's been reports that someone apologised, but that's not been identified and we're not aware of who that person is," said Whittaker.

"There's been no formal apology."

The IPCA investigation into the incident is expected to take up to three weeks.

The teenager says, for now, she just wants her smile back. But her dentist has told her a permanent solution is years away.