Black Lives Matter Protestors

Black Lives Matter Protestors Win Claim Against NSW Police

We represented a group of seven people who wanted to sue the NSW state after they attended a Black Lives Matter protest. The group of Black Lives Matter Protestors claimed damages for false imprisonment, assault, and battery against the NSW police. One of the group was only 14 years of age at the time of the incident.

What happened with these Black Lives Matter protestors in Sydney?

In 2020, our clients participated in the protest in Sydney. The protest began in the city. As the crowd grew larger, officers began to become more aggressive.

A little while into the protest, NSW Police directed the group and a larger crowd into Central station. During this time, police aggressively pushed our clients. They used their fists to move on the crowd, causing bruising and pain to some of the members of the group. Moreover, the officer wore armoured gloves with hard plastic on the knuckles. This only exacerbated the discomfort and pain. 

NSW Police become aggressive with protestors 

At this time, the police failed to give a formal move-on order. However, the police line was moving very fast. Faster than the crowd could safely walk. As a result of the police pushing, one of our clients fell over a bench*. The officer aggressively picked her up from the ground. She protested, telling them not to touch her. 

After, officers continued to push the group to Central Station. During this process, officers pushed some of the protesters into walls and fences. Officers did not allow the protestors to go in their preferred direction. Instead, they pushed them into the station. Then, the pushing became more aggressive. This is when the group were confined to the station by the police. 

Police also pushed them through the turnstiles, before anyone could tap on. As a result, none of them could leave through any entrance that requires you to tap off to pass through. 

Black Lives Matter protestors stuck in railway station in Sydney   

Therefore, the Black Lives Matter Protestors were stuck there. The police line prevented them from leaving the station. Additionally, there were only a few trains that you could board. Staff at the railway station discouraged many from accessing some platforms, citing safety concerns. 

Suddenly, police started to aggressively push the crowd again. Then, officers sprayed capsicum spray at the group. As a result, many fell to the ground and became incapacitated. First aid attendees arrived to help the injured. 

After, the police issued a formal move-on order. The majority of the crowd left the station, except those the attendees were treating. Allegedly, witnesses saw some officers laughing at those receiving help for the effects of the capsicum spray.

During this time, police restricted the group from their liberty of movement because they could not leave. Due to the pushing and spraying of capsicum, they suffered a lot of pain and discomfort. In addition, this all occurred in a small enclosed space. Consequently, the group experienced significant pain and distress for many hours following the incident.

Suing NSW Police for treatment at protest 

We commenced proceedings on behalf of our clients in the District Court of New South Wales. The group sought damages for assault, battery, and false imprisonment. The court found in favour of our clients. In the end, each person in the group was compensated fairly. 


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

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