Equal accountability for NSW police

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The New South Wales police commissioner Michael Fuller

[https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/contact_us

has defended the officer who was filmed slamming a handcuffed and non resistant Indigenous boy face-first into pavement in Sydney, saying the officer “had a bad day”.

Police minister, David Elliott,

https://www.nsw.gov.au/nsw-government/ministers/minister-for-police-and-emergency-services

defended the officer, saying he was “horrified” by the language used by the teenager during the incident and “the response from the police was not unprovoked”.

Teachers, medical providers, foster parents, clergy all regularly interact with angry and troubled teens.They have bad days too.  But they would be fired and held criminally liable were they to take such an action.  This form of abuse is not even tolerated when it is a birth parent. There are few, if any, judges in Family Court that would accept "He was swearing at me" or "I had a bad day and she made me hit her" as an excuse to violently and without any reason to claim self-defence, slam a child into the pavement.  Much less a child already subdued and immobilised by handcuffs. 

He did't have a weapon.  He didn't spit. He was cuffed already, he had to go to hospital.  And it was a CHILD'S LANGUAGE that horrified the Minister?  The police officer was supposed to be the adult in the situation.  He had all the power in the situation. If he lacks the emotional maturity required to withstand a few harsh words without becoming the school yard bully he needs to be fired.  His prior 3 years of service without incident are irrelevant, maybe he was just never caught or reported.  There needs to be a zero tolerance policy and it needs to start NOW.

And the Commissioner who excuses his behaviour because his officer "had a bad day" needs to be censured.  And a Minister whose division is part of a larger department, The Department of Communities and Justice, that includes child protection services and was specifically created to "... support everyone's right to access justice and other help for families, and strengthen/bolster the promotion of early intervention and inclusion, with benefits for the whole community." needs to take a long look in the mirror and reconsider his priorities.

The NSW Justice Code of Ethics [HR002 Code of Ethics and Conduct Policy] is premised on the following five commitments:

• Integrity
• Trust
• Service
• Accountability
• Respect

The Minister and his Commissioner have failed to display any of these qualities in this situation. We just had a Royal Commission on institutional abuse - and here we are.  Police that beat up children and "leaders" that justify abuse.  We have learned nothing.  Write the Minister.  Write the Commissioner. Contact the office of the Premier - https://www.nsw.gov.au/premier-of-nsw/contact-premier -.THIS CAN NOT STAND.