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.


Thursday, April 4, 2019

Exclusive interview with senior Australian ex-cop about the misuse of Domestic Violence restraining orders

Bettina Arndt

Last October, Augusto Zimmermann, a law professor and former WA law reform commissioner, was asked to speak to the Police Union about his concerns about the misuse of domestic violence restraining orders. Augusto has been a brave campaigner against West Australia’s greatly expanded domestic violence laws which give enormous power to women to ruin men’s lives with false accusations.

But when the time came to give the speech, the organisers had lost courage and he was slated to talk about free speech. He still took the opportunity to talk to the police officers about domestic violence, explaining how free speech on this topic is being muzzled. Having had prior experience teaching police officers in Rio de Janeiro, Augusto was well-equipped to speak about the role of police as enforcers of rights in a community. He explained our police are currently being placed in an invidious position, denied their rightful role as protectors of the innocent and punishers of the guilty and instead, used as instruments of oppression in a corrupt system.

Tough words which clearly resonated with the boys in blue, who are doing the dirty work for the feminist-led campaign using domestic violence laws to empower women and demonise men.

I’ve made a number of videos about the abuse of domestic violence restraining orders, including an interview with Augusto last year. I’ve heard from police across the country who are uncomfortable with what is happening but are not able to speak out because they are fearful of losing their jobs.

But now, finally, we have a terrific interview with a retired NSW chief inspector who contacted me because he is horrified by where this is all heading. We have kept his identity hidden and disguised his voice to protect this brave man who is blowing the lid on this huge scandal corrupting our legal system.

Please help me promote it as widely as possible. Here’s the actual video:

<iframe width="600" height="350" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PHGdOjbtaSA" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

And here’s a short version you can use for promotion on social media:


<i>Email from Bettina: bettina@bettinaarndt.com.au </i>

Monday, April 1, 2019

Man wrongly jailed for 32 days after wife’s fake rape claim sues government

"Believe the woman" bias in action, most probably

A man who spent 32 days in jail after his paediatrician wife faked a rape claim against him is suing the NSW Government.

A Sydney man is seeking more than half a million dollars in damages from the NSW Government for maliciously prosecuting a false rape claim made against him by his North Shore paediatrician wife.

A jury acquitted the man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, of rape, domestic violence, assault and other charges in 2017 after Sydney District Court Judge Mark Williams issued a rare Prasad direction.

A Prasad direction allows a jury to find a defendant not guilty any time after the close of the Crown in cases where there is insufficient evidence to justify a conviction.

On legal advice, the man had pleaded guilty to two counts of domestic violence — relating to an email and damage to his then-wife’s mobile phone (after discovering explicit text messages between her and another man) but the judge dismissed those charges without recording a conviction.

The man spent 32 days in jail on remand, an “extraordinarily difficult" experience given he had no criminal record and one that continues to haunt him to this day.

“I was never far from ending it all after my release from prison," he told news.com.au yesterday. “The actions of police were so deliberate and savage that it made me doubt everything."

The judge slammed the case against the man as “most unsatisfactory" and said prosecutors had failed to take into account “cogent and consistent objective evidence" that backed up the man’s claim that the sexual encounter at the heart of the rape charge was in fact consensual.

Defence lawyer Greg Walsh told the court the man and his legal team took photographic evidence that corroborated his story and discredited hers to the police, but it was ignored. “Was it ideological, was it wilful blindness? I don’t know," Mr Walsh said. “All the evidence pointed to the fact that this was an innocent man who should not have been charged."

“Cops worked on this case for two years," the man told news.com.au.

“Judges, courts and jurors were used. It probably cost the tax payers over a million dollars in man hours alone. What a huge waste of time and money."

She claimed she was raped another two times shortly afterwards. But it was all an elaborate lie and the defence proved it by tendering photographic evidence from a security camera in the home which showed the sex to be consensual.

“I had installed cameras in the house a day earlier but she didn’t know that when she went to police," the man told news.com.au.

A text message exchange between the pair the following night in which she wished her husband a “safe flight" hours before he flew to Europe on a work trip was produced in court.

Four days after he left the country, the former wife walked into Gordon Police Station on Sydney’s North Shore and made claims of rape, assault and domestic violence that would ultimately be dismissed by a judge.

When he returned, police were waiting for him at Sydney Airport, arresting him in a dramatic swoop in full view of fellow travellers.

The basis of the man’s legal claim is that police and the DPP went ahead with the charges against him despite having been alerted to evidence that proved the so-called victim was lying.

That included video footage of the sexual encounters on June 15, 2015 which proved they were consensual.

In issuing a Prasad direction and dismissing proceedings against the man, Judge Williams acknowledged the case should never have gone to trial.

The man’s statement of claim, obtained by news.com.au, lists the defendants as the State of NSW (Commissioner of Police), the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions and his ex-wife, who remains employed as a paediatrician at a Sydney hospital.

The man told news.com.au that his legal team have yet to put a final figure on the compensation he will be seeking but estimated it would be in excess of $500,000.

That included an estimated $200,000 in lost income, $110,000 in legal fees plus damages stemming from his horror month in jail.

While Judge Williams awarded the man court costs following his acquittal, he was only able to recoup just over half of his mammoth $270,000 legal bill.

“They accepted $260,000 of that and then they applied the government cap which meant I received $160,000, leaving a $110,000 shortfall," the man told news.com.au.

The statement of claim describes the man’s dramatic arrest at Sydney Airport on August 20, 2015, which saw police seize his laptop, iPod and hard drive.

“The Plaintiff was refused bail at Mascot Police Station (and) remained in custody for thirty two days until he was granted conditional bail," the document states.

Under his bail conditions, he was required to surrender his passport and report daily to police, making it impossible to travel overseas for work commitments, resulting in a significant loss of income.

“The arrest and imprisonment of the Plaintiff was wrongful, whereupon the Plaintiff has suffered loss and damages and is entitled to damages, aggravated damages and exemplary damages," the document states.

“The arrest and imprisonment of the Plaintiff caused him severe mental anguish and distress."


Thursday, January 31, 2019

Victoria Police makes big payout in brutality case

Victoria Police have made a confidential payout of more than $500,000 to settle a case involving an ex-policewoman who was handcuffed, stripped of her underwear, stomped on and kicked by fellow officers in a police station.

The biggest disgrace is that it took so long to get to this result. Police are very protective of their own -- even when they are in the wrong

The confidential payment was made more than two years after police initially and wrongly declared that there was insufficient evidence to charge police who allegedly assaulted Yvonne Berry.

The payment is one the highest made in Victoria to settle a brutality case, lawyers said, and comes after a policeman was convicted late last year for assaulting Ms Berry.

Since the initial incorrect finding that police had no case to answer was issued in early 2016 by a senior internal affairs officer, Ms Berry's ordeal has served as a case study for those calling for reform of Victoria’s police complaint system.

The system faced fresh scrutiny last week after The Age exposed several other brutality cases, which included complaints from alleged victims about the difficulty of making a complaint—and the fear of being improperly charged-- and concern that the complaint system is biased.

Ms Berry endured these same fears even though she had spent several years working as an internal affairs officer inside the police complaints system.

In a previous interview with The Age, she described the trauma of being charged with resisting arrest after her brutality complaint was dismissed.

Her charges were quietly withdrawn and her police brutality complaint revived after the intervention of Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission in 2016.

The revelation of Ms Berry’s payout comes with growing calls from legal groups, academics and a joint parliamentary committee about the need to overhaul the police complaints system by ensuring IBAC investigates more of the serious complaints issued against police.

Currently, IBAC mostly performs an auditing function that involves reviewing the police handling of complaints. It investigates only the most serious of cases.

Legal groups said the minister responsible for IBAC, Gavin Jennings, has been receptive to calls for change and supported the work of the parliamentary committee.

The Andrews government is yet to unveil what, if any, reforms it will introduce but is facing growing community concern that the force has proven itself incapable of effective self-regulation.

Several police brutality scandals, the informer 3838 affair - set to be the subject of a royal commission- and the resignation of disgraced internal affairs chief Brett Guerin, have all raised questions about the ability of the force to investigate itself.

In addition to Ms Berry’s payout - believed to be $470,000 in personal compensation and an additional $50,000 in legal fees - policeman Steven Repac was in November found guilty by a jury of assaulting Ms Berry.

Ms Berry declined to comment on her payout, saying she was bound by a confidentiality clause. She has previously said she initially had no choice but to sue the police force after she was told no officers would be held to account for her ordeal in the Ballarat police cells.

Ms Berry, who had mental health problems due to her work as an internal affairs officer and dealing with the horrific aftermath of the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009, was arrested on January 15, 2015 after she was found drunk and incoherent by a Ballarat resident.

In the early stages of her 16 hours in police custody, the CCTV recorded her in a police cell attempting to use a broken drinking fountain before gesturing to the camera for water. She then drank from the cell's toilet.

After becoming agitated and demanding a blanket, her cell door was opened and Ms Berry pushed past, swiping an officer's lanyard. After being handcuffed, Ms Berry was then dragged on the floor to a cell. A male officer pulled down her underwear, apparently searching for the missing lanyard.

Senior Constable Repac then stood on Ms Berry's feet and ankles. Next, he stomped on her ankle and was also filmed kicking Ms Berry. When Ms Berry later told her story to The Age, she described being “stressed, demoralised, and thinking I'm in Guantanamo Bay. This isn't Ballarat ... it can't be".


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

When the police are useless: White youths armed with baseball bats confront African teens after a train station mugging

A gang of white youths armed with baseball bats have allegedly targeted a group of African teenagers as part of a revenge attack for an earlier bashing.

The two groups clashed at Wyndham Vale train station, in Melbourne's south-west, on Monday afternoon despite the presence of a cameraman. The stand-off, witnessed by The Herald Sun, reportedly involved two feuding groups of young men but did not result in violence.

It's understood the teenagers were searching for a gang of 30 African youths who allegedly beat and then robbed two teenagers on Sunday.

According to a witness who watched the ugly confrontation unfold, the group of boys surrounded an African youth and insisted he was involved in the earlier robbery.

He continued to deny their claims, eventually calling his friends over for backup as tensions escalated.

The two young boys who were set upon by a gang at the same station less than 24 hours earlier claimed they did nothing to warrant the attack.

Xavier, 14, and Ricky, 17, were waiting for a bus home at the station when the younger was allegedly robbed of a bank card, iPhone and $1,000 gold necklace by the gang.

While Xavier was assaulted, Ricky, who is a black belt in Taekwondo, fought back -despite one of the assailants warning him 'don't get lippy or you'll get bashed'. 'They were just saying like empty out your pockets, give us your stuff, Ricky told 9News.

Towards the end of the attack, in which both boys are believed to have sustained minor injuries, two Protection Service Officers from the station appeared in the vicinity. However, instead of immediately assisting, both Xavier and his father allege the officers refrained from trying to stop the attack and instead called the police.

Mr Ferrari, Xavier's father, has said he's since spoken to the officers where they reasoned they were outnumbered by the gang. 'I don't think it's a good enough excuse, they are trained to deal with those situations. 'I want the possessions returned, but mostly I want the people caught,' said.

Police have since released a statement defending the actions of the two officers and confirming an investigation into the attack is underway.

'The pair have approached Protective Services Officers, who were patrolling at nearby Wyndham Vale Railway Station, to report the incident. 'When this occurred, the large group of youths have split into small groups and run from the area,' the statement read.

'The PSOs, who stayed with the victims, have called for back-up and provided descriptions of the offenders for police who conducted patrols of the surrounding areas,' it concluded.

Transit Crime Investigation Unit detectives are still investigating the incident.

Police are currently looking for one suspect who has an African appearance and is thought to be aged between 14 and 16.


Sunday, January 27, 2019

NSW cops are a fragrant lot too

A former Sydney police officer is facing up to a year in jail after he took intimate images from an arrested woman's phone and sent them to fellow officers on Facebook.

Steven Albee, 29, was a senior constable working with the Nepean Police Area Command in the city's west, when he arrested the woman during a traffic stop in April 2017 after she refused a roadside drug test.

The woman was taken back to the station and to police cells.

At the time of her arrest, the woman's phone was seized and it was examined using police investigative software.

The software generated a report which showed the phone contained four private photos: three depicting the woman's genitals, and one which showed her boyfriend's torso and penis.

Albee examined the photos at the police station then uploaded two to a Facebook group chat with four other serving police officers, which they used to chat while off-duty.

The photos were seen by all four officers and Albee informed them that the photos were of the woman who was arrested and had come from her phone.

The group chat was subsequently closed.

Officers from the Professional Standards Command began investigating the incident and spoke to the arrested woman, who confirmed the photos were for private use and she did not give permission for Albee to use them.

The woman said she was "upset and embarrassed" that the photos had been seen by other people.

Her boyfriend, who confirmed his photo was also for private use, said he was "angry and upset" by the situation.

In May 2018, Albee was charged with using a carriage service to menace, harass or offend and was suspended with pay.  In court documents, his address was given as St Mary's police station.

On Tuesday, a NSW Police spokeswoman confirmed Albee is no longer employed by the organisation. It is understood his employment ceased in late 2018.

Albee briefly faced Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty and did not speak as he left the court with a man and a woman.

He faces a maximum penalty of 12 months imprisonment, a fine of $12,600, or both.


Wednesday, January 23, 2019


They are a disgrace. The won't touch you if you are a Muslim but all others are fair game. Three current reports below

Violent assault of a disability pensioner by a senior police officer inside a station

And despite all the fine words from the police about the case, he was not fired!

Footage has emerged of the violent moment a disability pensioner was assaulted by a senior police officer inside a station.

Despite damning CCTV vision, senior constable Michael Cooke managed to retain his position within Victoria Police and avoided conviction following the attack.

He was suspended with pay for 12 months as police conducted an internal investigation, the ABC revealed.

Pensioner Phil Dickson, who was 62 at the time of the attack, initially thought his broken knuckles and torn ligament in his shoulder were the results of a drunken fall. 

'I could have been dead and I'm sure nobody would have asked, "Is there any CCTV footage about that?",' he told the ABC.  

He was being held inside the station after being arrested for drink driving and assaulting a police officer, charges he later pleaded guilty to. 

Medical records from the night of January 11, 2013, revealed Dickson had hit his head after being physically restrained inside his cell for being too intoxicated. 

But Legal Aid fought for access to CCTV footage due to the extent of Mr Dickson's injuries. The video showed constable Cooke grabbing Mr Dickson by the scruff of his neck before throwing him to the ground. He was also made to remove his belt from his pants, causing them to fall to the floor. 

Blood spatters were visible on the floor and paramedics were called.

Cooke was charged with common law assault in 2015 and pleaded guilty at Geelong Magistrates' Court. He was fined $500 and placed on a 12 month good behaviour bond without conviction. 

Following the verdict, Victoria Police told Daily Mail Australia an internal investigation was also conducted and he was charged with a discipline offence relating to the assault. 

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said they do not condone Cooke's actions. 'The community has every right to expect to be treated in a fair and professional manner when dealing with police. In the 2013 incident, this clearly did not happen,' she said. 'Make no mistake, this is not the manner in which we expect our officers to behave. We do not condone violence.'

'That is why the incident was thoroughly investigated by Professional Standards Command and the officer was charged with the criminal offence of recklessly cause injury.    

The spokesperson said there was 'no doubt the CCTV footage was confronting', but stressed it was important to consider a range of factors before 'making a decision about an officer's ongoing employment.'   

'After considering all of these matters a 12-month good behaviour bond, in line with the court decision, was determined appropriate internal disciplinary action.'

The officer resigned from Victoria Police in January 2018.

'The community should be assured that Victoria Police is committed to continually improving our internal processes for investigating complaints against its officers.'

'Since 2013 a number of new processes have been introduced, including an independent hearing officer (non-Victoria Police) overseeing all internal disciplinary matters and IBAC oversights complaints investigated by Victoria Police.' 

<a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6613497/Disability-pensioner-assaulted-police-officer-inside-station.html">SOURCE</a>  

Arrested for someone else’s crime, a teen was left badly injured by the police

After police issued a suspect alert for an Aboriginal man who'd stolen a car, 18-year-old indigenous man Tommy Lovett - who was on his way to his grandma's house - was wrongly arrested. By the time his mother found out, Tommy was in hospital.

Even before the skinny Indigenous teenager was handcuffed and hurled into a fence, at least six police officers were worried an innocent man had been arrested.

The man wanted for stealing a vehicle and ramming it into a police car was, according to a description issued over police radio, a 40-year-old Aboriginal with a goatee.

The teenager splayed out on a pavement in Heidelberg on the morning of April 5, 2016, was also dark skinned. But he was only 18, with a baby face and no facial hair. Tommy Lovett had also committed no crime – moments before his arrest he had been riding his scooter to his grandma’s house.

But by the time officers were directed to continue the search for the actual suspect, Lovett’s body was bruised, grazed and bleeding. A neighbour would later recall hearing him quietly sobbing on the footpath.

Within hours, his mother, Doreen, would allege her son’s arrest was the result of racism and that he had been treated brutally by detectives. Police vehemently denied the claims and an internal investigation found nothing wrong with Lovett’s arrest.

Yet The Age has uncovered diary notes and statements from officers at the scene that raise serious questions about the official police version of events and Lovett’s handling by detectives. Among the files is a hand-scrawled diary note by a policeman who observed Lovett’s treatment and described the incident as “disturbing to say the least".

Lovett’s case, along with several others uncovered by a joint Age-7.30 Report investigation, is set to reignite the debate about whether Victoria Police is capable of investigating its own. Also under scrutiny is the Andrews government’s delay in introducing police oversight reforms backed by a joint parliamentary committee, the state’s police watchdog and much of Victoria’s legal sector.

Doreen Lovett knew something was terribly wrong when police told her that her son Tommy had been arrested but was not in a police cell. He was in hospital.

Ms Lovett, a local Indigenous leader in Melbourne who works in Victoria’s criminal justice sector, raced to the Austin Hospital in Heidelberg to discover her son shaken and in pain. A doctor’s report of his injuries describes deep bruising and cuts over his body, swelling and abrasions on his forehead and prominent welts surrounding his eyes and cheeks. A gash on Lovett’s wrist had to be stitched up.

Lovett told his mother he had been scooting towards his grandma’s house when a plain-clothes detective emerged from the home and barked at Lovett to stop.

Lovett says the detective had a reputation among the local Indigenous community as a policeman to be avoided, so he scooted around the corner towards a police van and two uniform officers. They were searching for the 40-year-old, goatee-wearing suspect.

In a statement written after the incident, one of the policemen in the van, Constable K, describes Lovett seeking help from police.

“He stopped slightly behind our vehicle and in a loud voice asked if we can take him back to his … grandma's," K wrote. “The male that stopped appeared to be young, of Aboriginal descent and looked somewhat distressed."

From a distance of about 50 metres, the plain-clothes detective yelled at the uniform officers to arrest Lovett. He would later insist he believed Lovett was the wanted car thief and he had visited Lovett’s grandma’s house because it was frequented by men who fitted the suspect's description.

Other police officers were not so certain. Five other officers who attended the scene later wrote that they believed Lovett was “not the offender we were looking for". A sixth policeman, who handcuffed Lovett, later wrote that he “was not sure why I was being directed to arrest this male as he did not match the description for the offender".

Lovett was also confused. As he was cuffed, he asked why he was being detained. He also remembers being scared, especially as the first detective raced towards him. Lovett feared a beating.

Constable K wrote in his statement that Lovett was initially “not aggressive" but became “agitated due to the handcuffs", which were cutting into his wrist.

The arrival of the plain-clothes detective also prompted a reaction in Lovett. He “became very resistive once the detective came up to him and targeted his head and neck. The detective had put his right arm into the jaw/neck area of the male and virtually took over from [the second arresting officer] Senior Constable R."

Soon, two more plain-clothes detectives arrived at the scene, crowding over Lovett, who was “screaming" about being in pain. In his statement, Constable K noted the physical disparity between Lovett and the three detectives: Lovett “was a skinny handcuffed male that myself and SC R had easily controlled before".

Lovett’s insulting of the first detective, said the constable, “caused a reaction".

“The detective decided to grab the young male by the upper part of the body and do something I’m not sure what. As a result the male’s head was pushed into the timber plank and then further down towards the ground at which stage the two other detectives decided to engage and assist the detective. I did not see how or if the young male resisted in any way and did not see it necessary in any way to use force."

K’s colleague, Constable R, said in his statement that after Lovett “called the detective an idiot … the detective … then picked [Lovett] up by his upper body and with the aid of both other detectives, threw [Lovett] into a brown wooden fence". (A third policeman wrote an almost identical description of Lovett being thrown into a fence in his own statement.)

In the first detective’s statement, he justifies Lovett’s handling after he was handcuffed because of what he claimed was the 18-year-old's “potential for violence" (Lovett had previously been charged by police for assault but has never been convicted for any crime.)

All three detectives described Lovett in their own statements as acting violently and spitting at them near the end of his ordeal, which led to Lovett being capsicum sprayed. Lovett admits spitting, but claims he did so because his mouth was filled with blood.

He also alleges further humiliation – a policeman using water from a dog bowl to wash the capsicum spray from his face. (A police spokesperson said it was not known if police “put the water into a bowl to provide this after-care".)

Next, Lovett was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting police. For months, the arrest and the charges loomed over Lovett. Doreen Lovett recalls her son withdrawing. “He stopped going out," she says softly. “And he stopped smiling."

Lovett might have been convicted if his Aboriginal Legal Service lawyer didn’t press police to hand over the diary entries and statements from all of the police at the scene. At first, police stalled in doing so. Then, unexpectedly in early 2017 after a magistrate ordered police to produce all files about the arrest, police told Lovett his charges would be withdrawn.

The teenager, who had been arrested for someone else’s crime only to face possible jail time for allegedly assaulting police, was suddenly told he had no case to answer.


Doctor says she was assaulted by police while trying to assist injured man

A Melbourne doctor has alleged police assaulted her after she sought to help a barely conscious and bleeding man who was surrounded by officers in April 2018 — and that they then covered up the brutality.

Kim Proudlove, a stepmother of three who specialises in helping people with brain injuries, has spoken publicly about her ordeal and frustration with the Victoria Police complaints system.

Dr Proudlove does not fit the profile of the Victorians most likely to report an adverse experience with police — vulnerable or marginalised people less able to navigate the police complaint system.

She is an experienced doctor with a track record of helping people in need, including a cyclist and pedestrian badly injured in traffic accidents.

But when she tried to help a bleeding and apparently unconscious man surrounded by police, Dr Proudlove has alleged she was subjected to police brutality; after she filmed some of the alleged assault on her phone, she says police deleted it; and after she complained to police internal affairs, she was told by police they were considering charging her with resisting arrest.

Dr Proudlove's story is striking for another reason — her alleged assault occurred just 19 days after a major police brutality scandal was exposed.

In April 2018, 7.30 and The Age revealed explosive CCTV vision of police allegedly assaulting a Melbourne disability pensioner during a mental health welfare check.

That scandal prompted the charging of several officers along with widespread calls for reform of the police complaints system, calls that were later backed by a Victorian parliamentary committee.

Dr Proudlove's confrontation with police began just after 9:00pm on April 22 in Flinders Lane in Melbourne's CBD, after she noticed a man lying in the foetal position in a doorway, bleeding and barely conscious.

Within minutes, it would be Dr Proudlove who was bleeding.

She told 7.30 and The Age she approached the police surrounding the bleeding man and introduced herself as a doctor able to provide aid. "I was very concerned by the large pool of fresh blood, and that no-one was attending to him," she said.

She says police told her to go away, that an ambulance had been called and that the man's injuries were self-inflicted.

"I told them regardless of it being self-inflicted, the bleeding should be stopped with basic first aid while waiting for an ambulance. He wasn't moving and wasn't talking," she said.

Dr Proudlove said after she insisted the man needed help, police officers shoved her against a wall. After she began filming the police on her mobile phone, she says one of the officers attacked her.

"There was an older policeman that came towards me, violently threw me to the ground, put my hands behind my back, and repeatedly punched me in the head," she said.

"I kept asking them to stop and told them that they were hurting me. "I had a police officer put his weight into the back of my knee, which also was very painful.

"They handcuffed me then picked me up and took me to a police van and put me in the back."

Police confiscated her phone but returned it to her in the back of the van, where Dr Proudlove discovered that video she had recorded had been deleted.

After officers dropped her home in a police van, Dr Proudlove's husband raced her to hospital.

"My right ear needed tissue glue to close the wounds, I had a swollen and bruised lip, I had a bump on my head, my knee was extremely sore causing me to limp, and I had multiple other bruises and abrasions all over my body … I was also in shock," she said.

Medical scans confirmed that Dr Proudlove's knee was badly damaged. She had suffered a tibial plateau fracture and ACL rupture.

Dr Proudlove complained to the Police Standards Command about her treatment within hours of her ordeal. After this, she was told she was under criminal investigation for resisting arrest and may face serious charges.

In December, police told Dr Proudlove she would not be prosecuted.

In a statement, a police spokesperson said the case was subject to "an active Professional Standards Command investigation".

"The Senior Constable and Sergeant involved in the alleged incident have been transferred to other duties while the investigation is taking place," the statement said.

"We are unable to provide any further information as the investigation is ongoing."


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Police officers slammed after being caught issuing more than 250,000 fake breath tests over five years

This is a bit hard to follow but it appears that they were reporting tests that they did not carry out

An inquiry has slammed Victoria Police for a 'lack of ethics' in a damning new independent review into fake breath-testing.

The inquiry was launched last year after an internal investigation revealed officers had faked 258,463 breath tests over a five-and-half year period.

Retired police commissioner Neil Comrie released the findings of his independent review Taskforce Deliver on Tuesday, which described the rort as 'completely unacceptable' and an 'ethical failure', the Herald Sun reported.

Senior police instructed new recruits to carry out falsified breath tests, according to the review findings.

'It has been a common experience for new recruits to be inducted into the practice early in their careers through instruction from more experienced members,' the report stated.

The report also found that police manipulated breath test devices to boost the number of tests conducted.

A statewide directive was issued in 2017 to increase preliminary breath tests from 3.2 million conducted the previous year to 4.5 million.

The directive was criticised in the report which said it was 'not based on any credible scientific evidence and was based on the number of 'Victorian licence holders at the time.

The report said there was no suggestion any drivers had been wrongly prosecuted and that there was no evidence to suggest the police behaviour was criminal, the Herald Sun reported.

Tests were faked because of the burden of unrealistic quotas for statistical purposes, according to Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt.

“When it becomes more important to meet quotas than to catch drink drivers, the system needs recalibrating,’ he told The Age.

Road Policing Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane welcomed the findings and said all 23 recommendations would be adopted.

The state government plans to work with Victoria Police to ensure it doesn't happen again.

'It is extremely disappointing and unacceptable that it happened in the first place – it's wrong, it's a breach of trust, and it won't be tolerated,' police minister Lisa Neville said.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

An incredibly crooked cop

How did she think she could get away with taking people's homes?  People tend to be strongly attached to their homes.  She's got to be a mental case

A Victorian Police officer, who the state's anti-corruption watchdog alleges used her police connections to attempt to take possession of six properties, has appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court.

Court documents allege she went to one council office in her police uniform to get details of a property's owner

Rosa Catherine Rossi, from the Geelong suburb of Corio, has been charged with 20 separate offences by the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC).

They include deceptively and dishonestly trying to gain property, fraudulently claiming welfare payments, stealing, accessing the police database for her own gain, and falsifying documents.

Documents from the court allege she tried to claim ownership of three rural properties in the Western District as well as three suburban Melbourne properties in Chadstone, Malvern East and Brooklyn.

At Willaura, south of Ararat, she is alleged to have targeted the owners of three homes, changing the locks on the properties and submitting false change-of-address documents to the Ararat Rural City Council.

Ms Rossi is also charged with providing false documents in order to secure a loan with the Commonwealth Bank for a property in the town.

Deceased estate claim

At Malvern East, IBAC alleges Ms Rossi told a locksmith the property was a deceased estate in order to convince them to change the locks.

Court documents allege she went to the police station in Footscray and looked up the name and contact details of the owner of that property on the internal LEAP database.

She also lodged a false change-of-address form to the Stonnington City Council, according to the charge sheets.

For the Brooklyn property, court documents claim she went to Hobson's Bay City Council in her police uniform to get details of the property's owner and also submitted a false change-of-address notice.

IBAC investigators also allege she:

set up a fake not-for-profit organisation called Sweet Georgia Pty Ltd;

falsely claimed rental assistance from Centrelink;

falsified statutory declarations about who she was and where she lived.

Ms Rossi will return to court in March


Monday, January 14, 2019

A NSW police arrest of doubtful legality and excessive force

The man had legal precedent to say he was entitled to use FVCK etc on a sign.  He should appeal the verdict and sue the cops

Sydney sandwich board activist Danny Lim has been arrested and fined for offensive behaviour.

Three police officers arrested the 74-year-old at Exchange Place in Barangaroo about 9.20am on Friday. It’s unclear what the offensive behaviour involved.

Video of the arrest shows an officer holding a sandwich board sign that reads: “SMILE CVN’T! WHY CVN’T?"

In August 2018 Lim successfully had a 2015 conviction and $500 fine for offensive conduct overturned over a sandwich board that mocked the then-prime minister Tony Abbott with a rewriting of the word “can’t".

District court Judge Andrew Scotting said it was unlikely the sign would offend the average Australian.

Witnesses to Friday’s arrest criticised police for the manner in which Lim was arrested. “I saw police officers use a completely unnecessary and unacceptable amount of force to arrest Danny for wearing a humorous sign," Christina Halm posted on Facebook.

“There was a crowd of at least 30 who had stopped in their tracks once we realised what was happening, clearly all shocked, gasping and crying at what we were seeing."

Niki Anstiss said Lim was trying to make people smile. “This is disgusting," she wrote. “I saw 3 police officers brutally rip his sign from his back and arrest him while he was screaming for them to not take his sign. He did nothing wrong."

New South Wales police declined to comment when asked about the physicality of Friday’s arrest.