By Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim
The Byron Bay police officer who struck a unadorned teenager 18 occasions together with his baton throughout a violent arrest may lose his job and probably face assault charges over the incident.
In his closing submission on the second of two hearings by the Regulation Enforcement Conduct Fee (LECC) into the young man’s arrest, the barrister helping the Fee, Terrence Rowles, submitted that hanging the 16-year-old 18 occasions amounted to “grossly pointless power”.
Through the incident, police tasered and doused the teenager with capsicum spray. One of many struck the younger man, who has Aspergers Syndrome, repeatedly with a baton as the teenager lie on the bottom and begged for assist. The officer gave a proper assertion making an attempt to justify his actions as an try to subdue the youth, not realizing the incident was captured on digicam.
Mr Rowles submitted that “The Fee ought to discover he unjustifiably used grossly pointless power… and tried to mislead the Fee as to the circumstances through which, and the explanations for which he did so.”
“It’s tough to keep away from the conclusion that this account was a fabrication designed to justify by reference to the suitable use of baton strikes, which was in any other case identified to the officer to be unreasonable”.
Place ought to be terminated
Mr Rowles further submitted that the LECC ought to advocate that the Police Commissioner take away the officer below section 181D of the Police Act, and search recommendation from the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) about laying assault charges.
The defence lawyer representing the alleged offender made submissions in writing reasonably than tackle the LECC in particular person. The lawyer submitted that the officer’s actions fell right into a ‘gray space’.
Actions ‘influenced’ by prior incident
The LECC additionally heard the actions of the officers might have been influenced by a previous incident in Byron Bay a few weeks earlier, when officers needed to cope with a unadorned 23-year previous man who allegedly threatened to kill himself close to the Byron Bay Lighthouse.
It was reported that whereas below the affect of LSD on the time, the person threw himself head-first into the windshield of the police automobile, then jumped on the bonnet and kicked within the windscreen, showering officers with glass. The person is alleged to have then jumped off the bonnet and punch and head-butt the passenger facet window.
Mr Rowles submitted, nevertheless, that there was a major distinction between the 2 incidents – there was no proof that the 16-year previous youth represented a menace to police or anybody else. On the contrary, each the CCTV footage and bystander video of the incident confirmed he represented no menace in any respect, as he was on the bottom crying for assist.
Mr Rowles instructed the LECC that police have been missing “even essentially the most rudimentary plan” for coping with the traumatised teen.
The LECC is now contemplating all proof and submissions, and a proper resolution is predicted in coming weeks.
What is cheap power in New South Wales?
The incident shines a highlight once again on police brutality, and has triggered debate about what constitutes ‘cheap power’ in New South Wales.
Section 231 of the Regulation Enforcement (Powers and Tasks) Act 2002 (NSW) gives that “A police officer or different one who workout routines an influence to arrest one other particular person might use such power as within reason essential to make the arrest or to stop the escape of the particular person after arrest.”
Any power above that which within reason essential to impact the arrest can quantity to an assault, and offenders might face felony fees commensurate with the nature of the act and any injury causes.