Friday, February 22, 2013

Australia: Cop admits lying about prisoner assault to Police Integrity Commission

One of the NSW north coast policemen who claimed that an Aboriginal man punched a senior constable in the face has admitted to the Police Integrity Commission that the assault never took place, and that in fact he delivered a "knee strike" to the Aboriginal man while he was pinned to the ground.

And the commission was then played a recorded telephone conversation in which the constable referred to a group of Aboriginal people as "a car full of coons".

The revelations came during an explosive fourth day of the Police Integrity Commission inquiry into allegations that Corey Barker, 24, was assaulted at Ballina police station on January 14, 2011, after an altercation with police, and that officers then falsely accused the young man of assaulting them.

Under questioning from counsel assisting the commission, Stephen Rushton, SC, Constable Luke Mewings conceded that Mr Barker had never struck his fellow officer, Senior Constable David Hill.

"You accept that, in fact, Corey Barker did not assault officer Hill?" Mr Rushton said. "Yes, I agree with that now."

Constable Mewing then conceded that, despite the fact that the young Aboriginal man had not attacked any officer, they then proceeded to slam him into a wall, and then force him to the ground where one officer "stomped" on him, and then dragged him by his handcuffed arms into a cell.

"Dragging this man by his arms while they were still handcuffed would have been extremely painful wouldn't it?" Mr Rushton asked.

"Yes, I guess so," Constable Mewing replied.

The Constable then conceded that he falsely claimed in his formal police statement, and then in Ballina local court, that Mr Barker had assaulted his colleague.

He also said that parts of his statement were copied from the statement of Senior Constable Hill, after at least three of the police involved had "shared" their statements to "refresh our memories".

The Commission heard that the statements of Senior Constable Hill, Constable Lee Walmsley and Constable Mewing contained a number of sections which were "precisely identical", right down to the punctuation used.

This included the claim that, in response to a direction to turn around so he could be handcuffed, Corey Barker had said: "Get f----- you c---. I'm gun a punch you in the f------ head when I get the chance."

Constable Mewing said that the copying of other officer's statements had happened before within his Local Area Command , and that this was done to "refresh your memory".

When asked why he had both falsely claimed that Constable Hill had been assaulted in the local court, and concealed the fact that part of his evidence was copied from another officer, Constable Mewing said he had been "going through a very stressful time...other things in my life".

The hearing continues.

Original report here. (Via Australian police news)

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The police officers involved in this case should be sacked from the NSWPS. Not just for the corruption that is before them but so they can never do this to other victims in the future.
If you don't agree, you had better hope that their future victim/s are not your family.