|Shane Legg in intensive care after surgery.|
A Northland man faces the prospect of life in a wheelchair after he suffered paralysing injuries in police custody. Shane Legg, 28, from Ruawai, spent 40 days in Whangarei Hospital's intensive care unit and had three operations to implant steel plates to stabilise a broken vertebra.
The disqualified driver tried to flee from police when he was seen driving on April 19. When he was eventually caught, police handcuffed his hands behind his back and took him back towards a waiting patrol car.
But they had to cross a seven-wire farm fence.
Shane Legg's father, Ray, claims his son was told by a police officer to climb the fence, then was pushed when he was halfway over it.
By all accounts apart from their own, the police are getting worse. One of the reasons for this is that the Independent Police Conduct Authority is not independent at all and is simply there to protect the police when they get into trouble. Without a functioning watchdog the police can do whatever they want, and get away with it.
This is not an isolated incident and the culture of brutality within the police force needs a truly independent organisation to investigate and make changes where appropriate. Without that we will continue to see people's lives being ruined by what can best be described as a gang of state sponsored thugs.