Police deny arrested man access to food, water and medicine because of a small amount of cannabis


A cannabis user has filed a complaint against police for what he claims was inhumane treatment following a recent arrest.

Whangarei man Nathan Tucker said he spent six hours in police cells and was denied food, water, and medicine during that time.

He has now lodged a complaint with the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA).

Tucker was arrested in September after being pulled over during a late-night traffic stop.

He had a small amount of cannabis in his car, which he said was for pain relief while waiting for hip surgery.

According to the complaint, the two arresting constables handcuffed Tucker and took him back to the station.

There, Tucker said he told them he was in pain and dehydrating.

"I told him I really needed a drink and that I felt really sick," he said.

"He totally ignored me and told me he has to put me through an impairment test."

Tucker said he was finally given a drink after being at the station for two hours.

"It was such a small glass it barely hit the sides."

Tucker said he was then transferred into another cell, before being released hours later.

"It was the middle of the night, and I had nothing to lie on, no blanket, no water and no pain killers," he said.

Tucker is still angry about what he feels was wrongful treatment at the hands of police.

"It was probably the worst six hours of my life."

"Prisoners of war are treated better than I was… I was treated like a scum bag."

Tucker admitted he had previous cannabis convictions, but said he had turned his life around and was now only using the drug for medical reasons.

Pieter Roozendaal, acting corporate manager for the IPCA, said the authority could not discuss its investigation.

"However, I am able to confirm that a complaint has been received from a Northland man in respect of his treatment by police while being held in custody," he said.

"The complaint and additional information received from police is currently being assessed for further action."

A police spokesman said police were unable to comment while court proceedings were active.

 - Sunday Star Times