Questions over whether male officers can restrain females after viral video

It might not be illegal for a male police officer to restrain a female, says the chair of the Justice Project SA, Howard Dembovsky.

Dembovsky was responding to video footage taken at the Douglasdale police station, showing a woman held down by police officers.

The video sparked a debated on social media with social media users calling the protocol of drunk driving enforcement and prosecution into question.

According to a SABC news report, Dembovsky said there's more to the video than just male traffic officers holding down a female.

“In the video we see a woman who is purporting to be a nurse, who is not even wearing surgical gloves, trying to take a blood sample from that woman. Can a male restrain a female for the purpose of blood to be drawn from that person? It’s an interesting question of law and the answer to it is I actually don’t know," he said.

When approached by TimesLIVE, City of Johannesburg MMC for public safety Michael Sun threatened action against JMPD officers if they were to be found guilty of any wrongdoing.

On whether or not a male officer can restrain a female, Sun said that the law does permit a police officer to physically restrain a person who refuses to provide a blood sample for law enforcement purposes.

"The city, on noting this incident, has already commenced an internal investigation into the events leading up to the incident as well as to determine whether the appropriate use of force was used by law enforcement officials.

"If anyone is found guilty of any wrongdoing, they will face appropriate and swift disciplinary action," he said.

Metro police spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said the incident was being investigated.