It's a sad day when a grown man in uniform feels the need to brutally bodyslam a 15 year old girl.
I'm still shocked after watching the CCTV footage. After the girl walks through an open gate, he and a group of officers chase after her -- seconds later, the ticket inspector throws her against the fence, picks her up and body-slams her into the concrete. The group of officers stand around him looking on.
Yes, she was attempting to break the law by not paying for a ticket, but that is no excuse for his actions. How is throwing someone half your weight to the ground ever appropriate? He was angry and defensive, but even worse -- Metro Trains has supported his actions saying the officer "exercised his functions reasonably."
There was nothing reasonable about his actions. And it's unbelievable that Metro Trains could condone this sort of violence towards passengers. Shockingly, after a complaint from the officer it's now the 15 year-old girl being charged with assaulting the officer for slapping him.
This young girl could have been paralysed, acquired a brain injury, or worse. This kind of violence against anyone is unacceptable. Systemised and accepted violence is even worse -- and it's up to us, society, to say this is not tolerable and denounce violence wherever we see it. Authorised Officers often get a bad rap, but in this case it is justified. Metro Trains now has the opportunity to show some leadership by denouncing confrontational violence as a solution.
I'm asking Metro Trains to call to account the officer involved and provide anti-violence training to all Officers to prevent future abuse. Metro Trains should also offer counselling to any officers involved in violent incidents.
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