Victorian police brutality
In just one week there has been three reports of police brutality in Victoria. It is clear that there is a systemic problem that is allowing police to abuse their powers. The community should have confidence in the ability of police to use their powers appropriately, and to investigate allegations of misconduct in an impartial manner. However, the frequency of reported incidents of police misconduct shows that the reality is far from this.
The first incident this week involved a disabled pensioner being dragged, pinned down and beaten in his front yard. His CCTV camera recorded the entire incident showing him in a helpless and abused state. Another video came out of a man getting repeated punches and kicks to the head by police during an arrest in a Melbourne pharmacy. The most recent incident involved a man hurled around by officers when his face hit the door of a holding cell causing him to bleed severely.
Police corruption and misconduct also problematic
The police are not only mistreating people. They are failing to investigate allegations of misconduct. Victoria’s Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) recently conducted an investigation into police corruption. The inquiry revealed that:
- 51% of investigated cases failed to consider all relevant evidence,
- 61% did not address human rights issues
- and 32% showed signs of inadequate supervision.
Police don’t have the trust of the public to conduct internal investigations and police culture is in fact facilitating such misconduct.
Police Brutality in NSW
These cases and IBAC’s recent findings show that police misconduct is a systemic issue and needs to be addressed immediately. Of course this is not unique to Victoria with many instances of police brutality also occurring in NSW. For example, the NSW Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) is currently investigating a case involving a violent arrest of a 16 year old boy where police officers repeatedly beat him.
O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors also deal with many cases where clients suffer mistreatment by police. We successfully represented clients who sued the police for compensation after experiencing assault, unlawful arrest and/or unlawful imprisonment.
If you have been mistreated by police or other authorities, speak to us about what legal options you may have. Contact us on (02) 9261 4281.