No wrongdoing by Douglasdale officers who restrained woman: Inquiry

28 July 2019 - 15:32 By ERNEST MABUZA
JMPD vehicle.
JMPD vehicle.
Image: Reuben Goldberg

An internal investigation has found that there was no wrongdoing on the part of JMPD officers after a video surfaced earlier this month which showed officers restraining a woman during a blood test.

The City of Johannesburg initiated an investigation into whether excessive force was used by police officers following the video.

The video showed the woman being restrained by a Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) officer while another person, purported to be a nurse, appeared to prepare to draw blood from the woman

In a statement on Sunday, Johannesburg public safety MMC Michael Sun said an internal investigation found that the JMPD officers involved had acted within the course and scope of their duties.

“There will, therefore, be no disciplinary actions taken unless any further evidence contradicting these findings comes forward," Sun said.

Sun detailed how the woman, who ended up at the Douglasdale Police Station, had been stopped during a roadblock and was found to be driving under the influence of liquor.

Following a breathalyser test, which the woman had agreed to, she was informed she would be transported to the police station for further processing.

“More than an hour of attempting to get the driver to cooperate and after the explanation by the nursing sister of the procedure of drawing a blood sample, the driver still refused to cooperate.

“The JMPD officer, in complying with relevant laws, … had no other alternative but to use appropriate and minimal force to restrain the driver so the nursing sister could withdraw the blood sample."

Sun said the restraining was necessary for the police officers to perform their duty and also to ensure the safety of those in the room as well as the driver’s own safety while the nurse took blood.

The driver was then detained and a criminal docket opened against her for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Sun said there were unconfirmed reports that criminal charges had been provisionally withdrawn against the driver.

“However we will be following up with the National Prosecuting Authority to ascertain why charges were withdrawn. It is also for this reason that we are unable to divulge any other details as the charges could be re-instated and the driver would be or is still subject to a criminal investigation,” Sun said.