Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Former cops who were caught on camera bashing a drunk man and snapping his finger in 'gruesome' arrest avoid jail

Two police officers who lost their jobs after bashing a 'vulnerable' drunk man and dislocating his finger during a violent arrest have avoided jail.

Sergeant Nathan Trenberth and constable Julian Donohoe were slapped with fines after the Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) findings resulted in actions of misconduct.

Horrific footage of the incident showed the former officers throwing punches at John Wells at High Street Mall in Fremantle, Western Australia, in 2017.

Trenberth admitted to the court that he punched the drunk man seven times claiming the first three punches were of reasonable force, compared to the other four which were excessive. He pleaded guilty to one count of common assault

'There was no injury alleged, there was no injury to the male, they were distractionary techniques of little force...' he said, Perth Now reported.

His partner Donohoe pleaded guilty to a charge of assault occasioning bodily harm for his role in the brutal arrest which saw Mr Wells's finger bent backwards causing it to dislocate.

The court heard Donohoe attacked Mr Wells 'deliberately, vindictively and maliciously'.

Dohohoe told the court he was 'deeply ashamed and appalled by what he did'.

The magistrate described the arrest as 'gruesome' and 'violent', and highlighted the power imbalance between the officers and the 'vulnerable' victim.

Donohoe was fined $3,500 and Trenberth pleaded guilty to a count of common assault given a $1,800 fine. Both have resigned from the police force.

The incident occurred when Mr Wells was trying to light up a cigarette and three police officers approached him asking for some identification.

A police officer grabbed the cigarette which saw the pair wrestle before Mr Wells was repeatedly punched in the face as his arms were held down.

Mr Wells' finger was twisted until it was completely dislocated in the violent arrest in September 2017.


Thursday, December 5, 2019

Police "strike" on going into Aboriginal settlements?

Just the charging of constable Rolfe has created tension. If the Rolfe trial leads to anything but complete exoneration, police may well in future refuse to go into Aboriginal communities.  Armchair judgments on police actions in the heat of the moment are intrinsically unfair and basing a prosecution on them tells police not to bother in future

One of Australia's longest-serving former police commissioners believes the shooting of Indigenous man Kumanjayi Walker in a remote Northern Territory community could have widespread consequences for the future of policing.

Western Australia's ex-police commissioner Karl O'Callaghan said officers felt unsupported after Constable Zachary Rolfe was charged with murder and many will be watching the outcome of the case "very closely".

Dr O'Callaghan also expressed sadness at the low number of Aboriginal people involved in law enforcement and the failed efforts to recruit them.

The comments come amid fresh scrutiny on policing strategies in isolated townships and the relationship between Indigenous people and the law.

Too risky for officers

As the state's highest-ranking officer for 13 years, Dr O'Callaghan has extensive experience in overseeing policing strategies in some of the most isolated places on earth.

He said the decision to charge Mr Rolfe with murder over the shooting sent ripples of dismay through the policing fraternity.

"I think [officers] feel they are not supported," he said. "[Officers] go out and do their job, something happens in a split second and they end up getting charged with a very serious offence.

"I think police in Western Australia and the Northern Territory will be very, very concerned about what this means for trying to support those Aboriginal communities."

He said the case had the potential to change the way officers approached policing in these places — and not necessarily for the better.

"The outcome of this will be watched very closely all over Australia," he said. "It will have an impact on the best of our police officers, on their decision to go to those communities.

"It will be a bad thing if police officers who are qualified and very skilled at their work decide that they don't want to go there because of this risk."

Policing in the far-flung regional centres of Western Australia and the Northern Territory has long presented a logistical and cultural challenge for officers.

A handful of staff are often responsible for between several hundred to 1,000 residents.

Small communities can be easily inundated by visitors who travel thousands of kilometres, many from interstate, to attend family commitments.

In addition to layers of complex social problems, there are language and cultural barriers to navigate, and support is usually hours away.

Law enforcement in these conditions requires a unique approach, according to Dr O'Callaghan, because officers, "are trying to deal with a lot of complex social issues".

"It can have an enormous impact on a police officer because of the complexity of what they're dealing with and I think even the best-prepared officers are not prepared or trained to deal with what they find in those communities," he said.


Sunday, November 24, 2019

Aborigine shot after attacking police

He was an habitual law-defying criminal so his behaviour was in keeping with his record.  But because he was black there is a furore

He was a decorated rookie cop commended for his bravery. Now, he stands accused of the shooting murder of a young Aboriginal man.

Footage from police body cams will likely play a vital role in finding out exactly what happened last Saturday night that led to the final moments of the teenager’s life.

Police and the family of 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker dispute what occurred in those fraught and violent few minutes before Constable Zachary Rolfe allegedly shot him either two or three times, splattering his blood across a mattress.

The footage may shed a light on why the cop made the decision to unload his firearm.

Police said Mr Walker was attacking officers. His family say the force used was out of proportion and he could have been Tasered rather than shot multiple times.

There are also questions as to why there were no medical staff in Yuendumu, deep in the Northern Territory, that night.

And why locals weren’t told of Mr Walker’s death until about 10 hours after it was confirmed as police tuned off the lights at the station and refused to speak to the distraught family outside.

Yesterday, Constable Rolfe, 28, was charged with murder.

At court hearing in Alice Springs, Constable Rolfe was granted bail and suspended with pay. The NT Police Association said he would plead not guilty. He is understood to have now left the Territory due to death threats.

The killing, which has been declared a death in custody, has stirred up ongoing anger about the deaths of Aboriginal people at the hands of police.

Again, questions are being raised as to whether the police’s responses to incidents involving Aboriginal Australians veer too quickly to lethal force.

This morning, NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner urged people to let the justice system do its job. “There are many people hurting in Yuendumu and around the Northern Territory and in our police force," he said. “As Territorians we have been through challenging times before, we cannot and will not let this divide us."

Constable Rolfe was a decorated officer before he was charged with murder.

According to the NT News, he was a star pupil at exclusive private school Canberra Grammar before joining Northern Territory Police in 2016.

Just days after he graduated from police college, he rescued two Hong Kong tourists who had been swept away in floodwaters at Alice Springs.

His valour won him the National Bravery Medal and the Royal Humane Society’s Clarke Medal for bravery, and Hong Kong awarded him the Bronze Medal for Bravery, the first time a foreigner had been given the gong for an incident outside of the Chinese territory.

As last Saturday dawned, police set off for Yuendumu, 300km northwest of Alice Springs.

Their plan was to arrest Mr Walker, a Warlpiri man. He was released from prison in October after serving eight of a 16-month sentence for unlawful entry, property damage and stealing offences with the remainder suspended, AAP reported.

But Mr Walker was allegedly breached his parole by removing an electronic monitoring device, among other offences.

Police had agreed to postpone the arrest to later that day to allow Mr Walker to attend the funeral of a relative.

It was a busy day in Yuendumu. As police were arriving and the funeral preparations were under way, medical staff were shipping out. There had been break-ins at the local clinic and rocks thrown through the car windows of staff. Health bosses said it wasn’t safe.

Once the funeral was done, at least two officers, including Constable Rolfe, went to arrest Mr Walker. It was 7pm and there was no immediate medical staff available should the arrest turn violent.

Which it did in the worst way.

“They came with two police cars; one parked on the other side of the house," witness Elizabeth Snape told The Australian.

According to some reports, Mr Walker was on his bed looking at his phone when police entered the property.

The NT News has quoted a source “close to the police" who said there was “face-to-face combat" between Mr Walker and the officers. One officer was reportedly stabbed, which allegedly led to the teen to be shot.

“During that time a struggle ensued and two shots were fired and he sadly passed away later," NT acting deputy commissioner Michael White said.

The teenager allegedly lunged at one officer as the pair tried to arrest him. “My understanding is he was armed with a weapon," Mr White said.


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Comeuppance for Sarah Jane Parkinson’s corrupt boyfriend

Remember the corrupt policeman boyfriend of Sarah Jane Parkinson, who helped stitch up Dan Jones? (<a href="https://www.bettinaarndt.com.au/video/false-rape-accuser-sent-to-prison/">Here’s the video</a> I made about Parkinson, who was imprisoned in January for false rape and violence allegations.)

NSW Snr Constable White, now the imprisoned Parkinson’s husband, will appear in the ACT Magistrates Court on Dec 18 on perjury and weapons offences. Let’s hope the sleazebag gets his comeuppance.

Meanwhile, the Jones family is awaiting news regarding Parkinson’s application for early release. The decision of the Sentence Administration Board has been adjourned for a second time as Parkinson tries to manipulate the system yet again.

The family is also no closer in their quest for compensation for the over $350k they spent defending Dan from the false allegations. They have another legal team working on that but face further legal fees. Generous folk might like to contribute to the <a href="https://au.gofundme.com/f/47bx5q">gofundme fund-raiser</a>.

Via email from Bettina Arndt: Bettina@bettinaarndt.com.au

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

They finally got the despicable Punchard

<i>His fellow cops tried to protect him but justice has prevailed in the end</i>

A Queensland police officer who leaked a woman's address to her violent ex-partner has pleaded guilty to computer hacking.

Senior Constable Neil Glen Punchard is being sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty to nine counts of using a restricted computer in Brisbane Magistrates Court.

He disclosed personal information about the woman and her partner to her former partner, a long-time friend of Punchard's, over a one-year period from 2013.

Crown prosecutor Angus Edwards said it was a "complete breach of trust" by Punchard, who had done the "exact opposite" of the role of a police officer - to protect.

"(He) put at risk somebody who was involved in an acrimonious separation," Mr Edwards said.

Punchard was charged in late 2018 after a series of "erroneous" decisions by police not to prosecute, Mr Edwards told the court.

Two police investigations cleared him before the Crime and Corruption Commission overturned those decisions.

Last month, Punchard failed in a bid to have the charges thrown out on a technicality.

He argued the criminal investigation against him was tainted by the use of an interview he was forced to give during internal disciplinary proceedings, in which he made admissions.


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Police officer who punched a handcuffed man in the FACE as he was being arrested is cleared of any wrongdoing

<i>Spitting in someone's face is both grievously insulting and a health hazard.  To take immediate action to prevent a recurrence is just good sense</i>

A police officer who was captured punching a handcuffed man in the face while he was being arrested has been cleared of misconduct.

Senior Constable Ben Higgins was filmed hitting an offender after the man allegedly spat on him while he was being reprimanded in Morphett Vale, Adelaide in July.

The 22-year-old man was being arrested for disorderly behaviour and assaulting police, and was reportedly seen marking graffiti on a property.

With his head down and two female officers attending to his hands, it is alleged that the man spat at the senior constable - who retaliated with a punch.

The incident was filmed by the offender's cousin, who berated the officer, saying 'you're f**ked you dumb dog, you f**king pig.'

Constable Higgins' actions were investigated by South Australia Police, who released a statement on Friday clearing the officer of any wrongdoing.

'A review of the arresting police officer's actions in this matter was undertaken; and as a result, there will be no further action taken against that officer,' the statement said.

'As the original arrest proceedings are still before the courts – there is no further comment regarding this particular matter.'

South Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens commended Constable Higgins actions in keeping himself safe in the line of duty.

'Police officers regularly confront dangerous and often violent situations and they take their obligation to protect the community seriously,' Commissioner Stevens said.

'My officers should not tolerate being assaulted and I expect them to take reasonable action to protect themselves so they can go home unharmed to their families.'

'I fully support the professional way they deal with those in the community who think it's OK to threaten or assault police.'


Sunday, September 15, 2019

Indigenous TV host claims she was racially profiled by police while buying a bottle of wine in Australia's Outback. But was she?

A reader writes: "I have noticed that police in Northern Australia are generally friendly and chatty with the public.

I expect that in conversation with the female police officer in the bottle shop, Ms Grant informed her that she is filming a documentary in some areas around Alice Springs in which the police officer knew to be areas where alcohol is banned.

And the police officer would know that Ms Grant is from Sydney and may be unfamiliar with alcohol banned areas around Alice Springs. So the police officer considerately reminded Ms Grant not to take alcohol into those areas as penalties apply... Just a police officer doing her job.

In calling it racist, I expect Ms Grant has taken it the wrong way, either knowingly as part of maintaining a sense of victimhood, or, as an innocent misunderstanding.

However, Ms Grant is a smart, educated and well informed news presenter and documentary maker, who, for a living, encourages others to feel victimised and outraged, so I would bet money that she is playing the victim and knows very well the police officer was just kindly doing her job. And if so, then that would make Ms Grant the racist

An indigenous TV host claims she was racially profiled by a police officer while buying a bottle of wine in the Northern Territory.

Karla Grant, the host of SBS program Living Black, said she was targeted by a female police officer at a BWS Alice Springs who thought she was illegally buying alcohol to re-sell.

Grant told the Women In Media national conference on the Gold Coast on Friday that what followed was 'totally racist,' ABC reported.

'She focused in on me and said "have you got any ID? where are you staying?" I was so shocked and she didn't ask for my producer's ID, she just asked me, she really focused in on me,' Grant said.

'She said "you know there's penalties for this?" She was implying I was a grog runner, that I was getting alcohol to take to a restricted area,' Grant said.

Grant said the police officer continued to harass her, asking her where she was staying and why she was there.

The TV host said her producer was 'fuming' from the police officer's attitude.

'He was like "oh my God, this is so racist". I happened to run into a friend who was coming into the alcohol store as well and I told him what happened and … he said "it happens to us all the time".

Grant said that while racism in Alice Springs is on the decline, it's still an underlying problem within the community.

Northern Territory Police said they weren't 'aware' of the incident.

Grant said that when driving around Sydney and other big cities, she will detour to avoid police cars out of fear of being harassed.

She said being racially targeted by police is common concern for indigenous people.


Friday, September 6, 2019

Unjust police practices in Sydney

Sniffer dogs are as much part of Sydney life today as overpriced brunches and sudden public transport breakdowns.

We’re not just talking about the entrances to music festivals such as Defqon1 and Psyfari — the government has already pulled the plug on those events.

Take a wander through Sydney’s Central station during peak hour and you may well find yourself stopped by police, taken behind a semipublic barricade and stripsearched — even though, statistically, your pockets will probably yield nothing more illicit than a set of house keys.

In an especially baffling case last year, high school leavers had a dozen officers with sniffer dogs swoop in on their year 12 formal.

A report released last week found the number of strip-searches conducted in NSW has increased almost 20-fold in the past 12 years.

Research suggests the overwhelming majority of drug dog searches are fruitless; more often than not, no drugs are found, yet those stopped are still made to endure procedures such as strip searches and “squat and cough" tests many have described as “traumatic" and “dehumanising".

Police and the NSW Government maintain, however, that searches are necessary to keep the community safe.

This week, news.com.au spoke to more than a dozen young people who had been stripsearched by police on suspicion of being in possession of illicit drugs.

Most requested anonymity, saying they feared reputational damage despite doing nothing wrong.

Here’s what they had to say.


Lucy Moore knows from experience how traumatic strip-searches can be.

In March, the 19-year-old was stopped by a drug dog at Hidden Festival in Sydney. She said she had just one drink at her hotel before arriving, and had neither consumed nor carried any illegal drugs with her to the event.

A police officer told her she had been detected by a sniffer dog, and she was taken away to be stripsearched in a semi-private space.

“Not only did I see other people being searched, during my search the door was left half open and only blocked by the small female cop. I could easily see outside, which means that attendees and the male cops outside could have easily seen in as well," Ms Moore said.

“Not only this, a girl in the cubicle next to me was also searched with her door still open with a couple cops entering and leaving at will."

Ms Moore said she was made to “squat and cough" — a practice that entails bending over and coughing under the eye of officers to see if drugs are concealed in the rectal area.

Experts say the practice is legally questionable due to restrictions on anyone but a medical practitioner conducting a body cavity search.

At the end of her “humiliating and embarrassing" ordeal, Ms Moore said she was interrogated, held for over an hour and ultimately still kicked out of the festival — all despite no drugs being found on her.

Legal experts tell news.com.au there have been several cases in recent years of festival-goers being denied entry into events, even though they were not found to be carrying drugs and paid for valid tickets.

“It makes me feel disgusted, for police to constantly be breaching laws and taking advantage of young people who don’t know better. It’s terrifying," Ms Moore told news.com.au.

A status she posted about the incident in March went viral, with more than 2000 shares and 12,000 reactions on Facebook.

Ms Moore never received an apology from police and her ban from Sydney Olympic Park is still in place.

“I’m hoping we can get reform. Change is obviously needed to keep people’s privacy," she said.

“Only 30 per cent of people will be charged and almost all of them being for very small amounts of drugs for personal use — leaving those 70 per cent with a humiliating and traumatic experience for absolutely no reason. It has to change."

It’s not just festivals and dance parties where people are targeted. Police dogs are increasingly frequenting train stations, street corners, small pubs and restaurants.

One Sydneysider, who declined to be named, said he was stripsearched a few years ago at Marrickville Bowling Club, a lawn bowls centre in Sydney’s inner west.

“I was violently grabbed by the arms by the police and ma


It is legal for police to request a drug search if they have reasonable suspicion to do so.

But aspects of this process — such as what constitutes “reasonable suspicion" and the validity of the “squat and cough" method — fall into a grey area.

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge, who runs the anti-drug dog initiative Sniff Off, has long advocated against the practice.

“Often you’re surrounded by six or seven police officers with dogs nearby. It can be very intimidating," Mr Shoebridge said.

“If nothing is found in that first search, what they should do is apologise and let people go on their way," he said.

But statistics show this is not the case, with people increasingly being taken away for full strip-searches.


Thursday, September 5, 2019

Tanya Day inquest: officer denies ‘false stories’ about extremely drunk woman

Drunks can be extremely hard to handle -- and Aborigines particularly so.  But when an Aborigine dies, the police are always suspected

The police officer responsible for making welfare checks on an Aboriginal grandmother who died after banging her head in police custody has denied he told paramedics “false stories".

Leading Senior Constable Danny Wolters denied to an inquiry into the 2017 death of Tanya Day that he had been misleading when he told paramedics the Yorta Yorta woman had hit her head just once.

“I don’t believe I put together any false stories," he said in response to questioning by Peter Morrissey SC, who is representing Day’s family. “I referred to observations."

Sen Con Wolters said he went up to Day's cells at 4.51pm and asked her if she was OK and she replied that she was.

Footage played to the inquest on Tuesday shows Day, who was heavily intoxicated, lying on her cell bed during checks at 4.17pm and 4.50pm. At 4.51pm she tumbled over the cell bench and smashed her forehead against a wall. The inquest heard the fall was ­ultimately fatal.

Day, 55, was arrested for being drunk on a train on December 5 in 2017. The coronial inquiry is examining the role systemic racism played in her death.

The inquest heard on Tuesday Sen Con Wolters asked to alter the timing of physical checks on Day from every 20 minutes to every 40 minutes, saying the physical checks were disturbing her.

The inquest heard he checked on her alternatively through the cell window and using CCTV, partly because of staffing issues due to Castlemaine police holding their Christmas party that day.


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Victoria Police try to censor TV doco on Lawyer X

Victoria Police are trying to censor a television documentary detailing the story of “Lawyer X", demanding early access to the ­series set to air tonight and claiming it could “obstruct" the royal commission into the matter.

The Australian can reveal that the Australian Federal Police also demanded details from Sky News late last week about its two-part documentary series exploring the alleged activities of barrister-turned-police-informant Nicola Gobbo and failures at the highest levels of law enforcement in ­Victoria.

Victoria Police contacted Sky News’s lawyers demanding access to the series after seeing “promotional videos" for Lawyer X: The Untold Story .

Police are also seeking access to a book, Lawyer X: The Scandalous Story of How Melbourne’s Gangland War Was Really Won, written by Herald Sun journalists Anthony Dowsley and Patrick Carlyon.

Sky News declined the Victoria Police request. It was then sent a lawyers’ letter on behalf of Victoria Police on July 18 warning the news network against airing the documentary. “Victoria Police is concerned that the contents of the documentary and book may potentially breach existing suppression orders and reveal information concerning human sources and protected witnesses, thereby increasing the risk of serious harm to individuals and their families," the letter said.

It then claimed that the TV ­series, by journalist Peter Stefanovic, “may hinder or obstruct the proceedings of the royal commission in contravention of s49 of the Inquiries Act."

“The documentary and book may also traverse, and therefore potentially prejudice, ongoing criminal investigations and matter that have been, or will be, the subject of closed hearings at the royal commission."

Sky News chief executive Paul Whittaker confirmed yesterday that Victoria Police had contacted Sky a fortnight ago and requested to view the documentary series tapes in advance of tonight’s broadcast of the first episode in the two-part series.

Sky declined to co-operate.

Mr Whittaker said he believed the two-part documentary would play an important role in explaining the extraordinary series of events behind the complex saga that has “rightfully sparked a royal commission into the handling of police informants".

“Victoria Police spent millions of dollars of state taxpayers’ funds to employ every legal and delaying tactic available all the way to the High Court trying to stop this shameful episode ever becoming public, and as embarrassing as it may be for certain elements of the senior police command, the whole truth must come out if public confidence is to be restored in the system," Mr Whittaker said.

He confirmed that Victoria Police had written a warning letter to lawyers for Sky News and the Herald Sun last Thursday, on the day of an exclusive sneak peek of the documentary and Q&A session at Old Melbourne Gaol hosted by Stefanovic with Herald Sun journalists Dowsley and Carlyon. Mr Whittaker also confirmed that the AFP had contacted Sky News’s lawyers on Friday seeking information about the documentary series.

The letter on behalf of the police said that “given the impending broadcast of the documentary on 22 and 23 July, 2019, and the preview on 18 July, 2019, Victoria Police has contacted Sky News to request an advance copy of the documentary on the basis of these concerns. Sky News has declined this request."

The documentary talks to Ms Gobbo’s former friends and ­associates, about her double life as a lawyer for the Melbourne underworld, including gangland boss Carl Williams, and as a ­registered informe­r for Victoria Police.

The Herald Sun was the first to reveal Ms Gobbo’s double life almost five years ago, and Dowsley and Carlyon­ have fought dozens of suppression orders forbidding publication of her identity as Lawyer­ X.

The steady stream of revel­ations rocked Victoria's justice system, and triggered a royal commission, which is looking into cases that may have been affected by Ms Gobbo’s conduct as a police informant between January 1995 and January 2009.

Ms Gobbo is expected to appea­r before the commission.

The demand comes amid increased focus on media freedom following AFP raids on the home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst and raids on ABC headquarters in Sydney.

The AFP media raids led to widespread condemnation by media organisations as well as a new parliamentary inquiry into press freedom in Australia.

Lawyer X: the untold story will air on Sky News tonight and tomorrow night at 8pm AEST and on Foxtel Encore on July 29


Friday, June 14, 2019

'We call it for what it is': Police say 'African gangs' are responsible for terrifying crime spree across Sydney - after Melbourne cops avoided the words at all cost

New South Wales Police have identified 'African gangs' as responsible for a terrifying spate of robberies across Sydney.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Jones said Strike Force Arpen is working to find a group of Sudanese teens who have been targeting electronic stores in the city over the past month. 

At least 20 stores, including JB Hi-Fi and Bing Lee locations, have been hit by teenagers taking off with thousands of dollars in goods.

'We are talking about an organised gang of African thieves,' Assistant Commissioner Jones told The Daily Telegraph. 'We are not trying to downplay this in any way, shape or form.'

The comments come just days after detectives insisted Sydney was not facing the same African gang crisis as Melbourne. 

On Sunday, Detective Chief Inspector Glyn Baker said he would not 'describe them as gangs'.

'I think it's very important that we don't draw any parallels whatsoever with what's happening in Melbourne. What we are dealing with here is a group of young African males who are committing criminal offences', he said. 

But Jones says they are now calling 'it for what it is' - however, he emphasised the situation is not nearly as severe as Melbourne's gang issue.

Previously, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton refused to identify the city's problem as an 'African' gang crisis. He had said the youth crime was not limited to one ethnic group, in an interview last year.

'We've certainly had a lot of young Africans, Australian kids offending as well, Islander kids, a lot of indigenous kids we're getting as well.'

Melbourne has been dealing with violence relating to African street gangs for years, with footage and images of brawling youths involved in crimes and brawls.

Ugly scenes involving African youths and the wider community have erupted on numerous occasions in Melbourne in the past months, with politicians slamming Victoria Police for a lack of action.

Police said a gang which calls themselves the Blood Drill Killers were linked to numerous crimes in the city's west in recent months. The gang is comprised of African-Australian boys aged between 14 to 17 and is a breakaway group with links to Apex and Menace to Society. 

Meanwhile in Sydney, four teenagers were arrested for allegedly stealing $15,000 worth of electronics at a store in Taren Point in the city's south on Monday. Four youths of African appearance aged 18, 17, and 16 were taken into custody, with one freed on bail.

In a separate incident, police arrested a 24-year-old man for allegedly stealing a speaker from an electronic store in Hornsby, on Sydney's North Shore.


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Realism not allowed in terrorism drill

NSW Police has apologised for using headscarves on two officers playing the part of terrorists during a training exercise after it was found it racially vilified Palestinians and Arabs.

The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal in May said it was unreasonable and unnecessary to wear the scarves during the drill at Sydney's Central station in October 2017.

The exercise involved about 200 people - including police and other emergency services - to test the co-ordination and response to a terrorist or high-risk incident.

The drill included two "active armed offenders" using what looked like semi-automatic firearms holding "hostages" and wounding some with knives.

The tribunal said balaclavas or masks could have been used on the officers acting as the perpetrators instead of clothing identified with particular cultural communities in Australia.

"We find that NSW Police Force, by allowing the two police officers portraying the armed offenders to wear keffiyehs associated with Palestinian and Arabic people, racially vilified Palestinians and Arabs," the tribunal found.

The tribunal said that using the headscarves in the drill had the "capacity" to incite hate or serious contempt of Palestinians or Arabs but acknowledged NSW Police didn't intend to vilify any racial group.

NSW Police on Tuesday issued a statement, as ordered by the tribunal, acknowledging the decision.

"NSW Police Force apologises for the use of these headscarves in the exercise," it said.


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Teacher accused of punching and spitting on students because she's 'not Muslim' plans to sue police because the kid's claims were MADE UP

A primary school teacher will take police to court after she paid costly legal fees to fight allegations that she assaulted four students after being told she was 'no good' because she's 'not Muslim'.

The southwest Sydney teacher, 58 - who cannot be named for legal reasons - was cleared of all charges that she mistreated her year three and four students on Monday after a judge slammed the evidence against her.

She has been out of work since last May after she was accused of pinching, pushing and punching three boys and a girl, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Magistrate Daniel Covington noted that police failed to interview adult witnesses who may have been in the classroom and that some of the evidence against the teacher was 'implausible'.

He said that the children's accounts of the alleged assaults changed or became more detailed as they spoke to teachers and police.

What's more, a boy who accused the teacher of spitting on him made no complaint to teachers on the day of the alleged incident.

Mr Covington said the boy only made the claim when he was interviewed by police much later.

The same boy also told the teacher on her first day that she looked like Donald Trump.

The court heard during a hearing that a student also told the teacher, 'you're no good, you're not Muslim'.

The teacher was later given the nickname 'Miss Trunchbull' after the nasty headmistress in the popular children's classic 'Matilda'.

The boy also claimed to have witnessed the teacher scratch a student and draw blood.

Mr Covington dismissed the evidence as either a 'fabrication or at best an exaggeration'.

During the hearing, one eight-year-old schoolboy said the teacher pushed him hard against a wall and whispered 'f*** off' in his ear.

The court heard the girl accuser was the only witness and Mr Covington dismissed the incident as highly unlikely to have happened. 'It is completely implausible in my view that no one else would have witnessed it,' he said.

Mr Covington criticised police for failing to interview any adult witnesses and went on to dismiss the charges against the teacher.

Her lawyer Ian Fraser told the magistrate police failed to properly investigate the matter and that his client would pursue them to cover legal costs.

The case has been adjourned until next month for the court costs to be drawn up.

The Department of Education said it would follow its own enquiries into the matter. 'It is not appropriate for the NSW Department of Education to comment on a court decision. 'Following court matters of this nature the department makes its own enquiries.

'This person has not been teaching at schools since the issue was first raised, with her future employment status pending the outcome of the court case and any subsequent investigation.'


Monday, May 13, 2019

Botched Victoria police raid ‘may cost man his arm’

I rarely put up accounts of police thuggery these days as the thuggery is so common that the police Australia-wide are clearly out of control and look set to remain that way. This case where an innocent man was tortured causing serious injury really gets my goat, however. If I were able I would ensure that each cop on the raid got the identical treatment to what they dished out to the innocent man, even if it did result in a group of one-armed cops. That might help to persuade them that they are not Nazi Storm Troopers

A man mistaken for a carjacker may lose the use of his arm after he was seriously injured during a botched police raid in Melbourne.

Nik Dimopoulos was arrested outside a bookshop on Johnston Street in Fitzroy around 2.30am on Saturday after police tracked a stolen car.

“The man police arrested was mistakenly identified as the suspect police were searching for that had fled the stolen vehicle nearby," a Victoria Police spokeswoman said on Sunday.

The stolen car was allegedly involved in a home invasion and car jacking, and was spotted speeding on the Eastlink before it was tracked to an address in Fitzroy.

But bookshop owner Rowland Thomson said on social media at no stage did police identify themselves or what they were doing.

“They just stormed into a dark room shining torches and it was impossible to identify them as police," he wrote on Facebook.

The injured man had his hands tethered behind his back “way beyond what can be endured", he said.

He may lose the use of his left arm and would have to undergo surgery, according to Mr Thomson.

Premier Daniel Andrews said his government was reaching out to Mr Dimopoulos and his family to offer their support.

“It would have been terrifying, he’s obviously got serious injuries and I want to assure every Victorian he’s getting the very best of care," Mr Andrews said on Sunday.

“We will look very closely at what has happened." The police has acknowledged the distress the situation caused the victim and an investigation is underway into the incident, a Victoria Police spokeswoman confirmed.