Thursday, October 08, 2015

Australia: Student, 24, says he was bashed by police during a routine traffic stop - and claims they confiscated his phone and 'edited' his footage of the incident

A Cairns man facing charges of assaulting police is considering suing the Queensland Police Service after claiming he was bashed by an officer during a routine traffic stop.

Kenneth Wong says police took his phone and edited footage of him being assaulted by a male constable.

But the QPS will not look into the allegations until Wong, 24, has been through court for a string of charges himself, including failing to stop, contravening a direction and assaulting police.

'As the matter is currently before the court it is not appropriate to comment further,' a police statement read.

Wong says he was repeatedly punched in the face by the constable after he was pulled over on August 29 for failing to completely stop at an intersection while on the way to visit his sick mother in Cairns.

An emergency department report obtained by AAP shows Wong suffered two black eyes, a cut under his left eye, bruises to both wrists and a bruise to his right shoulder.

The law graduate and education student says the officer called for back-up when he questioned why he had to hand over his licence.

After realising Wong was recording him, the officer then allegedly took Mr Wong's glasses off, punched him multiple times and tried to pull him from the vehicle while he was still strapped in.

Once at the police station, he was pressured into giving police his phone's passcode, Wong says. He says police then disabled the iCloud function so he could not download the video remotely.

Wong's phone was returned last week and he is convinced the video has been 'trimmed' to remove possibly incriminating evidence. He plans to have a computer expert look at it.

Wong can be heard on the video file telling the officer: 'No, you can't do that. You don't have the power under PPRA (Police Powers and Responsibilities Act).

'I give you licence, you better leave me alone.

'Do not touch it, it's my property.'

The officer repeatedly replies: 'Don't start, mate.'

Wong says his facial injuries have prevented him from continuing his placement at a Cairns high school, while the incident itself has left him frightened and distrustful of police.

Wong approached the Crime and Corruption Commission to investigate the officer, but the complaint was forwarded to the QPS's Ethical Standard Command.

Wong has sought advice and said he is considering legal action.

It comes amid a QPS review into a recent spate of police brutality incidents on the Gold Coast.

The Queensland Council of Civil Liberties, which has been assisting Wong, says police behaviour is a growing concern.

'We're receiving at least one complaint or allegation about police violence or brutality a week,' acting president Julie Jansen told AAP.

Original report here

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