Cop suspended after sling tackle at Flinders St Station

Cop suspended after sling tackle at Melbourne’s Flinders St Station

Victoria Police have suspended an Acting Sargeant following a sling tackle at Melbourne‘s Flinders Street Station.

A passer-by captured the incident on a mobile phone and posted it to Twitter. This led to a spike in calls asking for the officer to be stood down.

The officer has been suspended pending an investigation by the Professional Standard Committee.

Anti-Lockdown Protests

The incident occurred during one of Melbourne‘s anti-lockdown protests. However, it is not clear whether the man who was tackled was himself a protestor.

Footage shows a man talking to two officers when the officer in question approached from behind and violently sling tackles the man to the ground.

“An acting sergeant from a specialist support unit has since been suspended as a result of early inquiries,” a Victoria Police statement said.

Cop suspended after use of excessive force

While circumstances around the arrest remain unknown, we can easily deduce that the officer in question has used more force than reasonable in the situation. There may be an argument that in fact he should have used no force. However, that depends on information not available at this stage.

The Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) dictates that Victoria Police can use force in certain situations, in addition to the allowances provided in common law for self-defence or to prevent a breach of the peace.

Section 462A of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) states that the use of force should only be appropriate when:

  • It is not disproportionate to the offence AND
  • There are reasonable grounds necessary to:
    • prevent continuation or completion of indictable offence; or
    •  effect or assist in affecting the lawful arrest of a person committing or suspected of committing any offence.

If the officer acted outside of the lawful powers, then the victim can sue the state for their actions. In this type of matter, you would likely sue for false imprisonment, assault and battery, depending on the circumstances.

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Sarah Gore
Sarah is a civil solicitor who primarily practices in defamation, intentional torts against police, privacy and harassment.

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