Anti-Lockdown Protestor Unlawfully Arrested By NSW Police

multiple police officers walking, lower body behind shotWe changed the name, location, and other details to protect our client’s privacy. 

NSW police unlawfully arrested our client, David*.

At the time of the incident, David was standing attending an anti-lockdown protest. He stood in a crowd of people at an intersection in Kensington*, Sydney. Here, police officers stood blocking pedestrian’s free movement. 

Unlawful arrest by NSW Police 

Suddenly, an officer grabbed David’s arm with their two hands. The officer then pulled David from the crowd, dragging him for 10 metres. Then, other officers started to pull and touch him too. They put David in a headlock and tackled him to the ground.

Four officers held him to the ground by placing their knees on his upper back. The surrounding crowd too multiple pictures on their phone. 

They arrested David and put him in handcuffs. The officers thought that David was participating in an unlawful assembly, being it was an anti-lockdown protest.

During the altercation, the officers pushed his glasses off. His phone’s screen was also smashed. The officers then physically escorted David towards a nearby park. They also twisted his hands and pushed his fingers back. David told the officers that they were hurting him on more than one occasion. 

Then, they put David in the back of a police van and brought him to Kensington Police Station*. 

Charges for attending a protest in Sydney 

They charged David with the following offences: 

  • Resisting police. 
  • Hindering police. 
  • Inciting another to assault. 
  • Failure to comply with noticed direction. 

They refused David’s bail and they placed him in custody. 

The day after his arrest, a prominent Sydney newspaper published a story about David’s arrest. They identified him by name, alongside a picture of him, and stated his occupation. 

He appeared before the Local Court. As a result, David was then released to bail. As David pleaded not guilty, he appeared before the court again. The judge found the arrest improper. 

Consequently, they dismissed all charges. 

Assaulted and battered by NSW Police 

David was assaulted and battered by NSW police. The grabbing, pulling, twisting of his hand, and the tackling him to the ground constituted assault and battery. The use of force by the officers was excessive. 

In addition, David was also unlawfully imprisoned. This occurred from the time they grabbed him, until his detainment in jail. Furthermore, David was also imprisoned with the absence of reasonable suspicion of him having even committed an offence. 

Loss and damage due to unlawful arrest by NSW police 

David also suffered loss and damage as a consequence of the arrest. Due to the assault and battery, he suffered physical pain, mental distress, anguish, and distrust of the police. In addition, he also suffered loss of dignity, distress, fear and humiliation.

David also suffered a loss of liberty as they restricted his freedom. 

Due to the arrest and the resulting media coverage, David also felt distressed, confused, shocked, humiliated, and embarrassed. 

Claiming damages for unlawful arrest by NSW police

As a result, David claimed exemplary damages for his false imprisonment, assault, and battery.

We found that the police officer’s conduct was high-handed, unwarranted, and excessive. They showed a blatant disregard for his right to liberty. 


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O’Brien Solicitors successfully obtained a positive outcome for our client in this case. 

If you have been charged and believe your arrest was unlawful, contact us today. We can represent you on all criminal charges and help you make a civil claim against the state, if applicable. Contact O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors on (02) 9261 4281. We can set up a free appointment with the civil lawyers in our Sydney office. 

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O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors
p: 02 9261 4281
a: Level 4, 219-223 Castlereagh St,
Sydney NSW 2000

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