Saturday, December 31, 2016
<i>Shades of Tony Blair's Britain</i>
Auditors are reviewing Queensland's official crime statistics amid allegations figures have been fudged.
Police Minister Mark Ryan says Police Commissioner Ian Stewart has advised him of an audit office review into whether crime reports were manipulated to give false perceptions about the state's crime rates.
"The commissioner has given me assurances that the Queensland Police Service will work with the Queensland Audit Office to get to the bottom of this matter," Mr Ryan has told the ABC.
The ABC says it's been told two police crime managers on the Gold Coast have raised concerns that legitimate crime reports have been labelled "unfounded" in an effort to keep offences off the books.
The broadcaster said the managers took their concerns to the audit office only after telling a superior, who did nothing about it.
The minister said Queenslanders must be able to have faith in crime statistics.
"I expect the highest standards to be met and maintained by the Queensland Police Service from the top of the organisation down," Mr Ryan said.
Posted by JR at 7:31 PM
Sunday, December 25, 2016
<i>Black guy tries to blow up service station in probable terrorist attack. Victorian Police again just don't want to know about black crime. With a delusional premier as their boss, you can't entirely blame them</i>
Hero tradie to the rescue to stop service station disaster. The hero sprung into action when he saw a potential disaster unfolding at a St Albans a service station at 5pm last Wednesday.
CCTV footage shows a man walking up to service station bowser.
He picks up the fuel pump, and holding a cigarette lighter in his right hand, tries to set the bowser alight.
When it fails to ignite, he angrily throws the pump onto the ground and moves to another.
A tradesman spots him on his second attempt, and launches into action. The good Samaritan pulls a fire extinguisher from the front of the bowser, walks up to the man and douses him with fire retardent foam.
He then chases the offender away from the service station in a haze of foam.
The 30-year-old hero, who doesn't want to be named, said he believed the man's intent was to kill or injure bystanders. "It looked like he was trying to burn the place down," he told 7 News. "If he had have lit the petrol, I imagine most of us probably would have died or been pretty severely injured."
While the would-be arsonist was forced out of the service station, he remained nearby. That is, before the tradie launched a second counter attack.
"He was still standing over the fence outside the 7-Eleven, so I ran over and gave him another couple of sprays," the man said.
He said he tried to report the incident to two different police stations, but was told they were too short-staffed at the time to take a statement.
He later reported it to a third, in Melbourne's north west, but the tradie said the response he received was inadequate. "I think [the potential arsonist] is a risk to the public and I do think it needs to be followed up on. "And I just don't think the response I got from that particular officer - not against the station or the force in general - that particular officer, wasn't adequate."
Police told 7 News they would not be investigating the incident as nobody was injured and no damage was reported.
Posted by JR at 8:54 PM
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Crazy Queensland cop who pulled his gun on a speeding driver and hurled abuse at him is found guilty of assault
<i>He has been stood down since being charged</i>
A police officer who was filmed pulling his gun on a speeding driver before threatening to 'put a f***ing hole in you' has been found guilty of criminal charges.
Senior constable Stephen Flanagan, 46, was convicted of assault and deprivation of liberty at Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
Flanagan tried to argue that he believed motorist Lee Povey was armed and driving a stolen vehicle during the traffic stop in May last year, but his claims were dismissed.
Magistrate Paul Kluck said Flanagan's version of events was 'implausible', adding 'I don’t accept his evidence as being credible.'
Flanagan's defense team produced a psychological report that showed he was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder at the time, the Courier Mail reports.
The officer is scheduled to reappear in court in the new year for sentencing once a full mental health report has been prepared.
Earlier in the trial the court was shown footage of the incident taken from Flanagan's own dashcam and filmed by Anna Cruse, Mr Povey's partner, on her phone.
In the video, Flanagan can be seen pulling up alongside Mr Povey's silver ute, blaring his horn but without using his sirens or lights.
As Mr Povey keeps driving, Flanagan is heard saying: 'F***ing pull over now c***.'
The footage then shows the police car pulled over as Flanagan gets out and walks in front of the vehicle with his sidearm drawn and pointed at Povey. 'Get out of your f***ing car, right now' he can be heard shouting.
Speaking to the court, Mr Povey said: 'I took my seatbelt off, looked over and there he was. 'He said "do you know I could put a f***ing hole in you?"'
Mr Povey said he felt the firearm pressed in between his shoulder blades as he was handcuffed.
The driver told the court he was compliant the whole time and didn't try to argue with the officer.
Mr Povey said he seen a police car driving behind him with no flashing lights or sirens and thought the officer was trying to overtake him.
Miss Cruse added: 'I've been pulled over by the police a couple of times before for speeding ... never been pulled over with a gun before - I thought it was some sick prank that someone had set up.'
Posted by JR at 8:56 PM
Monday, December 12, 2016
It took an attempted carjacking of a former assistant police commissioner for Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews finally to take his state’s soaring crime rate seriously.
Two weeks ago former detective Noel Ashby was ambushed by four "aggressive African males" who tried to force his Mercedes off the road. Just another day in the socialist state of Victoria, where carjackings and violent home invasions are a constant fear.
So Andrews and police commissioner Graham Ashton last week announced a $2 billion recruitment of 3000 new police officers.
But it won’t matter how many cops they hire, the politically correct, risk-averse culture of Victoria Police will ensure crime thrives.
Crooks and thugs are free to run riot, while police obsess about gender, racism and LGBTI. Rapists prowl, gangs brawl, losers brazenly smoke bongs in CBD parks, drunk drivers speed away from booze buses, while police are busy cracking down on racial abuse on Facebook, or denouncing "language" crimes by Eddie McGuire that "demean women".
Victorians accept a level of lawlessness unheard of in Sydney. It’s a lesson to the rest of the country how quickly life turns sour when you neuter your police force with politically appointed commissioners, and when your justice system is at the mercy of a judiciary stacked with human rights lawyers and former union functionaries.
After Melbourne’s iconic Moomba Festival fireworks in March, Sudanese members of the fabled Apex gang brawled with Pacific Islanders in Federation Square, forcing people to cower behind locked restaurant doors. Only four people were arrested.
When pot-smoking protesters fired up their bongs at a picnic in Flagstaff Gardens this year, police didn’t just turn a blind eye; a spokeswoman condoned the event as "freedom of expression".
When two officers tested positive to drugs on duty a few years ago, not only were they not sacked or charged, but a spokeswoman described their drug use as "no surprise".
No surprise former commissioner Ken Lay is the poster boy for drug decriminalisation. "We can’t arrest our way out of this", he says, which is true if you don’t even try.
Victoria Police don’t enforce the law on union picket-lines, either, but stand sentry in implied solidarity.
And, after a law suit for "racial profiling" young African men, street police now are required to issue "receipts" to anyone they talk to, in a humiliating, time-wasting farce.
Then there is the joke of police chases, restricted last year so 145 a month dropped to five. Crooks just have to step on the gas.
There’s no point wailing about African refugees as if they pose some sort of novel crime challenge. Wrongdoers have been empowered by a police force which has neglected its responsibilities for a decade.
As a result, Victoria’s crime rate keeps rising — up 12.4 per cent in the past year. It’s now the nation’s murder capital.
But the problem is not, as Andrews pretends, a shortage of police. Victoria has more police per capita than NSW, which boasts the lowest crime rate in 25 years. NSW has 218 police per 100,000 people, versus Victoria’s 258.
Victoria has half the imprisonment rate of NSW, a higher victimisation rate and a lower reporting rate for most crimes, a good indication people have lost faith in police.
Even more telling, in the western suburbs of Melbourne, residents are banding together to protect their neighbourhoods with DYI security. Locals in Caroline Springs call it "Criminal Springs" because of the brazen carjackings and home invasions. Fed up with the lack of police protection, they patrol their streets themselves.
But instead of being mortified by this vote of no confidence, Ashton told radio 3AW the patrols should stop "because it becomes vigilantism".
When Jill Meagher was raped and murdered in Melbourne four years ago, no one knew how complicit police and legal authorities were in the crime that shook the nation. Adrian Bayley had been convicted of raping eight women, yet was free on parole. He is suspected of raping at least 16 prostitutes in 2000, but the rape squad wasn’t interested. His DNA, taken in 2001, was lost by the hopeless police forensics lab.
Instead of locking up crooks, Victoria Police have become do-gooder agents of social change. Last year they embraced the gender scolds of the Victoria Human Rights Commission who made the usual "shocking" claims of entrenched sexual harassment and discrimination.
When he’s not pondering gender quotas, Ashton reserves his zeal for a self-serving vendetta against Catholic Cardinal George Pell, which wins plaudits from the ABC.
Rather than playing sectarian games and pandering to identity politics, Ashton might try doing his job. Better yet he could resign.
Posted by JR at 8:57 PM
Sunday, December 11, 2016
<i>Sheer thuggery. Catherine Atoms and Robert Cunningham were walking past the Esplanade Hotel at night in November 2008 when they stopped to help a man lying in bushes nearby. Police arrived shortly afterwards and tasered the couple, before handcuffing them and charging them with obstructing a public officer. The charges were later dismissed. The biggest disgrace is that all the watchdogs failed to bark. It should never have got to court. There clearly is an official culture of protecting the police, right or wrong. </i>
A law professor and his wife who were yesterday awarded more than $1 million in damages after an unlawful arrest have told how they risked going bankrupt to expose how they were treated by police officers.
Robert Cunningham and Catherine Atoms wept in the District Court yesterday as their eight-year battle resulted in a judge announcing the massive payout.
Judge Felicity Davis found they were assaulted, tasered, unlawfully detained and maliciously prosecuted by police after stopping to help a stranger on a night out in Fremantle in 2008.
But it was a hollow victory, with Ms Atoms’ career as a community engagement consultant in tatters.
She was put into "performance management" in her relatively new job after being charged by police and by the time a magistrate threw the case out 18 months later, she was on her way "out the door".
The bulk of damages — $1.024 million — were awarded to Ms Atoms for loss of earnings and the distress and back injury she suffered, with $110,000 awarded to Dr Cunningham.
Judge Davis told the court that she calculated percentages of liability for individual officers and the State and made an order for "aggravated damages" against one officer, Simon Traynor.
The police were represented by government lawyers and supported by the Police Union, which is considering an appeal.
WA Police Union President George Tilbury said:"The WA Police Union will assess Judge Davis’ reasons when they are published on Thursday, December 15. WAPU will consider the merits of an appeal and continue to support the officers involved".
Outside court, the couple told The Weekend West that they would have been financially devastated by legal costs of the other parties if they had lost the case.
"We would have had to file for bankruptcy, that’s what was on the line for us," Dr Cunningham said.
"We had to sue both the State and the individual who had separate legal counsel, so we would have been subject to two sets of legal costs of an 18-day trial."
Dr Cunningham and Ms Atoms took the action after all of their efforts to hold the officers to account failed — a police internal investigation cleared them of wrongdoing and the Corruption and Crime Commission agreed with the outcome, refusing to instigate its own inquiry despite criticism by its then parliamentary inspector.
"I have a great sadness that the legal system pushes you into dollars and cents when that’s not always what it’s about," Dr Cunningham said.
"We were concerned about the systemic issues and how less privileged people in society may be subject to this type of behaviour by the police on a regular basis and all of the consequences that flow from that.
"People lose faith in the justice system. They lose faith in the good police officers serving our State."
Ms Atoms said she would take no satisfaction from the decision unless it sparked change. "I think it’s important to recognise that a lot of people experience far worse," she said.
"If justice is so out of reach for us, how far out of reach is justice for the broader public?"
Dr Cunningham called for the CCC to finally hold its own investigation of the case.
"From our personal experience, we’ve learnt that unfortunately the CCC does not appear to be fulfilling its mandate of successfully overseeing the activities of the WA Police service," he said.
"Until we have some confidence that this kind of thing is less likely to happen as a result of this, through some sort of systemic review, then we haven’t been fully successful in this action."
Posted by JR at 9:00 PM
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Ballarat police who stripped a drunk, off-duty officer half naked while she was in custody and kicked and stomped on the vulnerable woman could be charged over the incident.
The January 2015 matter was been directed to the Director of Public Prosecutions after Victoria's anti-corruption watchdog found it was just one example of excessive force at the Ballarat station outlined in a report tabled in state parliament on Thursday.
IBAC commissioner Stephen O'Bryan QC made four recommendations, including human rights training for officers.
He also suggested the government should consider decriminalising public drunkenness, bringing it into line with every state but Queensland.
Both the government and Victoria Police have baulked at the prospect of decriminalising public drunkenness, saying the laws are there to protect the community and the drunk person themselves.
But acting deputy commissioner Luke Cornelius said Victoria Police would accept the four recommendations and were waiting on the DPP to decide whether charges should be laid.
"It is clear to us that our high standards and expectations in treating citizens with dignity and respect certainly fell short," Mr Cornelius told reporters.
The inquiry was launched after IBAC received CCTV footage from Victoria Police showing the 51-year-old woman being kicked, dragged, stripped and stomped on in police cells.
The officers involved did not know at the time that the woman, who had been arrested for public drunkenness, was a serving police officer on leave for medical reasons.
The woman at the centre of an investigation into shocking police brutality allegations is planning to sue the force. © Ten News The woman at the centre of an investigation into shocking police brutality allegations is planning to sue the force. At IBAC hearings in Ballarat in May, one of the officers involved denied kicking the drunk woman and insisted she only "touched" her with her foot to calm her down and another said the struggle ensued when the woman tried to escape the cell.
All officers involved have returned to work on reduced workloads.
The inquiry also investigated three other complaints of excessive use of force at Ballarat by one officer who later received a promotion to the rank of sergeant.
The officer dragged a woman into an interview room in 2010 and held two women in a choke hold when they refused to leave the station in 2009 - actions which he later admitted to IBAC were "entirely inappropriate".
The public hearings were told Ballarat station attracted more than three times the average number of assault complaints against officers.
Police Minister Lisa Neville said a line had definitely been crossed at Ballarat.
"There is no room in Victoria Police for these sorts of behaviours," she said.
Posted by JR at 9:04 PM
Friday, November 11, 2016
A Brisbane magistrate has reserved his decision in the case of a police officer who pulled a gun on a couple for speeding along an outback Queensland highway in May last year.
Senior Constable Stephen Flanagan was charged with assault and deprivation of liberty after the couple lodged a complaint over the ordeal.
Flanagan's own dash-cam recorded most of the incident, where he is seen honking at the driver, before getting out of the car and pointing his pistol while swearing at the couple.
He is then filmed handcuffing the driver on the side of the highway, before issuing him with a speeding ticket.
The summary trial began yesterday and heard from three witnesses including Flanagan, driver Lee Povey and his partner Anna Lisa Cruse.
'Put you ******* hands in the air'
Mr Povey told the court he was confused at why a police car was following him without any lights and sirens.
He said when he eventually pulled over, he saw the police officer walking towards his vehicle window pointing a pistol and swearing.
"First up, he said, 'Put your ******* hands up in the air,'" Mr Povey said.
Mr Povey said he could feel the gun being pushed into his back while he was being handcuffed outside the car, a claim Flanagan told the court was unlikely.
Several videos of the incident were tendered to the court, including Flanagan's dash-cam and a recording Ms Cruse made on her smartphone.
Officer not a rogue lunatic: defence
In his final submissions, Flanagan's defence lawyer Stephen Zillman said the officer thought the car was stolen and the driver may have had a firearm, so he acted quickly.
"From what we've seen and heard on video, it's clear, he was very, very, highly stressed," he said. "It's not the case of some rogue lunatic police officer simply pulling pistols out, pulling them at someone who's been speeding."
The matter has been adjourned until December 7 and Flanagan's bail has been extended.
Posted by JR at 9:05 PM
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
A senior NSW police officer who played a key role in a botched drug case that resulted in a violent criminal being released to roam the streets has been convicted of assault, drink driving and has twice survived recommendations he be fired.
Despite an assault conviction for the drunken bashing of an off-duty colleague at a cricket international, then being arrested at gunpoint for fleeing a breath test and crashing a police car, Damian Goodfellow has climbed through the police ranks to become one of Sydney's most prominent crime managers.
A Fairfax Media probe has placed him at the heart of two recent significant investigations that resulted in a drug sting that left four police officers claiming they were wrongly persecuted, and the release of a criminal who was facing serious drugs charges:
"As acting crime manager at Kings Cross local area command in 2011, Detective Inspector Goodfellow filed a report to the agency's Professional Standards Command that later resulted in a string of drug charges being inexplicably dropped against a violent criminal named Wayne Edward Jones. A year later, the Nomad Outlaw Motorcycle gang member, who was operating an illegal prostitution racket in Kings Cross, tortured and strangled to death a mother of four.
As the current crime manager at Newtown, Inspector Goodfellow was one of three senior police from the station who, based on "strong supposition", recommended a "covert investigation" be launched against the only openly gay male officers within the command, targeting illicit drug use. After combing through their private lives for six months, the operation found no evidence of wrongdoing. The Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW has since "accepted for investigation" four individual complaints of employment-based "homosexuality discrimination" against the force"
In 1999, Inspector Goodfellow was one of two police personnel who were recommended be sacked after they repeatedly punched a third off-duty officer during a drunken brawl at a one-day cricket international at the SCG.
Magistrate Kevin Flack recorded convictions and fined each of the officers $400 plus $52 court costs.
The then police commissioner Peter Ryan gave Inspector Goodfellow a second chance.
But in 2002, he was convicted again, this time of drink driving, after an erratic attempt to skip a breath test resulted in him crashing an unmarked patrol car.
While Mr Ryan lost his patience and issued a dismissal notice, Inspector Goodfellow received another reprieve from incoming commissioner Ken Moroney who, 18 months earlier, had delivered a heart-warming speech at the detective's wedding to fellow officer Carlee Mahoney, the daughter of then assistant commissioner Reg Mahoney.
Police sources who spoke to Fairfax Media at the time expressed dismay that other officers, with no such ties, had been sacked for far less.
Mr Moroney responded by saying his confidence in any officer was relevant to them acknowledging their mistakes and their continued good behaviour.
"Leniency extended once is rarely extended twice," he said.
Inspector Goodfellow was in the headlines again 12 months later as was one of four off-duty officers who were hospitalised following a punch up inside a Kings Cross strip club.
While he was the least injured, Inspector Goodfellow had been knocked unconscious.
"There's no suggestion they made it known they were police officers," said former Kings Cross commander Dave Darcy, who added it was irrelevant they were from the force.
"It could just as well have been any group of young people who happened to be visiting a strip club."
While more than 10 years have passed since those personal indiscretions, Inspector Goodfellow is again under scrutiny after a Fairfax Media investigation published explosive revelations last week about a Kings Cross drug case, handled by him, that ended in controversy and tragedy.
After the drugs case was bungled, Senior Constable Glen Roberts faced charges relating to the professional standards report filed by Inspector Goodfellow (see below).
But in court, magistrate Graeme Curran tongue-lashed police, labelling the conduct as "quite unacceptable" and "quite inexcusable".
In dismissing the case against Senior Constable Roberts and awarding him costs, Mr Curran pointed to two "critical" pieces of evidence the agency had withheld from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the defence that would have proved the officer's "truthfulness" from the start.
But equally as important, he cited the prosecution's "failure to obtain" any form of statement or evidence from Inspector Goodfellow. "It could have been of assistance to the prosecution ... it may easily have been of assistance to the defence," he said.
Fairfax Media requested an interview with Inspector Goodfellow and also forwarded him questions about the case. However, the NSW Police Force advised he was on scheduled annual leave. It provided the following statement:
"[Inspector Goodfellow] was not relieving as crime manager when the charges were recommended for withdrawal.
"The charges against Jones were properly and ethically withdrawn when the force found it could no longer rely upon the evidence upon which the [drug] charges were founded. It was alleged the original information provided by the main police witness [Roberts] was incorrect and that witness never produced a statement for use in court.
"The charges preferred against the former officer were supported by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), and this matter was prosecuted by the DPP. Any questions concerning material contained within the brief are best referred to the DPP."
The botched drug bust that set free a criminal
In April 2011, Senior Constable Glen Roberts witnessed a drug exchange in Darlinghurst between a man, Wayne Jones, and one of three young women he had allegedly transported to Sydney from Newcastle and the Central Coast for prostitution.
Already on parole over a brutal bashing that left a woman disfigured, the drug charges served that night were enough to send Jones back to jail for several years. But a short time later, Inspector Goodfellow forwarded a "report" to the Professional Standards Command.
It's contents remain a mystery. However, it led to the PSC charging Senior Constable Roberts with having fabricated evidence and Jones being released from jail in October 2012.
A year later, Jones tortured, burned, bashed and strangled Central Coast mother of four Michelle Reynolds in a Coffs Harbour motel while high on ice.
When Senior Constable Roberts' own case finally came before Sydney's Downing Centre in 2013, the prosecution went all out to jail him.
Today, after being exonerated by Mr Curran, Senior Constable Roberts is no longer in the force and is haunted by "what might have been" had Jones' charges not been "wrongly withdrawn".
The secret police drug sting and the gay officers
In May last year, Inspector Goodfellow was the "resolution manager" who, with two senior colleagues at Newtown, escalated a complaint to the PSC, recommending a sting be launched against three serving gay officers and one of their long-term partners who used to work at the station, over suspicions they might be taking drugs.
The result was an eight-man strike force codenamed "Andro" that, six months later, had turned up "no evidence" of drug use or "related misconduct". The covert operation is estimated to have cost about $250,000 in wages alone.
Their lawyer has since written to police hierarchy, complaining about the "improper use of public resources" to "systematically target" the men because of their "sexual orientation".
Assistant Commissioner Mick Fuller replied, stating he was "satisfied" the investigations were "appropriate in the circumstances".
The initial response from Anti-Discrimination Board NSW suggests otherwise and it has "accepted for investigation" all four complaints of "homosexuality discrimination" against police.
Despite suppressed documents entitled "behavioural observations of subject officers", "analysis of subject officers' communications" and further material relating to bars "regularly visited", the force said on Saturday the investigation had "involved no covert surveillance as alleged".
It added the inquiry was "concluded before it was necessary" to interview any of the men who had been "exonerated of any wrongdoing." Only one of the officers remains in the force.
The life and crimes of a Sydney police officer
1995: As a probationary constable, Damian Goodfellow was forced to apologise to a motel owner after property was damaged and female guests harrassed during a police conferencing session.
1999: Bashes a fellow off-duty officer at the SCG while drunk, is convicted of common assault and fined $400. Receives notice requiring him to show cause why he should not lose his job. Then Commissioner Peter Ryan gives him a second chance.
2000: Marries the daughter of NSW Assistant Commissioner Reg Mahoney. Future Police Commissioner Ken Moroney is among the speech givers.
2002: An attempt to flee a breath test backfires when he crashes a police car while drunk and then gets arrested at gunpoint. Fined by the court. Loses his licence. Issued with a dismissal notice by Mr Ryan but gets another reprieve by incoming Commissioner Ken Moroney.
2003: Among four off-duty officers hospitalised after a violent, early hours brawl inside a Kings Cross strip club.
2007: Receives specialist promotion to senior sergeant at what was then Special Crime and Internal Affairs.
2009: Joins Kings Cross as Duty Officer.
2011: While Goodfellow stands in as acting crime manager at Kings Cross, one of the station's detectives, Glen Roberts, lays drug charges against local crime figure and Nomads bikie gang member Wayne Jones. After Goodfellow sends a report to the force's Professional Standards Command (PSC), they are dropped.
October 2012: Senior constable Roberts is charged by the force with having fabricated false evidence against Jones.
December 2012: Jones tortures, bashes and strangles to death Central Coast mother of four Michelle Reynolds.
2013: A magistrate dismisses the case against Roberts, awards him costs and slams police for failing to obtain evidence from Goodfellow and concealing, for two years, vital evidence from the DPP that verified the detective's "truthfulness".
2015: Goodfellow, now crime manager at Newtown, is one of three senior police who, based on "strong supposition", signed off on a joint decision to investigate four officers over illicit drug use. The men, who are gay, claim homophobia sparked the six month sting - which found no evidence of wrongdoing.
2016: The Sun-Herald reveals the chain of events that led to the murder of Michelle Reynolds.
Posted by JR at 9:07 PM
Monday, November 7, 2016
<i>The crooked cops always slime the honest ones, thus making it hard to tell the sheep from the goats</i>
Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn is likely to face adverse findings when the Ombudsman's long-running and controversial police bugging inquiry, Operation Prospect, tables its report, leaked letters have revealed.
An adverse finding would seriously dent any chance Ms Burn had of replacing Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione when he retires.
The two letters sent to Acting Ombudsman John McMillan by the NSW Crime Commissioner Peter Hastings, QC, have blasted the $10 million Operation Prospect investigation as unfair.
Mr Hastings threatens to seek an injunction in the Supreme Court to block the public release of the report when it is tabled in NSW Parliament.
The Greens will separately seek to "kill off" the report, by amending a police oversight bill in NSW Parliament next week, to terminate the Operation Prospect inquiry.
"Any report that the Acting Ombudsman delivers will be so infected by gross procedural injustice that it will never be accepted as either fair or impartial," Greens MP David Shoebridge said last night.
The Ombudsman has been investigating events that took place 17 years ago, when former deputy commissioner Nick Kaldas was among about 100 police bugged during a police internal affairs unit investigation involving Deputy Commissioner Burn.
The Ombudsman's report is still being written and is due to be released before Christmas.
The heavily redacted letters, obtained by Fairfax Media, confirm for the first time that Ms Burn, Mr Kaldas and former NSW Crime Commission chief Philip Bradley face recommendations of adverse findings.
But the letter attacks the investigation, begun by former ombudsman Bruce Barbour four years ago, for allowing key witnesses to make submissions that were not disclosed to other parties.
Mr Kaldas, who has previously made serious complaints about the Ombudsman's inquiry, retired from NSW Police earlier this year, bowing out of the race for the Commissioner role.
The letter says the process used by the Ombudsman's office is "intolerable", and it was "fundamentally unfair" that Mr Bradley has been unable to see evidence given by important witnesses against him.
Mr Hastings says he has discussed the matter with Ms Burn and "I understand her lawyers have expressed similar concerns about the processes generally and specifically in relation to the failure to put matters to her [redacted] about which recommendations are now apparently being made for adverse findings", the letter says.
"It is a matter of public record that former deputy commissioner Nick Kaldas has serious complaints about the manner in which the investigation has been conducted ... It is significant that those senior personnel who have been investigated but who have different interests, have major grievances about the way in which they have been treated," the letter says.
The report will cause "substantial reputational damage suffered ... The situation is wrong and the damage will be irremediable."
It threatens that Ms Burn, Mr Kaldas and Mr Bradley may join any legal action to injunct the report in the Supreme Court.
However, Ms Burn last night distanced herself from the letter.
"I am under strict directions from the Acting Ombudsman not to disclose the matters in which I have been involved in the Operation Prospect Inquiry. Contrary to a media report today, I have not decided to join in an application to the courts complaining about the process of the inquiry,' she said in a statement.
No details of the adverse findings have been revealed in the redacted letters.
The October 26 letter also calls for the dispute between the government authorities to be referred to Premier Mike Baird within seven days.
A spokesman for Mr Baird said a copy of the letter had been sent to Mr Baird's office late this week.
"We look forward to receiving the Ombudsman's report and will respond in due course," he said.
A spokesman for the NSW Crime Commission declined to confirm or deny the contents of the letter.
The Ombudsman's office said the report was still being written and would be tabled in Parliament before Christmas.
Mr Shoebridge said: "From day one it was clear the Ombudsman's office was not up to the job of investigating this extremely sensitive police bugging scandal, and it has hidden its inadequacies behind a wall of secrecy and a grossly unfair process.
"Parliament created this monster and Parliament now needs to do the right thing and kill it off before it causes any more damage."
Posted by JR at 9:08 PM
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Glen Roberts served in the Cronulla riots and survived being mowed down twice by the same car during a dramatic police pursuit.
Yet his professional career – and his personal life – will forever be defined by a drug exchange he wishes he had never, by chance, witnessed.
One of the two people he arrested and charged that night in April 2011, Wayne Edward Jones, was a major crime figure who, already serving parole, was sent straight back to jail – where he should have remained for several years.
Yet for reasons known only to a select few officers within the NSW Police Force, he did not.
Michelle Reynolds with one of her young sons. © Janie Barrett Michelle Reynolds with one of her young sons. Six months later, the charges against Jones were inexplicably withdrawn and he was freed - with deadly consequences.
Jones later booked into a Coffs Harbour motel where, high on ice, he hogtied, tortured and strangled to death a mother-of-four, Michelle Reynolds. He then ordered take-away pizza beside her broken body before dumping her in bushland the following day.
Senior Constable Roberts, meanwhile, found himself charged with having fabricated "false evidence" in the drug case against Jones.
A Fairfax Media investigation has now found that the force appeared so determined to discredit the officer over what he saw that night, it broke the law by withholding two crucial pieces of evidence from the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Senior Constable Roberts' defence lawyers which proved his innocence.
As a magistrate was still getting his head around the prosecution's case against Senior Constable Roberts, which he later remarked "should never have started", the worst possible news surfaced in court.
The same violent offender whose drug supply charges had strangely evaporated 14 months earlier had since become the subject of another serious criminal case at Coffs Harbour.
"Sorry your honour … I just have a question," said a court assistant about what first appeared to be a mix up with files. "The case … is for a murder charge."
"We all looked around in disbelief," recalled Senior Constable Roberts.
"The man whom I had charged, who should still have been inside, and for whom I was now in court, had killed someone. I was absolutely devastated."
On April 4, 2011, Senior Constable Roberts and a colleague were patrolling Sydney's Kings Cross where they observed Jones and three young women in a situation that prompted concerns of underage prostitution. Senior Constable Roberts then observed Jones "clearly and without obstruction" place both his hands down the front of his pants and remove "a plastic item" before transferring the object into the co-accused's hands" which she swiftly stuffed down the front of her shorts.
They called for back up and a a female officer searched the girl and located the package inside her pants which contained bags of heroin, ice and marijuana.
However, back at the station, the seemingly straightforward arrest started to unravel when the 21-year-old woman divulged that she had been assisting Newcastle-based detectives with classified intelligence about Jones and his bikie gang associates, describing scenes involving big silver cases and "pounds of drugs" laid across tables. "He is part of the Nomads ... they all are," she said. The woman went on to explain how the previous evening Jones had rounded her and two teenage girls up, conducted an ice deal at a service station and then bashed her and forced her to drive, unlicensed, to Sydney for the purpose of prostitution.
"He had sexual intercourse with me even though I tried to stop him ... and then after that he forced me to do two jobs …otherwise he was going to do it again." She also alleged he had raped one of the other girls.
Throughout the interview, the woman said she was "scared", adding: "Once he overdosed me on heroin and just left me there. Other days he just belts me."
The drugs that led to the arrest of Wayne Jones in 2011. © Supplied The drugs that led to the arrest of Wayne Jones in 2011. Years earlier, Jones had smashed a woman so hard with a car "club lock", it caused the left side of her face to collapse. He received a seven and a half year sentence with a non-parole period of four and a half years.
He was still on parole for that horrific attack when the drug exchange took place. He was now served with three drug possession charges, one count of dealing with suspected proceeds of crime and an additional charge of supply of an indictable quantity of drugs, which carries a maximum 15 year prison term.
Yet six months on, some shadowy element in the police force set wheels in motion to withdraw all those charges and have Jones freed.
In turn Senior Constable Roberts was suddenly accused of lying about what he'd observed on the night and was charged with "fabricating false evidence with intent to mislead judicial tribunal".
When the case was heard in Sydney's Downing Centre in April 2013, it emerged that the prosecution's case against Senior Constable Roberts hinged on one statement from a senior constable who said Roberts had told her he "hadn't actually seen" the drug transaction that led to Jones being charged.
Yet two pivotal pieces of evidence, which the force had failed to produce for two years, proved otherwise. The first, an official record of interview in which Jones' co-accused acknowledged she personally saw Senior Constable Roberts witness the exchange. "I know you saw me," she said, adding: "I spotted that."
The second testimony came from the female constable called to the sceneto search the three women. In her statement, which police did not disclose, the officer recalled Senior Constable Roberts saying: "I've seen her hug the accused and possibly put something down the front of her pants."
Under the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1986, police are legally bound to "disclose" to the DPP "all relevant information, documents or other things obtained during the investigation" that might reasonably be expected to assist the case for the prosecution or that of the accused person.
Magistrate Graeme Curran said it was that "critical" evidence that not only favoured the "truthfulness" and "accuracy" of Roberts' observations, but "founded" the supply charges then laid against Jones.
"For reasons which just remain completely inexplicable and quite strange … this document was not provided to the DPP. This is despite a request that it be made available to the DPP."
Michelle Reynolds was dumped in bushland by Wayne Jones. © Frank Redward Michelle Reynolds was dumped in bushland by Wayne Jones. He added: "It seems quite exceptional, quite unacceptable, and as far as I am concerned, quite inexcusable in relation to the conduct of this matter before the court."
NSW Greens justice spokesman David Shoebridge said on Saturday: "This was either the grossest incompetence or, these actions were conducted with the clear intent of delivering a serious miscarriage of injustice. Either way, the consequences have been deeply tragic."
Senior Constable Roberts has had plenty of time to speculate on why someone in the force freed Jones and then attempted to "throw him under a train". But central to the grief that still consumes him is the question of what might have unfolded, had he never made the arrest that night.
"I'm still plagued by the thought that I may have saved the lives of those three young girls, but I cost another woman hers."
On Saturday, the force released a statement to Fairfax Media acknowledging "the seriousness of this issue."
How the bizarre sequence of events unfolded
Feb 2003: Wayne Jones bashes a woman so hard with a car "club lock", the left side of her face collapses. He already has convictions for armed robbery, possession of a pistol and numerous drug-related charges. At the end of the year, he receives a 7year sentence with a non-parole period of 4years.
Apr 2011: Kings Cross Senior Constable Glen Roberts witnesses a drug exchange involving Jones and a woman who he allegedly brought to Sydney to prostitute. Jones' parole is revoked and he is returned to jail. It emerges the woman has been forwarding classified intelligence about Jones' involvement with a major drug supply and the Nomads motorcycle gang.
Oct 20: All charges against Jones are withdrawn. He is freed.
Nov: Within weeks of being released, Jones is charged with possessing a knife in public, driving while disqualified, dealing with proceeds of crime and possessing identity information to commit an indictable offence. He again avoids jail and is placed on good behaviour bonds, the last of which expires on November 18, 2014.
October 10, 2012: Senior Constable Glen Roberts is charged with "fabricating false evidence with intent to mislead judicial tribunal".
December 11-17: Jones tortures, bashes and strangles Central Coast mother Michelle Reynolds in a Coffs Harbour motel room, then dumps her battered body in bushland.
June 6, 2013: A judge dismisses the case against Senior Constable Roberts and is scathing of police after they were found to have concealed "critical" evidence from the DPP that verified the detective's "truthfulness" and the case against Jones.
October 2014: Jones is sentenced to minimum 20 years jail for murder.
Posted by JR at 9:10 PM
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Ballarat police officers have been accused of dragging the victim of a violent assault along the ground, before charging her with assaulting her alleged attacker.
On May 17, Ballarat police were called to an assault in the city's north where they arrested a 43-year-old woman. The woman, who only wants to be known as Sofia, had been the victim of a brutal assault with a tyre iron.
"I just thought I was gonna die," she said. "I was really dizzy and I was on the grass and I just said to myself, I need to stand up and defend myself."
Sofia, who is from South America, said she became panicked and erratic when she saw her alleged attacker, a neighbour, speaking with police.
Her lawyer, Neil Longmore, questioned how officers then reacted. "The police seemed to think that was reason to then handcuff her and throw her on the ground and start dragging her around and drag her to the ambulance," he said.
Sofia said: "I just want to be helped. Protected." "I was treated like an animal," she said.
Sofia was taken to hospital where she received 14 stitches on the back of her head, and the side of her face. She went home but hours later was woken up by police who arrested her.
"I said 'why am I being arrested if I'm the victim?'. He says, 'it happened, the same thing with your neighbour, don't worry'," Sofia said.
Mr Longmore said bias against his client was a common thread throughout the interview. "She clearly thinks that she's giving them information because they're investigating what's happening to her, not that she's going to be charged," he said.
"She should've been not just read her rights, she should've understood her rights and I think you can see there's a pretty clear line between when somebody's just being read them and doesn't understand them.
"If you do understand your rights in that situation, you certainly shouldn't be giving the police information because they're just about to use that against you to charge you."
Sofia said she thought she was helping with the investigation.
"Just at the end of the interview I understood that they [were] intending since the beginning [to] charge me, whatever I was going to say," she said.
"[The interviewing officer] was repeatedly saying ... 'so you attacked him? Did you attack him?' "And I was trying to say that I was fighting for my life."
Sofia was charged with recklessly causing injury and assault with a weapon, which referred to the mop she used to defend herself, and was served with an intervention order.
The charges were ultimately withdrawn when she appeared at the Ballarat Magistrates Court.
Sofia said she had no faith in Victoria Police's complaints process and instead made a complaint to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), alleging officers failed to investigate her case properly.
Her lawyer, Mr Longmore said: "What she really would like is an apology and a proper investigation of what occurred and some better training for police, or younger ones who seem to fall into this conduct."
"There's something not quite right about the police training that allows them to just roll through those rights ... go ahead with their interview ... and use it against a person and the person hasn't understood what's going on."
Sofia said she wanted justice. "I don't think they are prepared, prepared to treat people to protect people. I almost died and they did nothing to help me," she said. Victoria Police said the investigation was ongoing and it would be inappropriate to comment.
Posted by JR at 9:13 PM
Monday, October 24, 2016
A culture of aggressive policing, cover-up and intimidation is infecting some police local area commands and driving officers to break their oath of duty.
The claims have been made by former NSW police officers, and come as one local area command on the border of the NSW and the ACT is plunged into crisis.
Intensive investigations are underway into the actions of officers at the Monaro Local Command at Queanbeyan in NSW's south, after former police officer Lucie Litchfield claimed she was pressured to lie in court and ultimately forced to resign her position due to relentless bullying.
Queanbeyan police are also under the spotlight after an officer drew his weapon and pointed it at the face of a driver who attempted to evade a random breath test.
In both cases, police professional standards officers are investigating.
A year after her resignation from the NSW Police Force, Ms Litchfield is calling for greater attention on what she says is a toxic culture that centres around protecting mates.
"There is still a significant lack of respect for women in policing," Ms Litchfield said.
"I believe that police are becoming a little bit more heavy-handed and getting away with it.
"I can quite openly say that I saw several incidents which were more excessive than they needed to be, which senior officers were also aware of and it never got reported and was never dealt with."
Ms Litchfield was a senior constable in the NSW Police force and was based at Queanbeyan when she was called to a roadside stop that turned violent, and would ultimately end her career.
On the evening December 21, 2013, she responded, with two male officers, to a urgent call that a green Holden Commodore had escaped the scene of a violent home invasion.
The three police officers pulled over a green Commodore in a suburban street in West Queanbeyan, but they had the wrong car.
When one of the male officers asked the occupants of the vehicle if they had any weapons, a passenger in the back seat, Ricky Caton, produced a plastic toy dinosaur, and declared: "No, but I've got a dinosaur … roaaaar!"
Mr Caton was then allegedly forcibly pulled out of the car along with the other passengers.
In a statement of claim filed with the NSW District Court, Mr Caton alleges he was forcibly pulled from the vehicle, kicked in the legs, his face shoved into the ground and handcuffed.
A second passenger, Adam Antram, who is also suing police, says that he was shoulder-charged by one of the male officers despite the fact he was complying with all police requests.
Mr Antram was allegedly thrown into a retaining wall where he hit his head and lost consciousness.
Ms Litchfield supports Mr Antram's version of events. But in statements filed in court, the two police officers involved provided a different version.
Constable Patrick Hicks, the officer alleged to have shoulder-charged Mr Antram, said he was forced to "check-drill" Mr Antram, who was charging at the other male officer, Senior Constable Todd Finnigan, as he handcuffed Mr Caton.
Both Mr Caton and Mr Antram were charged with assaulting police and resisting arrest. Charges were withdrawn after Ms Litchfield's evidence — described as "cogent and compelling" by Kiama Magistrate Mark Douglass — cast doubt on the bona fides of the prosecution.
Magistrate Douglass found the prosecution should never have been brought.
Mr Caton and Mr Antram are suing the police for assault and malicious prosecution. NSW Police are relying on Officers Hicks and Finnigan's original versions as presented in court in their defence.
"The amount of force that was used against these civilians I believed right from the start was completely unnecessary. It was just totally unprofessional," Ms Litchfield said. "I would still love to be doing the job that I loved and that I woke up every day enjoying.
"But I was very isolated right from the beginning [of this case]. Then after I gave evidence it just intensified.
"There were documents which were printed out and placed on my desk which were basically intimating that I needed security because my life was in danger.
The ABC understands the NSW Office of Public Prosecutions is currently considering whether there is sufficient evidence to charge Constable Hicks and Senior Constable Finnigan — who has been promoted to detective — with perjury, assault and perverting the course of justice. The two officers deny any wrongdoing.
Concern over aggressive policing at Queanbeyan intensified again recently when vision emerged of an officer pulling a gun on a motorist who was pursued for a random breath test.
A magistrate expressed shock during the prosecution for the man, who was charged with mid-range drink-driving, when the vision was broadcast in court.
Adrian McKenna, the motorist's lawyer, said he had filed a formal complaint with police and his client would be providing a statement to investigators who were probing the actions of the officer, Senior Constable Steven Hilhorst.
"In my view the police officer's actions were appalling," Mr McKenna said. "His conduct was completely unnecessary for the situation he was facing. It was excessive use of force, unnecessary and completely unacceptable.
"To the extent that this kind of conduct is indicative of a broader problem with aggression or lack of accountability in the Monaro local area command, then some serious questions need to be asked about that culture."
Former NSW detective Deborah Locke, a key witness at the Wood Royal Commission into corruption in the NSW Police Force 20 years ago, said she believes a "cowboy culture" is returning to some local area commands.
"I'm hearing of pockets of the boy's club, the bullying, the blue code of 'don't speak out, cover up, be a sheep, don't say anything' because if you do, you'll be squashed and anyone who supports you," she said. "I've had people contact me that are being bullied and harassed and pushed out.
"It's a club, it's a family. It's a job with a badge and a gun and a force of blue and they are tight-knit. But if you speak out about one of your own, there'll be repercussions to make an example to everyone."
The commander of the Monaro Local Area Command, Superintendent Rod Smith, declined the ABC's request for an interview.
The NSW Police Force issued a statement in response to detailed questions from the ABC. "Any complaints of bullying and harassment are investigated and, if found to be sustained, will result in the consideration of serious management action," the statement said.
"The specific matters are currently subject to investigations and inquiries are continuing. "At this stage, it is inappropriate to comment further."
Posted by JR at 9:16 PM
Thursday, October 6, 2016
<img height=300 width=550 src="http://img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tenant/amp/entityid/BBx0aBB.img">
<i>Best known for droppping his big knee on a black guy's stomach, splitting his liver and killing him. But his fellow cops contaminated the investigation so he got off</i>
Controversial Queensland cop Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley has been charged with three additional assault charges at the start of a two-day trial on the Gold Coast.
Hurley is facing trial in Southport Magistrates Court over a 2013 incident in which he allegedly grabbed a motorist by the throat.
He had been charged with one count of common assault over the incident but three further counts were added at the start of the trial.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Hurley was acquitted of the manslaughter of Palm Island man Cameron Doomadgee in 2007.
The trial is expected to conclude on Thursday.
Posted by JR at 9:18 PM
Thursday, September 1, 2016
A SENIOR police officer has been charged with a range of serious offences over a domestic dispute and siege at Blackwood earlier this month that locked down part of the suburb.
Chief Inspector Ashley Francis Gordon, 54, was charged on Tuesday with aggravated stalking, aggravated serious criminal trespass, making unlawful threats, threatening to cause harm, disturbing the public peace and possessing unsecured ammunition in relation to the incident.
Gordon appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Tuesday afternoon where he was refused bail.
The court heard the incident occurred after the breakdown of Gordon’s long-term marriage.
Chief Magistrate Mary-Louise Hribal remanded Gordon in custody, citing the seriousness of the charges.
Police allege Gordon sparked the siege at a unit on Main Rd at Blackwood just after 9pm on Sunday, August 14.
Dozens of STAR Group officers surrounded the home at the height of the siege and paramedics and firefighters were called to the scene on standby.
Main Rd between East Terrace and the Blackwood roundabout was blocked off to all traffic and the public was kept well away from the area until the siege ended about 12.15am.
Gordon was detained and taken to the Flinders Medical Centre for a mental health assessment.
Police also issued Gordon with a Police Interim Intervention Order.
"Police warn that they will not tolerate domestic violence and will take every action available to protect victims," a spokeswoman said in a statement.
Gordon has served in several high-ranking positions over a lengthy career spanning almost 30 years in the force, including as officer-in-charge of the Transit Services Branch and in senior roles with South Coast and Sturt police.
Posted by JR at 9:22 PM
Sunday, August 28, 2016
A backpacker who was prosecuted for a petty offence after allegedly being the victim of a serious assault is suing New South Wales Police, accusing the force of an institutional cover-up over the failure to investigate or discipline an off-duty officer involved.
English backpacker Liam Monte claims he was unlawfully imprisoned in 2013 following a fight in the Sydney CBD which broke out after a heavily intoxicated police constable pulled out a police badge and attempted to arrest him at a McDonald's restaurant.
Mr Monte was pursued down George Street by the off-duty officer and his friends following the McDonald's incident, and a witness to the fight said Mr Monte was repeatedly kicked and bashed while he lay on the ground.
According to a magistrate, police initially investigated Mr Monte for assault of the off-duty officer. However, when the evidence indicated Mr Monte had in fact been the victim of an assault, officers charged the backpacker with stealing the constable's police badge.
Mr Monte is now suing the police for damages including assault and battery, misfeasance in public office, unlawful imprisonment and collateral abuse of process.
He said he was pursuing the civil claim against the police because he believed he had been the victim of an injustice.
"I've lost a lot of faith in the police," he said. "I felt like they're meant to be there to protect us, and I didn't feel like they protected me on that night."
How the fight unfolded
The altercation between Liam Monte and off-duty police officer Osvaldo Painemilla began when Mr Monte objected to the behaviour of the off-duty officer and his friends who were dining at a McDonald's restaurant in George Street in Sydney's CBD.
In a judgment delivered in 2014, local court magistrate Michael Barnes said Mr Monte threw a chip at the men, who then pursued him out of the restaurant when Mr Monte went to leave.
At the exit of the McDonald's, Mr Painemilla, who admitted in court to having consumed 16 drinks, produced a police badge and said to Mr Monte: "I'm a cop and you're under arrest."
Mr Monte, who said he did not believe the badge was real, grabbed the badge and exited the restaurant.
According to evidence accepted by the magistrate, Mr Painemilla's friends then dragged Mr Monte backwards out of a cab and chased him up George Street. Mr Monte threw the police badge back, but one of Mr Painemilla's friends continued to pursue him. He tackled Mr Monte to the ground on a footpath, allegedly punching and kicking him repeatedly.
According to the statement of a bus driver who witnessed the assault tendered to the local court, Mr Monte was "punched approximately 10 times to the face as he lay on the ground".
Mr Painemilla and his friends denied the claims and disputed Mr Monte's version of events.
Following the fight on April 19, 2013, Mr Monte was taken to hospital by ambulance with severe facial bruising and a suspected fractured eye socket.
Monte charged over stealing officer's badge
Shortly after he was discharged from hospital, detectives from The Rocks police station in central Sydney arrived at his backpacker's hostel and arrested him.
The case against Mr Monte for stealing proceeded to a full prosecution in 2014, and at the time, the magistrate hearing the case, Michael Barnes, described it as an abuse of process.
Magistrate Barnes said it was difficult not to conclude that police had brought the prosecution in an attempt to "somehow negate the suggestion that the force applied to Mr Monte was otherwise completely unjustifiable". Mr Barnes said Mr Painemilla had abused his powers of arrest.
"In my view abuse of the power of arrest goes far beyond being merely undesirable," Mr Barnes said.
"When the officer purporting to exercise the power is very drunk and in the company of others who have provoked the confrontation leading to its exercise, the arrest can readily be classified as unnecessary and improper."
Mr Barnes found that the facts that supported the police's charging of Mr Monte for stealing a police badge were proven, but he did not convict Mr Monte of the offence, instead giving him a Section 10 bond.
Mr Monte's statement of claim argues that the NSW Police is vicariously liable for Mr Painemilla's actions and that the police officers investigating the 2014 incident failed in their duties.
The claim argues Mr Monte suffered "extreme fear and substantial pain" during the assault, "embarrassment and distress" during his subsequent arrest, and "a strong sense of ongoing injustice" over the failure to investigate Mr Painemilla's behaviour.
"Two things shocked me, first of all that I was arrested on that night, and then that I was handcuffed while I was clearly concussed and had taken a severe beating," Mr Monte said.
"It was clear as day that they had assaulted me and it was a three-on-one situation which was a group beating. So I was incredibly shocked that they weren't arrested at that point."
NSW Police are yet to file a defence in the case. When contacted about the case, a spokesperson said NSW Police would not be making any comment as the matter was before the courts.
Last month, lawyers acting for the NSW Police applied to the NSW District Court for security of costs.
In that application, NSW Police asked the court to order Mr Monte to pay $60,000 upfront to cover the costs of the court case in case he lost the case and was ordered to pay the police's costs. The application failed.
Stephen Blanks, president of the NSW Council of Civil Liberties, said he was disturbed by the legal tactic.
"The police attempted to shut this case down by using litigation tactics of a kind that normally only happens in the big commercial courts," Mr Blanks said. "And they were using it against a victim of their own violence."
"What we need in the NSW Police force is a culture of intolerance of wrongdoing, an intolerance of violence by police against innocent members of the public, an intolerance of using the courts to prosecute cases that ought not to be prosecuted.
Posted by JR at 9:23 PM
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Police officer points his gun at a man suspected of drink driving - before kicking him in the back and handcuffing him
Footage has emerged showing the moment a police officer drew his gun on a man he had pulled over on suspicion of drink driving.
Tendered to the ACT Magistrate's Court on Friday, the video was filmed on a NSW Police officer's dashboard camera on January 22, 2015 outside Canberra.
The footage shows the officer running to the door of the man's car with his gun pointed at the driver, before flinging the door open as the man emerges with his hands up.
The highway patrol officer had been carrying out roadside breath tests on Canberra Avenue in Queanbeyan last January when the motorist slowed down when he saw the set up, Fairfax reported.
The policeman then followed the driver before pulling him over on Stephen's Road nearby. He got out of his car and flung the motorist's door open, gun drawn.
With his firearm pointed at the man's head, the police officer then appears to tell the driver to get down onto the ground and put his hands behind his back, and the man complies.
The officer then holstered his gun and kicked him in the back while he handcuffed the man, who according to the senior constable later returned a positive blood-alcohol reading.
The actions of the highway patrol officer were heavily criticised by a magistrate on Friday who said she was 'appalled' by the policeman's response.
Special Magistrate Margaret Hunter said it had been 'clearly unnecessary' for the officer to draw his gun and point it at the man's face.
However the senior constable involved told the court he was concerned about his own safety, to which the magistrate responded that he could have waited for backup.
The man's drink driving offence was successfully overturned on Friday after it was revealed the device used to carry out the test was not an approved breathalyser.
'NSW Police are aware of the courts decision and are reviewing the outcome,' a spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia.
Posted by JR at 9:30 PM
Friday, July 8, 2016
<i>The Gold Coast police are alive with thugs and goons but top police are in denial about it. As the Gold Coast is a major holiday and tourist destination for both Australians and people from overseas that is a big problem. Three current articles below</b>
<B>Police find no fault with police</b>
THERE is no evidence of a widespread, pervasive or negative culture within the Gold Coast policing district, an internal review has found.
Queensland Police on Tuesday released three reports into police shootings, the use of force and the culture of officers.
Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said many of the reports’ recommendations had already been finalised.
"Our members deal with volatile situations around the state on a daily basis," he said.
"The vast majority are handled appropriately but it is important to continue to review all uses of force to ensure any issue are addressed."
Commissioner Stewart said changes would be made to how police officers were trained to emphasise using minimal force to de-escalate situations.
Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said he was pleased the reports’ findings had been made public but there was still a lot of work to be done with the recommendations.
<b>Gold Coast police officer will not face excessive force charge, crime watchdog finds</b>
A Gold Coast police officer will not be charged over allegations he used excessive force while arresting a 51-year-old youth detention worker, Queensland's Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) says.
The CCC has however recommended disciplinary action be taken against the officers involved.
Ray Currier and his two colleagues were arrested outside a Surfers Paradise bar about 9:00pm in January 2015, with the incident occurring after one was refused entry.
Ray Currier, from Drewvale on Brisbane's southside
Photo: Ray Currier alleged he was a victim of police brutality. (ABC TV News)
CCTV footage showed Mr Currier being surrounded by police, falling to the ground and being punched in the head.
Nearby tourists also captured the moment from a nearby balcony, showing police repeatedly punching Mr Currier in the head and chest before he fell to the ground where he was struck several more times.
Mr Currier made a complaint to the CCC, saying, at the time, he was trying to move the group on.
CCC chair Alan MacSporran QC said he accepted Mr Currier had appeared to be attempting to move everyone out of the area, as had been requested by police prior to his arrest.
Alleged police incidents:
September, 2015 - Footage emerges of a Gold Coast police officer punching a handcuffed man in the face.
September, 2015 - A man dies while being taken into police custody on the Gold Coast, he reportedly stopped breathing after struggling with police officers.
September, 2015 - Gold Coast youth worker alleges he was assaulted by police outside a venue at Surfers Paradise.
June, 2015 - Two police officers suspended in North Queensland over accusations of excessive force.
May, 2015 - Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley - the police officer acquitted of the manslaughter of Cameron Doomadgee on Palm Island - and his partner are stood down over an alleged police pursuit and use of excessive force.
Mr MacSporran said one of the officers was clearly seen using force but could argue in court that he was acting in self-defence.
"The evidence showed police only applied force after the complainant refused to stop interfering in the other arrest despite a number of requests to move away, Mr MacSporran said.
"Although the force used was significant, video and other evidence reveals the complainant's arm was wrapped around the police officer's thigh where his firearm was holstered when they fell to the ground.
"The CCC categorically accepts the complainant had no intention of removing or using the police officer's firearm.
"The officer was of the view his firearm may have been taken from him.
"This clearly raises a defence of self-defence for the police officer which the prosecution would not be able to disprove as required for a successful prosecution."
Mr Currier now suffers post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the incident and was too unwell to speak to media.
His wife, Kris Currier, said the outcome of the investigation was unbelievable.
"Like any other victim, when you don't feel that there's justice is being served, it's very hard for a person to move on," she said.
"I mean let's face it, Ray's rights were stripped of him. "We've lost all faith in the justice system."
The conduct of a number of police officers involved in the arrest, transportation of the man to the watch house and other interactions that do not amount to criminal conduct will be referred to the Ethical Standards Command with a recommendation they consider disciplinary action.
In an interview with ABC News last year, Mr Currier maintained he did nothing wrong. "I've got a cold fury in the way we were treated," he said."It's not like we were a bunch of teenagers.
"I remember getting hit from behind and recall being on my stomach and I could feel my panic starting to rise."
Mr Currier is a Justice of the Peace who had worked in youth detention for nearly two decades.
<b>Justice Advocate: An Exclusive Interview with Renee Eaves</b>
Renee Eaves was four months pregnant when Constable Barry John Donnelly entered her home and arrested her on driving offences.
The night that followed was hell: police at the Roma Street Watchhouse denied her medication or a bucket to vomit in, and Donnelly stood by laughing as another arrested person mocked and abused her for being sick in the cell.
Ms Eaves says that prior to the arrest, Donnelly had shown an "unusual interest in her life".
Between 2002 and 2006, she estimates he had contacted her between 15 and 20 times, often asking about her boyfriend, her business and whether she had become single.
Donnelly entered Ms Eaves home when she was pregnant and arrested her for disqualified driving, an allegation she disputed and was eventually found not guilty of. She went on to take him and the State of Queensland to court for false imprisonment – making history as the first person to do this without the aid of a lawyer, and win.
Since then, Ms Eaves has become a vocal advocate for police reform in Queensland, a board member on the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties, and was nominated for an Australian Human Rights award for raising awareness about issues surrounding excessive force, accountability and transparency.
Sydney Criminal Lawyers sat down with Ms Eaves to talk about her experiences, thoughts on the state of policing in Queensland, and her hopes for reform.
Q. Could you describe the circumstances of your arrest, how did it affect you?
So the officer [Donnelly] had already pulled me over numerous times, and he was appalling in the way he presented. I had a number of interactions with him that went really badly.
Everybody has that thing when they’re pulled up by a police officer, it’s either "Yes sir, no sir, I’m so sorry sir, please forgive me sir" or "Yeah fair enough, can I just have the ticket." You’re answering to the law, you’re accountable to the law, you’re not answering to that individual police officer. I think it becomes a problem when the police officer thinks that you’re answering to them personally. You’re not. You owe them the same courtesy you owe every fellow human being. No more, no less.
Because I wasn’t sorry to him, in particular, an incident where I was a passenger in a friend’s vehicle, and was being fined for a ‘not properly adjusted seatbelt’ (it was twisted) not giving him the answers that he wanted to hear, it was escalating. I just refused to sit there and smile at the crocodile any longer for these absurd traffic stops, or beg for mercy. Call it ego or pride, I don’t know, I just had to draw the line and tell him to stop, and that he was out of line.
I tried to take out a restraining order against him, I went to the CMC [Crime and Misconduct Commission], Ethical Standards, I went to every single department that was available. However, back then smart phones weren’t around, so collecting evidence wasn’t quite as simple as just grabbing your phone and pressing record, and often the complaints came down to my word against his. At the time, I felt well and truly helpless.
It finally escalated to a point where he came into my home, handcuffed me and took me to the Watchhouse. His claim was I had been driving on a suspended licence. I was pregnant at the time and was treated appallingly. I wasn’t given water or medication or anything that I required. It was just ridiculous, I had no criminal record, there was absolutely no reason for the arrest, no reason to be paraded a block away vomiting in handcuffs, and it turned my entire pregnancy into a nightmare – eventually my son was born two months prematurely.
I was eventually successful in court with regard to the alleged driving offence, so I commenced civil action against this officer for wrongful arrest, assault and deprivation of liberty
Q. You made history in that case, being the first person to self-represent in a case against the Queensland police and win. What made you decide to do that?
A few weeks before going to trial, my lawyers wrote to me and said "it’s just not commercially viable, that the case had been dragged out for so long that even if you win you’re not even going to cover our fees" and I was absolutely hammered. I just couldn’t accept that this officer could abuse his power like this and get away with it. I wasn’t going to surrender, and decided that I’d run the matter myself.
For the next few weeks, I went and sat in on various cases. I sat in on fights over wills, trials over assaults, and all different types cases just learning and getting a feel for the courtroom. Then I just sat on my living room floor and compiled my case.
My civil matter ran for an entire week, and the QPS [Queensland Police Service] fought very fiercely. Every day I felt bruised and belittled, and almost re-assaulted. I remember coming home on the fourth day and falling asleep in the foetal position on the shower floor. I woke up at 2 o’clock in the morning with the cold water running on me.
I think it’s in those low ebbs, those moments of despair, that we discover our true strength. I just got myself up, put my suit back on that was crumbled on the floor, and prepared for the next day at court.
During all my encounters with this policeman, he was in a position of power. He had the handcuffs, he had the pepper spray, and in court he had the barristers and an unlimited cheque book.
Little did I know that with the cards stacked in his favour again, I’d successfully cross-examine this officer, and that when push finally came to shove the judge would see through his smirking, through the play on words, and ordered in my favour.
I won compensatory, aggravated and exemplary damages. The hearing symbolically ended on my sons 4th birthday; and I walked up to him and told him that I forgive him. Happy people don’t do what he did. I did not want to carry the burden of hate. This case instigated a lot of growth in me as a person.
Q. How did you find that process, teaching yourself law and compiling your case? Most people would typically have given up after their lawyers told them their case was unwinnable.
It was really difficult. Like most people I used to be full of lawyer jokes, but now I know why they charge what they do.
People often call me wanting advice on doing something similar, part of me wants to encourage them and say "Yes, stand up for your rights, give it a go" but the other part of me doesn’t want to make it sound easy. You can’t just get your pencil and paper, go to court, and expect the judge to see the truth, it’s not as simple as that.
The police are often 100 steps ahead, their people do this every day. They will sit in court and tell bare faced lies. I don’t think the average Australian realises what they’re actually up against because most of us like to believe that doesn’t happen. Finding a great lawyer that has the passion for the topic is a good start if you can afford it.
Q. Since the trial you’ve been really active as a justice advocate in Queensland. Have you had any other victories or high points?
Being invited to join the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties was definitely a high point, I’ve always followed them, and they align with my values. When they called me to join I was really quite honoured. I enjoy the meetings being surrounded by likeminded people.
Being able to support a police officer [Rick Fiori] against his superiors has definitely been a high point. Because I’ve never been anti police. I’m anti brutality. There was a video that came out of Gold Coast – police bashing an innocent guy, and I’ve been there as court support for the officer that was charged with giving this footage to the media.
With a lot of cases you just have to push and push, and along the way you cop a lot of knocks. Every time something finally leans to the people that are being courageous, it’s a high point, it gives you a second wind and a bit more energy to keep going.
I guess the best thing now is that I already know what they’re up to, whereas someone coming in fresh and green might not. I’m someone that’s got the benefit of hindsight, that’s been there and done that, and have supported other victims emotionally because it takes a big toll, and I of course know first-hand how it feels.
Q. I’m glad you brought up the video. What do you see as the general state of policing in Queensland at the moment? With all the recent videos and assaults they seem a bit out of control.
The problem I see is you have police investigating police. The Crime and Corruption Commission investigate under 3 per cent of complaints, and refer almost all of the rest back to the Ethical Standards Command [run by police]. It doesn’t matter where you go, say you go to the Attorney General, she could refer you to the Police Minister, and the Police Minister will refer you to Ethical Standards. It does not matter which avenue you go down, you end up being referred back to Ethical Standards, who are police.
It’s like everyone’s related, everyone’s a cousin. There’s absolutely no external body, and this makes it a rife breeding ground for potential corruption.
At the moment, the Crime and Corruption Commission are putting-out a call for public comment on legislation that will silence allegations of corruption until they are substantiated. So what does that look like? You’ve got the 3 per cent of complaints they investigate, and the other 97 per cent that have been referred back to police. What they’re trying to do is shut people up and I think that is dangerous.
Q. Do you think there’s a chance for reform in Queensland, or do you think that culture is too deeply ingrained?
The way it stands at the moment, with police policing themselves, there is no incentive for them to make a decision to change that. Why would they do that to themselves?
Everything is leaning their way, to them it’s not broken, why fix it? We absolutely need an independent person or organisation to come in and address what’s really going on. It takes the same energy to cover things up as it does to fix it. But you are dealing with a very deep culture. For us to have a chance at change we need a truly independent body. I am forever optimistic though.
Q. That’s a pretty horrible reality. On a brighter note, I was hoping to get an idea of your plans for advocacy in the future?
Sure. Well I get a lot of requests from Sydney and Melbourne, so one day when the time is right and if its offered, I wouldn’t mind coming to Sydney – I’m definitely open to any offers.
What I would love to do is join the panel on studio 10 and discuss all topics. Women’s issues particularly! That’s my dream position right now.
I’ve also put my experience down in a book that I keep extending, and need to find a publisher to push that along too. The story has also been turned into a script for a film, the scriptwriter that penned Lindy Chamberlain’s story has done a great job of the script. He was perfect due to his experience with Lindy’s story, so I’m hoping a film will get the message out and paint a really clear picture of what’s going on here.
The most unfortunate part I guess is the things I most want to talk about have suppression orders or confidentiality agreements on them, and I personally think there’s too much of that going on.
For a Government that’s constantly talking about how transparent and accountable they are, I would seriously question that transparency when it comes to the QPS. It has not been my personal experience that accountability or transparency has been a priority to them.
But no one can say I didn’t give it a strong nudge right?
Posted by JR at 9:32 PM
Friday, June 24, 2016
<i>Attractive women sometimes find that their looks are a hazard and if Renee looks good in photos she looks even better in real life. Her fight with the cops began when a piece of police slime named Donnelly tried to coerce her into sex. But Renee has a will of steel and she never gives up.
I am pleased to note that I contributed $5,000 to her courtroom battle that finally extracted <a href="http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/constable-barry-john-donnelly-and-state-of-queensland-to-pay-renee-eaves-35-damages-for-harrassment-intimidation/story-e6freoof-1226138296268">a damages payment from the cops for Donnelly's behaviour</a>. Donnelly didn't have a fraction of her steel. The stress of the matter saw him invalided out of the force even before the matter went to court.
But Renee is still going strong in her insistence on police integrity. She is also helping <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-19/civil-libertarians-concerned-whistleblower-face-serious-charges/6558128">corruptly prosecuted whistleblower cop</a> Sgt Rick Flori</i>
A FORMER bikini model turned justice crusader whose police file was accessed more than 1400 times has asked the Crime and Corruption Commission to investigate.
Renee Eaves is also demanding an explanation from Queensland Police Service.
Ms Eaves, who won a harassment payout for an unlawful arrest case in 2011, has been a fierce critic of the QPS over a number of scandals.
She launched a Freedom of Information request last month to find out how many times officers had accessed her QPRIME file.
Essentially an online folder of personal information, access to QPRIME files is confined to officers in the duty of their job.
Officers could access the information after pulling over motorists for traffic matters or when they attend addresses on domestic violence matters for instance.
Many people would go through their lives with their file being accessed only a handful of times.
However, Ms Eaves, who says she has been guilty of nothing more than a few traffic offences over the years, says it beggars belief that police would need to access her file more than 1400 times in the past 10 years.
Officers accessed her information a staggering 1435 times from 2006 until as recently as last month.
Renee Eaves was crowned Miss Bikini World in 1999.
In the past, investigations have been conducted when officers have accessed certain information on no more than a handful of occasions.
Ms Eaves has written to the head of the QPS Ethical Standards Command demanding an explanation.
"It’s abuse of public office," she told The Courier-Mail. "They think that they can access my file whenever they like but they can’t. It’s a breach of privacy laws.
"They have taken action against one officer who accessed a file just once.
"They have accessed mine 1400 times so they are just taking the piss."
She wrote to Police Minister Bill Byrne, whose office said he could not intervene but suggested she could lodge a complaint with the CCC, which she has now also done.
Ms Eaves said some of the state’s top lawyers had told her the situation was nothing short of disgraceful.
"I’ve been told that some hardcore bikies or hardened criminals would not have had their records searched as often as I have," she said.
A former international bikini model, Ms Eaves was running a successful modelling agency on the Gold Coast when she was dragged from her home, heavily pregnant and arrested for an alleged traffic matter.
She took on the QPS for unlawful arrest and won a substantial payout.
Posted by JR at 9:34 PM
Thursday, June 16, 2016
A truck driver who spent $9000 and waited 10 months has beat a speeding fine in court after police made a series of errors in their report including the wrong location and wrong number plate.
Chris McCleod, 65, chose to dispute a $400 fine after it was alleged he was travelling 80km/h in a 60 kilometre zone in Albany, 420 km south east of Perth, during a double demerit period in March 2015, according to WA Today.
Mr McCleod reportedly spent $9000 in legal fees and won the case 10 months later after an Albany Court House judge ruled in his favour within 30 minutes of the case being heard.
<font style="background-color:yellow; font-weight:bold;">Police documents on the fine had listed the the wrong speed camera, wrong direction the car was travelling in, the wrong location, the wrong weather conditions on the day and the wrong number plate, according to the news report.</font>
Mr McCleod told 9 News said he was confident he wasn't speeding after a fellow truck driver had radioed ahead that he would encounter a speed camera on Chester Pass Road.
He was one of 200 people who were fined at the same location over the Labour Day long weekend, according to the report.
'I thought, well I'm going to have a go, and so it happened,' he told 9 News.
The court ordered police to pay Mr McCleod's legal fees and retract the fine.
Last year WA Police police reportedly issued 570,000 tickets to drivers, raising $95 million in revenue.
Posted by JR at 9:36 PM
Thursday, June 9, 2016
<i>Cop pulled his gun and screamed abuse at a driver clocked at 16km/h over the limit on a remote highway. Has previous complaints against him</i>
A police officer who is facing criminal charges after being caught on film swearing at and pulling his gun on a speeding motorist is petitioning to have his pay reinstated.
Senior Constable Stephen Flanagan was charged with assault and deprivation of liberty after the Ethical Standards Command reviewed footage of him pulling over a speeding driver on the Landsborough Highway in Longreach, Central West Queensland, last May, the ABC reported.
The footage - which shows Flanagan handcuffing, verbally abusing and pointing a gun at a motorist he caught doing 126 kilometres per hour in a 110 zone - was tendered to the Supreme Court by the Police Commissioner's office after he applied to have his pay reinstated during his suspension.
The suspended officer can be heard swearing as he drives up beside the speeding ute, using his horn instead of his siren to indicate to the driver that he needed to pull over.
Once the car comes to a stop on the side of the outback road, Snr Cst Flanagan pulls his weapon and points it at the driver while demanding: 'Get out of your f*****g car right now.'
He then calls the motorist names and swears as the driver's partner secretly films him from the passenger seat.
'You came past me - I'm bloody beeping the horn up the side to point you over and you still keep driving,' he said in the footage obtained by The ABC. 'You didn't see me? Right, where's your licence d**khead?'
Flanagan told the court he thought he had used his sirens during the pursuit and initially believed the vehicle was stolen, which is why he handcuffed the driver as he checked his registration.
But, according to the Courier Mail, investigators told the court Flanagan has a 'concerning and consistent complaint history involving excessive force when interacting with members of the community'
It was argued he had treated a motorist unfairly on another occasion in 2013, with footage of him tossing a Gold Coast motorist's keys on the road also tendered to the court.
He told the motorist he was driving like 'an absolute c***' before saying he would sit in court, laugh and drink coffee while he was convicted.
Flanagan, who has been a police officer for over 25 years, was stood down over the 2013 incident after it was found he failed to treat the driver with dignity and respect, according to the ABC.
The Supreme Court is yet to make a decision on Flanagan's pay, while he will face the criminal charges later this week.
Posted by JR at 9:38 PM
Thursday, June 2, 2016
<i>Four current articles below</i>
<b>NSW: Protester awarded $13,400 after police officer made up charge at Martin Place rally</b>
<i>Did you ever see such a goon as officer Wasko? Wasko is a Polish name. Poles must be deeply ashamed of him</i>
Several NSW Police officers have been savaged in court for allegedly grabbing the breasts and neck of an anti-Reclaim Australia protester, then covering their actions up by deleting evidence, making up a false charge against her, lying under oath and attacking her in court.
Simone Renae White, 41, a social worker, attended Martin Place last July for a counter rally to the Reclaim Australia demonstration.
She was arrested by Senior Constable John Wasko who alleged Ms White had assaulted him in the execution of his duty.
He said that, as a line of police were shepherding a line of protesters through Martin Place, Ms White turned back at him with her elbow up.
However, after a year-long court battle, a magistrate has thrown out the charge and taken the unusual step of forcing the police to pay Ms White's legal costs because their arrest, investigation and subsequent prosecution were so improper.
Ms White said that one police officer had groped her breasts and another, Senior Constable Wasko, had grabbed her neck as they walked behind her.
She turned around to take a photo of the officer who she believed had indecently assaulted her by grabbing her breasts.
However, Senior Constable Wasko grabbed and arrested her. Her phone was taken by another officer who appeared to delete the photo, magistrate Geoffrey Bradd found in the Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday.
The police case against Ms White relied entirely on Senior Constable Wasko's testimony and contained no footage from CCTV cameras in Martin Place nor police officers who were filming the rally.
When Ms White's legal team subpoenaed police for the footage, it showed Ms White being pushed and shoved in the back by Senior Constable Wasko as the protesters walked through Martin Place.
The footage showed Ms White taking a photo of an officer on her phone, proving that her evidence was deleted by police.
She is seen holding a water bottle in one hand, making the allegation of raising her elbow at Senior Constable Wasko "inconsistent", Mr Bradd found.
The alleged indecent assault was not captured on camera but Mr Bradd said "the evidence strongly indicates" it happened. Medical records showed bruising on her breasts and neck pain.
When Ms White gave evidence during a hearing, a prosecutor repeatedly accused her of lying.
Her barrister, Phillip Boulten, SC, told the court on Tuesday that police had "escaped any form of investigation for perverting the course of justice".
"The only reason why [the photo] would be deleted would be to make it more difficult for the complainant to say something in court," he said.
Mr Bradd ruled that the investigation was "unreasonable and improper" and ordered the police to pay her $13,400 in legal costs.
Outside court, Ms White said she was just relieved it was over.
Her solicitor, Lydia Shelly, said police treated a protester as a criminal.
"The court confirmed today that my client is not a criminal. It has taken her nearly 12 months of litigation to prove that," she said.
"This decision sends a very clear message to the police. It is not a criminal offence to protest nor is it an offence to film police if you are not hindering their duties. The NSW public expect more from NSW Police."
A NSW Police spokeswoman said: "The outcome of the case is noted; the circumstances surrounding the incident will be reviewed."
<b>Qld.: Civil liberties boss Terry O’Gorman calls for inquiry in to Surfers Paradise police basement bashing</b>
CIVIL liberties crusader Terry O’Gorman will ask the Crime and Corruption Commission launch a complete inquiry into the infamous basement bashing at Surfers Paradise police station.
Mr O’Gorman implored the peak watchdog to review the case last year but now wants a complete reinvestigation after details emerged of Police Commissioner Ian Stewart’s personal relationship with one of the officers involved who escaped sanction.
Mr Stewart has confirmed he is related through marriage to former senior sergeant Dave Joachim, who was seen in video footage washing away a pool of blood during the 2012 bashing of chef Noa Begic.
Mr Stewart said he was distantly related to Mr Joachim and had removed himself from the investigation to ensure impartiality.
The Courier-Mail does not suggest Mr Stewart acted improperly or used any influence to affect the outcome of the investigation into Mr Joachim and three other officers involved in the scandal.
Mr O’Gorman, president of the Australian Council of Civil Liberties, wants the CCC to investigate whether Mr Stewart played any role in the investigation or the decision to press charges against Sergeant Rick Flori, who now stands accused of leaking the video to The Courier-Mail. "It adds yet another nail in the coffin to the whole handling of this matter," he said.
Mr O’Gorman said he would write to the CCC with his request as early as this week.
Meanwhile, Police Minister Bill Byrne said yesterday he was "confident" Mr Stewart had handled the matter correctly. "I have been advised that the Commissioner, who was Deputy Commissioner at the time, excluded himself from the investigation," he said.
Mr Joachim retired before findings in the investigation were released and his file was closed with no further action.
Last week Sgt Flori was committed to stand trial on charges of misconduct in office.
<b>Qld. Busy schedule for controversial Gold Coast cop Chris Hurley</b>
<i>Big goon Hurley. He is over 2 metres tall. An Aborigine, Mulrunji, died on the floor of a police cell on Palm Island after some conflict with Hurley. Hurley appears to have dropped his big knee onto the Aborigine, splitting his liver and killing him. Hurley's demeanor after he realized the man was dead showed that he knew that it was his doing -- but after a very flawed police investigation, his mates got him off a murder charge. He appears to have learnt nothing - confident that he will always escape justice</i>
CONTROVERSIAL cop Chris Hurley faces five separate court hearings in coming months, after a magistrate set a trial timetable for multiple charges against the Gold Coast officer.
Senior-Sergeant Hurley was charged with two counts of common assault in March over an alleged altercation with a female officer at Robina Town Centre late last year, and during the arrest of a motorist at Robina in November 2013.
He was suspended from duty last December over charges unrelated to his job. He had already been stood down in May over a wild chase in which police allegedly opened fire on a getaway car containing two violent armed robbers.
The charge related to the alleged assault on the motorist has been set down for a four-day hearing in August.
Southport magistrate Colin Strofield today set down an October hearing for the other common assault charge, and November trial dates for the other three charges which do not relate to his job as a police officer.
Mr Strofield said he would not be able to hear the cases ‘given my past life’. He is a former Queensland Police Service solicitor.
Queensland Police Union lawyers are representing Sen-Sgt Hurley on the assault charge involving the motorist but are no longer acting for him on the other charges.
He has launched separate Supreme Court action to have his pay reinstated after it was revoked by Police Commissioner Ian Stewart following Sen-Sgt Hurley’s suspension.
Sen-Sgt Hurley was the officer at the centre of the 2004 Palm Island death in custody. He was acquitted of manslaughter over the death of Palm Island man Cameron ‘Mulrunji’ Doomadgee, whose demise in the island’s police watch-house triggered wild riots.
<b>S. Australia: Election candidate for Makin Mark Aldridge to sue police over gun raid</b>
A FEDERAL election candidate in Adelaide’s north says he will sue SA Police for $500,000 over its bungled handling of a firearms raid on his home.
A Police Ombudsman report, released this month, found there was no "reasonable basis" for officers to pursue a gun charge against independent candidate for Makin Mark Aldridge.
Officers attended Mr Aldridge’s Penfield Gardens home in May 2013 and cautioned him for having three insecure rifles.
A day later, on the instructions of a senior officer, police returned and confiscated the rifles and two pistols, reporting him for failing to secure his weapons. The rifles were stored in a locked cellar. The pistols were in a safe.
Police dropped the case in May 2014 because Mr Aldridge would likely successfully argue his cellar acted as a "strong room" for his weapons. Mr Aldridge complained to Police Ombudsman Michael Grant.
Police inspected Mr Aldridge’s firearms based on allegations he had threatened RSPCA officers during a separate incident. The RSPCA never lodged a complaint with police and Mr Aldridge denied the allegations.
Mr Grant said police had no "reasonable basis" to seize the firearms or grounds to suspect Mr Aldridge was "an undue danger".
His report showed a sergeant justified the seizure by saying officers may have suspected Mr Aldridge was not a fit and proper person to have guns, he made a false statement on his 2013 gun licence renewal and may be a threat to public safety. All reasons were found to be baseless.
Mr Grant considered the arrest warrant should not have been issued but that any negligence by SAPOL officers in relation to that warrant was not sufficient to amount to misconduct. He recommended the sergeant receive "managerial guidance".
Mr Aldridge said he would sue the government for $500,000. "It’s just going to change how officers treat people, which I’m glad about," he said.
A police spokeswoman said the Ombudsman’s recommendations had been implemented.
Posted by JR at 9:40 PM