Thursday, September 10, 2015

Australia: Gold Coast police brutality: Three cases in two weeks

The Gold Coast cops have had a bad reputation for a long time.  Yet nothing seems to have been done.  What does it take?

A SHOCKING new video has emerged of the moments before a Brisbane Justice of the Peace was brutally assaulted by Gold Coast police.

The Courier-Mail last week revealed CCTV footage of 50-year-old grandfather Ray Currier attacked by police after his colleague was arrested outside a Surfers Paradise nightclub.

The latest video taken on a smartphone by a member of the public and obtained by The Courier-Mail, shows a new perspective that was previously hidden from the view of Gold Coast CCTV cameras.

The three-minute video shows Mr Currier attempting to draw his friends away from the scene where their colleague had just been arrested.

At no point does Mr Currier attack or provoke the group of police officers outside the Surfers Paradise nightclub yet seconds later he is approached by a police officer and punched several times in the head and stomach.

The video also appears to show the officers grab Mr Currier around the throat before pushing him head first into the ground.

Mr Currier’s colleagues made an official complaint to the police the day after the incident but were allegedly told nothing could be done.

A police spokesman told The Courier-Mail the most recent video had been reviewed by senior police from the Gold Coast district and an official complaint had been made to the Ethical Standards Command.

Kris Currier said a family who were visiting the Gold Coast witnessed the attack from their balcony and sent her the footage after reading about her husband’s story in The Courier-Mail.

“I am so grateful this family has come forward and provided us with this footage ... our solicitor now has a very clear picture of what really took place that night,” Mrs Currier said.  “I started crying knowing that Ray could be so brutally bashed by a police officer.”

The disturbing footage has gone viral and the hashtag #Justiceforray has been created to support Mr Currier.

Since the attack on Australia Day, Mr Currier has suffered memory loss, headaches, neck pain and anxiety and his wife said she wants justice for her husband.

“We are hoping that the police officers and staff involved are now investigated and charged with assault,” Mrs Currier said.  “For Ray, I hope he gets the justice he deserves.”

Another incident

THERE are fresh claims of police brutality on the Gold Coast with shocking new video appearing to show an officer punching a handcuffed prisoner in the head.

The Courier-Mail has obtained CCTV footage of officers kneeing a 20-year-old man before one later punches him in the face in Surfers Paradise last year.

The incident is now the subject of an internal investigation and is the third caught on camera recently involving Gold Coast Police.

It is understood the officer who allegedly threw the punch has since left the Queensland Police Service.

The victim, electrical trade assistant Brayden Aaron Mechen, had been charged with serious assault over the incident and was due to face a court hearing at Southport yesterday, but all charges against him were dropped on the morning of the case.

According to court documents, Mr Mechen spat at an officer who then hit the young man in the face. However, that allegation was later withdrawn and Mr Mechen maintains he did nothing wrong.

Video shows police responding to an altercation involving one of Mr Mechen’s friends in Surfers on September 28 last year. Mr Mechen is not involved in the initial altercation, but touches an officer on the shoulder before he is set upon.

Later footage shows his head rock back after a punch before he is bundled into the back of a police wagon.

Queensland Police Union President Ian Leavers said the charges were only withdrawn due to a technicality.

Mr Mechen, who described the ordeal as the most terrifying of his life, denies any wrongdoing and has not ruled out civil action against the QPS.

It is the third instance in the past fortnight of video purportedly showing violence by officers on the Gold Coast.

The first case

One video shows a prisoner being head-slammed at Surfers Paradise police station. That man, Michael Cox, is suing the QPS for more than $100,000.  More on that here.

Original report here

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