Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bungling NSW cops shoot one of their own and try to blame it on a Vietnamese guy

And why weren't they in uniform? The Viet guy had no way of knowing they were cops. He has a good self-defence case. The whole operation reeks of overconfidence and incompetence

WHEN the screaming stops, all that can be heard is anguish in the voices of police as they realise Constable William Crews cannot be saved. "I don't know who shot him, him or me. He's dead," the officer who fired the fatal round is heard to say. Another officer is recorded saying: "Mate, he's dead."

The graphic police-recorded video that captured Constable Crews' final moments was played yesterday at a committal hearing for Phillip Nguyen, the man accused of the young officer's manslaughter.

The 26-year-old officer's family were in court to watch the footage, which also shows the trainee detective lying motionless on the floor of a Bankstown garage.

Nguyen, 56, accused of firing the first shot during the shootout that erupted as officers carried out a search warrant on September 8, 2010, is charged with Constable Crews' manslaughter on the grounds of excessive self defence.

Burwood Local Court was told the police operation, conducted by the Middle Eastern organised crime squad after receiving information that drug deals were being done from within the garage, was deemed to be "low-risk", with Constable Crews among officers dressed in plain clothes.

The search warrant video was the first piece of evidence tendered during the two-week committal hearing for Nguyen that will determine if the case can proceed to a Supreme Court trial.

Gunfire is heard soon after the tape begins, followed quickly by screams of "officer down".

Police can be heard screaming at Nguyen to "drop your gun it's the police, there's a police officer down with a gunshot to the head" before pleading with him to "throw the gun out, we will not hurt you".

The screaming stops soon after and is replaced by the distressed voices of officers as they try to save their dying colleague.

The court heard Nguyen believed officers were "fake police" because they weren't in uniform and thought they may have been robbers.

Crown prosecutor Sevinch Morkaya told Magistrate Brian Maloney that the shot fired by Constable Crews' colleague "was not a careful, well-aimed shot". "His intention was to shoot the accused, but that was the shot that ultimately killed the deceased."


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