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Video: Witnesses allege police brutality at Sydney Mardi Gras 2013

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  1. This video is shocking, you can clearly see the police forcibly push the man onto the ground at one point, it is a miracle he did not have any broken bones.

    I sincerely hope that those police involved will be punished appropriately but I somehow doubt it.

    1. The police officer who has slammed the handcuffed, defenceless boy’s head into the pavement needs to get sacked, before he seriously hurts or kills someone who “uses offensive language£”.

    2. The police officer who slammed the handcuffed, defenceless boy’s head into the pavement needs to get sacked, before he seriously hurts or kills someone who “uses offensive language”.

  2. Although I understand dealing with inebriated folk needs more robust handling at times – this seems a little heavy handed for the situation…

    1. a LITTLE heavy handed? The police need to be brought up on charges. There is no excuse for this. We can see it with our own eyes.

  3. ColinJones 5 Mar 2013, 2:29pm

    I don’t really see the point of these Pride events,how does half-naked boy bands,carnival floats and drag queens give us any pride in being gay? I would say online communities like this one are much better for fostering solidarity among gay people nowadays.

    1. What an appalling and inhumane response to the content of this video, Colin.

    2. Because dear colin , it was marches like this that enabled you to have the freedom to be yourself. Now go google gay history. Stonewall would be a good starting point

    3. Actually go to one, there is more to these events than just the part the media presents…

    4. Colin clearly from your comment you have never been to Sydney GLBT Mardigras not have any understanding of the festival.

      When I see a comment that has been clearly made by what can only be ignorant, negative type of character I usually just ignore them.

      However there was something about the way you have commented that I just wanted to say I feel sorry for you – what a sad bitter little individual you must be to have made a comment like you have above.

      1. ColinJones 5 Mar 2013, 5:15pm

        OK, I apologise!!!

  4. Having watched this video, and having lived for some years in Sydney, though many years ago, it seems to me that the two police officers featured most prominently in this footage are BRUTES.

    They are big odious BRUTES. And I hate to have to say it but one of them seems to me to be of “New Australian” origin, i.e. possibly someone born of Lebanese or other Middle Eastern immigrants, not part of the Western or Australian mindset, someone who is homophobic and who has unfortunately let his homophobic feelings get the better of him.

    Well done to those persons who had nothing to do with the young man who was assaulted but who hung around to support him!

    And well done to the person who persisted in taking this footage, and to that woman in the glitter who didn’t quit the scene though she too had no relationship with the young man who was assaulted.

    Sydney LGBTs, you need to RAGE about this EN MASSE so that there is a massive enquiry into homophobia within the Sydney police force.

    1. Terry Stewart 5 Mar 2013, 3:16pm

      Here we go “Blame the Arabs”. The death of hundreds of Aboriginal people in Police cells and Prisons took place long before the “New Austrialians” arrived. The fact is, the New Australians arrived with Captain Cooke and friends and they were not Arabs.

      This behaviour is truely shocking and uncalled for, but it happens all the time to many communities and yet we invite the same Police force to lead Pride. Time to unite with other communities in opposing this sort of Police Brutality against all communities.

    2. Eddie

      You are racist scum

      1. Open your eyes and remove the sanctimonious shades off them. The dodge the razor cop is clearly of middle eastern extraction and most likely a muslim (and they are so well known for their modern thinking and love of equality for all). His conduct falls so far below acceptable for a uniformed police officer as to merit dismissal. This is not about race it is about people behaving according to the law and this policeman is obviously not up to the job.

    3. Does the policeman who tries to stop the man from filming strike you as being of “middle EAstern extraction” too?

  5. Once while I was living not far from Sydney’s gay Oxford Street I passed the police station on Taylor Square (at the top of Oxford Street) late one night and saw three big burly policemen beating a man up inside. One of them turned and saw me outside watching. In an instant he rushed to window and dropped a blind so that I could see nothing more.

    Scared the death out of me, I can tell you. After that I always crossed the road when I saw Sydney police coming towards me.

  6. There is no brutality in the footage. The guy was clearly resisting arrest. Who knows what happened off film – it’s just speculation. Lets hope that those witnesses make complaints if they saw anything unprofessional.

    Those people squaking about homophobia must be watching a different film.

    1. are you kidding. No brutality, resisting arrest! WTF! The kid had his head slammed into the ground, if this is not brutality then i dont know what is. he is not struggling or fighting back so this hardly constitutes resisting arrest. i suggest sir thatif you think this behavious by the police force is acceptable then you need to take a good hard look at yourself.

    2. So you don’t class being pushed to the ground, forcibly, while handcuffed and crying does not constitute brutality? What planet do you live on?

      At no point is the guy who they are trying to arrest, resist, he is crying after having his head hit of the ground (I’ve no doubt that there may be other footage to surface soon) and is clearly pushed on to the ground, you can actually hear it when he hits the footpath.

      Can I suggest that you watch this footage again and re-assess you comment?

    3. Ian Bower 5 Mar 2013, 3:20pm

      55 seconds in and he smashes his head onto the concrete.
      Oh, just play fighting then?

    4. My goodness you guys should all apply to be judges as you clearly don’t need anything more than a few moments of obscured footage to decide people should go to prison! Who needs the criminal justice system when we have these genius armchair telepaths on Pink News forums?! Or maybe we could all remember we are cognisant grown-ups and await due process?

      Mob rule anyone? *rolls eyes*

      1. Reb

        There won’t ever be any “due process” unless people who witness assaults by the police make a very big fuss. They are one organisation that historically has been very good at closing ranks and impeding due process.

        It should be clear from watching the whole footage that onlookers – who did not know the man arrested – were deeply shocked and distressed by what they had seen. We have every right to form a judgment on the basis of that evidence, just as the onlookers formed their judgment on the basis of what they saw with their own two eyes. We do not need the permission of judges, juries or the often untrustworthy discretion of a state prosecution service, before we are allowed to protest at very strong prima facie evidence of brutality.

    5. idiot.

  7. This is a shame. That dark skinned cop slammed him to the ground for no reason. It seemed the other cops were protecting the little guy from that scum. He is guilty of abuse and should be let go for busting that guys head open.

  8. Michael anthony 5 Mar 2013, 3:19pm

    While excessive force may have been used, its difficult to say with 100% certainity due to the short length of the video. Its up to investigators or a court of law to determine.
    Its odd to see so many posters having already made their mind up based on this snippet. Aren’ t we always asking others to not make snap judgments of us.
    One problem for the man arrested, hr is clearly under the influence. Drugs and alcohol air rampant at Mardi gras.
    Finally, police abuse is widespread and everywhere. They do it for sport it seems. With that in mind, I doubt this is homophobic. If this was the first abuse charge of the year, perhaps then bias may be at play.

    1. Tolerance 5 Mar 2013, 9:53pm

      Of course it was a homophobic attack! The video evidence does not lie. Do you think it was all photo shopped? If you listen to the audio carefully you can hear his head hitting the pavement.

      Unfortunately, here in Sydney (and in most other states) homophobia is still alive in law enforcement and those in the force responsible for such attacks, whether they are ‘imports’ or dinky-di Aussies, should be dismissed or severely dealt with. It reminded me of what happened 35 years ago in the first parade.

  9. Samuel B. 5 Mar 2013, 3:24pm

    I remember when a pound would buy three Aussie dollars.

    Now it is virtual parity (one for one)!

    What’s more these days from what i hear you have to deal with aggressive customs officials before even entering the country, inclement and unsettled weather every Mardi Gras time, horrible “pokie” machines that have killed the vibe in all the city’s clubs and bars, the former gay mecca of Oxford Street now a virtual no-go zone, sniffer dogs on the dance floors of the big parties, £5 for a skooner of beer…

    I mean, who in their right minds would put themselves through 24-plus hours in a pressurised tube twice over for THAT?!

    Just glad that as an (ahem) extreme lithe young thing I caught the end wave of gay Sydney’s heyday at the tail end of the 1990s.

    Oh, and the lifeguards’ speedos were even skimpier and clinging on for dear life back in those days too.

    Sigh…

    1. Samuel B

      All very interesting: but this article/video is about what seems to be disgusting police brutality against a young man at Mardi Gras. Maybe that’s the topic we should be posting about, rather than the price of beer?

      1. I was merely pointing out OTHER reasons for not jumping on a plane to Oz these days – apart from being pinned to the ground and kneed by thuggish cops!

        Have a glass of sherry and calm your nerves down, dear!

  10. jackalison 5 Mar 2013, 3:35pm

    The history of Mardi Gra and the ever present spectre of police brutality is all 2 common and not unusual. In Australia. Police violently shoot, maim and kill with impugnity.,

    Tyler Cassidy was a 15 year old minor shot at point blank by 4 gun toting officers.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyler_Cassidy
    More recently a 21 year old Brazilian national was handcuffed taser tortured and 3 cans of pepper spray used by 9 officers. Dead of course.
    http://www.theage.com.au/national/tasered-brazilian-student-had-brilliant-future-20120321-1vkdr.html
    There are also very tragic cases of black Australians who ‘mysteriously” die in custody.
    This is the real Australia.
    A violent, women hating ,racist homophobic country that refuses to honor any of international human rights obligations.

  11. What happened to the man being abused? Does anyone know?

    1. Tolerance 6 Mar 2013, 9:10am

      Finn, here is a link to a TV interview tonight (Wednesday) with 18 year old Jamie Jackson (the person assaulted by a Western Sydney yobbo copper. It seems that Sharia law has come to Sydney. Hope you can open it to see the interview. In case you can’t, all he did was tickle a girl on the back in the crowd during the party atmosphere in the street. She turned around and said nothing.

      The cops saw it and then wanted to arrest him for assault, altho there was no complaint from the girl. The rest is on the video. Now Jamie faces court for assault and hindering police. Can you believe what’s happening in this damn world? He wasn’t drunk or on drugs. There’s a protest march thru Sydney on Friday at 6pm.
      http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8622077

    2. Tolerance 6 Mar 2013, 9:43am

      Mr Jackson has said he only has a foggy memory of the event.
      “I do remember the first slam to the ground and when I hit the ground I blanked out and then I started crying,” he told A Current Affair.
      Mr Jackson says he was having a good time with his mates celebrating Mardi Gras when things quickly got out of control.

      Mr Jackson remembers tickling a girl on her back after which the police approached him accusing him of assault.
      “I kind of didn’t see what they meant by assault, I didn’t understand — there was way more serious stuff going on”

      “And then it escalated and got heavy…I don’t know how it got that far.”
      During the altercation Mr Jackson was thrown to the ground and had a policeman stamp on his back with his boot.

      Mr Jackson says he has yet to see a doctor about the incident and wishes the whole thing would just “go away”.
      Mr Jackson says he has no anger towards the police force in general, only towards the specific officer who threw him to the ground.

  12. Thugs in uniform. No wonder they didn’t want to be filmed. Scum!

  13. My goodness you guys should all apply to be judges as you clearly don’t need anything more than a few moments of obscured footage to decide people should go to prison! Who needs the criminal justice system when we have these genius armchair telepaths on Pink News forums?! Or maybe we could all remember we are cognisant grown-ups and await due process?

    Mob rule anyone? *rolls eyes*

    1. David Myers 6 Mar 2013, 11:05am

      TROLL – you are repeating yourself. Go away!

  14. SHAME on the Sydney Police.
    SHAME on a society that let’s them get away with it.

  15. Good publicity for Sydney? Going to put off a lot of tourists from visiting in future

  16. Brett Gibson 5 Mar 2013, 5:13pm

    Yet another example of the police FORCE thinking they are above the law themselves. Absolutely disgusting and I have every faith that this copper’s days will be numbered.

    1. Don’t be so sure, the police always protect their own. Never ever trust a police man, they are all violent lying scum.

  17. Mick Davis 5 Mar 2013, 5:18pm

    There is an old joke about the intelligence of police in Oz (with a polite answer and a not polite answer) –

    Q: Why do the police always travel in threes?

    A1: One to talk to you, one to listen to you and one to keep an eye on two dangerous intellectuals.

    A2: Two to hold you while the other one kicks the crap out of you.

  18. Lets remember that there are two incidents in this one instance. The camera starts filming AFTER the young man has already been arrested, and while the young woman is already explaining that they had smashed his head into the ground. That’s one clear example of police brutality according to witnesses there, but not on film.
    We then see ANOTHER example of it when the same thug slams the young man down again.

    I think it’s important to remember that this instance involves two moments of violence, one on camera, the other before the filming started.

    This wasn’t just a “one off”, presumably the same officer assaulted the young man, then assaulted him again when so much attention angered him.

    Apparently the police in Sydney investigate themselves too. That’s great – for covering up and burying a story! If anyone thinks anything will happen to that officer as a result of this without mass protest then they’re mistaken.
    The question is, will the people of Sydney actually care about this?

  19. Consider for a moment what the response would be if the victim of this were a woman, or a black person, or a Muslim… If it were any of those there would be (rightly so) hundreds and possibly thousands out in the street protesting, blockading the police station, harassing the media and politicians. But what will happen in this case?

    I hate to say it, but I think our days of real effective protest are over. We’ve become one of the most apathetic minorities when it comes to these abuses.

    Other communities and sections of society stand up for one another, but it seems that often our fellow gay citizens are too distracted to actually care. I hope I’m wrong, I think there needs to be loud protest about this, but I just don’t see it happening.

  20. Stop whinging 6 Mar 2013, 12:59am

    Little faggot got what he deserved. If he did what he was told and shut up nothing would have happened. It’s not a gay bashing because the same thing would happen to a straight guy.
    Stop whining and get over it

    1. Daniel Howard 7 Mar 2013, 12:26am

      Whether it is gay bashing or not is besides the point! It’s police brutality! And how dare you use such vulgar language on this website. You should get out of here and clean your mouth with soap! Shame on you!

    2. Hear hear…..its called maintaining the laws we all want…..trybeing a cop and dealing withcrap and scum everyday for little thanks…..if any.
      Some cops can get a bit heavy but they are supposed Tobe obeyed not challenged…. Cops are human to and have stress levels like we do…..

    3. Tim Hanafin 16 Sep 2013, 7:20pm

      You’re a homophobic moron. There is no excuse for police behaving in this way, whatever the event and there is no excuse for using that nasty little term, imported from America. Also have the balls to use your name you pathetic piece of excrement.

  21. Apparently many people felt threatened by the police presence at Mardigras this year so you have to wonder if the word was given that it’s ok to go after the gays now that a conservative government is in power. This was not an isolated incident. There are many stories emerging.

  22. There is now a petition for an independent investigation into this dreadful incident. Please visit and sign at http://www.communityrun.org/petitions/stop-police-brutality-at-mardi-gras?state=thanks

  23. Police brutality! Had this been an event similar to London’s Notting Hill Carnival and the same police brutality occurred, it would have resulted in rioting.

    If Australian authorities are not willing to listen to complaints about this incident and if the police involved are not disciplined then the Australian LGBT community need to act accordingly by having protest marches – not cheerful Pride parades, but angry protest marches.

  24. This young man is so obviously not threatening to anyone and repeats time and again he hasn’t done anything wrong – sydney police take the law into their own hands and seem to think they can inflict violence on anyone. Slamming a head into concrete of a slight crying man – come on I know who committed a crime here- ombudsman investigation please !!

  25. If, as stated the man proceeded to cross the road, while a parade was in progress, after being directed to stay where he was then he broke the law by not obeying a Police Directive. Physical restraint and arrest is permitted, especially if for the man’s safety. Excessive force is not!
    It seems to me to be difficult to throw a person to the ground and smack their head against it by holding onto their throat. Was he there4 “thrown” or did he “fall” due to his drug (includes alcohol) affected state and the Officer was unable to restrain him because he did not have an appropriate hold, i.e. one that anticipated such a possibility.
    Was the “crack” sound actually the slap of an officer’s shoe on the pavement (as witnessed during the video) as some1 moved to try & stop the fall?
    Where are the “Media” credentials of the videographer or is she is guilty of lying to the Police & risking the rights of legitimate media representatives?
    I think these questions also deserve an answer?

    1. Tolerance 6 Mar 2013, 6:39am

      Scott Weber, head of the Police Association, has labelled the public response to the video as “trial by social media”.

      But Supt Murdoch said it was a “right of the community to film anyone in a public space”.

      “Police need to be mature enough to know everyone on the street has a mobile phone and that anyone has the right to record anyone in a public space,” he said.

      The gay sister of federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, Christine Forster, said she could “barely watch” the video.
      “Terrible to see such an incident when Mardi Gras is such a celebration of community,” the local politician tweeted, under the hashtag #MardiGrasBrutality.
      An online petition launched since lunch time is calling on Police Minister Mike Gallacher to “ensure a full and fair investigation of allegations of violence and excessive use of force by police at Mardi Gras.

      Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national-news/police-accused-of-mardi-gras-brutality/story-fncynjr2-1226591264039#ixzz2MjshIoob

    2. Max walking into the street when the police tell you not to is a civil matter and therefore not justification for any physical restraint. The crime is a misdemeanor at most! He should have been ticketed and sent on his way. Police can only physically intervene with force when the (criminal code) is broken. That did not happen. That cop committed a crime. Plain and simple!

  26. im not condoning police action in any way.. but just for clarity this is another video of the event before the one on youtube showing the kid going ape at police.. i think the cop involved used incredibly excessive force but there is more than one side to the story..
    for the record i think that the cop should have action taken against him and definitely be held accountable im just a little sick of people framing it as though the kid did nothing to begin with..although thats not a justification for the amount of force used
    http://video.heraldsun.com.au/2340853617/Mardi-Gras-incident

    1. Watched the “clip” …and that what it was a clip. The fact is the police have no right to use force to enforce a civil law! Meaning he was within his rights to resist the illegal acts of the officers! They were the ones breaking the criminal code. Justifying the use of force on them. They are just people in those uniforms you know… The law applies to them too.Even more so.. THEY swore an oath! That boy did not!

  27. Unless we fight hard against police brutality and sheer viciousness we will let the police get used to the idea they can behave the same way as they do in China, North Korea or other countries that have little regard for basic civil rights.

    the greatest possible outcry must be raised and the police responsible should be severely sanctioned, probably dismissed. unless this occurs we will know that there is no real justice in our community and the police are just another gang that should be treated as such by the public.

  28. Joe Smith 6 Mar 2013, 8:55am

    holding a person by the neck, throwing them to the groune and ordering the stopping of filming with a “because I said so attitude” (not answering the question as to what law forbids it) shows the police officer involved was in the wrong

    1. Tolerance 6 Mar 2013, 9:17am

      This copper was certainly out of order. He should freshen up on the ‘rule book.’ The police Super certainly got it right!

      Police Supt Murdoch said it was a “right of the community to film anyone in a public space”.

      “Police need to be mature enough to know everyone on the street has a mobile phone and that anyone has the right to record anyone in a public space,” he said.

  29. Alex Slider 6 Mar 2013, 9:15am

    We don’t see reports of excessive Police violence at other large public events so how else are we to see this as nothing but deep seated institutionalized homophobia.

    The video speaks for itself. The actions of the police in this instance are inexcusable.

    But what is anyone going to do about it?

    If you feel strongly enough about this you can start by attending this,

    https://www.facebook.com/events/616731265020510/

  30. Samuel B. 6 Mar 2013, 9:21am

    I would point out that this incident is more likely to be symptomatic of the coarsening of police brutality in all western countries as opposed to being indicative of blatant homophobia.

    Dozens of similar You Tube videos are posted every week giving similar examples, often far more explicit acts of violence perpetrated against the public.

    Rodney King’s deplorable beating in the 1980s have rise to riots across LA.

    Today we are being conditioned into accepting the emerging thuggish police state as normal.

  31. No one deserves to be treated like that! Sydney Mardi Gras is of my bucket list. That police officer is a disgrace to the police force -a disgrace to Australia.

  32. Antz Lewis 6 Mar 2013, 12:08pm

    My partner and I attended last years Mardis Gras and experienced similar aggressive police enforcement which included us being searched twice at the harbour party by two separate gangs of police with sniffer dogs which we considered harassment at the time so left, a full on police raid on the Stonewall Bar when we were queuing to get in – the incredulous irony appeared to be list on the docile Aussie gay boys, and not us but others being virtually strip searched in public going into the main Party. I vowed never to return to Sydney.

  33. JJ Jurisprudence 6 Mar 2013, 2:20pm

    I just viewed this tape. I am an American and would just like to say the following based on what I saw. If the bearded police officer shown throwing the handcuffed man to the ground in a manner which could have caused death or serious injury is not promptly removed from the his job on a permanent basis and does not serve at least 5 years in prison for the Australian equivalent of aggravated assault under color of authority I would urge organization of a targeted economic boycott of whatever government /business activity is appropriate in order to force this outcome. If a list could be published of the appropriate goods/services I would honor such a boycott and urge others to as well. The other officers who witnessed but did not intervene should all receive a formal reprimand unless evidence exists to show they acted appropriately. This event shows exactly the type of policing we do not need or want anywhere in the world at any time. My heart goes out to the young man + all present.

  34. Just wanted to add: God bless the brave photographers and witnesses who resisted the pressure from the authorities to stop filming. You may have saved this young man’s life. I am not religious at all but you acted as angels in this case. I hope someone like you is/are around the next time someone is selected to be the punching bag of an out-of-control officer shaming his badge in this truly outrageous manner. Shame on you Sydney police department for allowing this to happen. We the people are watching you more than ever now. You are destroying our trust and your credibility.

  35. Police Chief David Couper 6 Mar 2013, 5:12pm

    The proper policing of a democracy is best undertaken by men and women who are formally educated, carefully selected, well-trained, expected to control their use of force, be honest in their actions, reports and court testimony, courteous to every person regardless of their station in life, led by mature, collaborative leaders, and closely in touch with the communities they serve (and that includes GLBT communities!). For more, follow my blog at http://improvingpolice.wordpress.com and peruse my new book on the subject.

    1. Whatever your sexual orientation, keep it to yourself. Don’t hit the streets doing drugs, drinking and think you are impervious to our countrys laws. Cops are there to keep things moving along, uphold the law. The scumbags and dirtbags they deal with daily to keep our society safe is full time. They are human, have stress levels and expect to be obeyed. Bad luck to that guy

    2. de Villiers 7 Mar 2013, 1:49pm

      > Whatever your sexual orientation, keep it to yourself.

      Really? Do heterosexual men shouting and leering at women keep their sexual orientation to themselves?

      There is no reason for anyone to have to keep their sexuality to themselves – any more than they have to hide the colour of their hair.

  36. That is one scumbag thug policeman. If he doesn’t loose his job then there’s a problem.

    I’d like to know what religion the policeman believes in – I think that might point to a reason why he brutally attacked a skinny little gay guy.

  37. This is just awful and did you see the size of that bearded cop against Bryn’s small frame! What a brute and coward that man is!!! The whole thing is just shocking. I’ve seen animals treated better.

    Two words bigoted homophobe!

    1. I need to correct something here. The young mans name is Jamie Jackson! For some reason Pink News decided not to give his name anywhere and confuse everyone with another case of this other guy called Bryn.

      Here’s an interview with the young man from this incident!

      http://www.queerty.com/victim-of-alleged-mardi-gras-police-brutality-speaks-organizers-cops-address-incidents-20130306/#comment-725549

  38. Whatever your sexual orientation, keep it to yourself. Don’t hit the streets doing drugs, drinking and think you are impervious to our countrys laws. Cops are there to keep things moving along, uphold the law. The scumbags and dirtbags they deal with daily to keep our society safe is full time. They are human, have stress levels and expect to be obeyed. Bad luck to that guy

  39. onesecond 7 Mar 2013, 1:33pm

    That is not alleging, that is proving!!! Pinknews should change the headline immediately!!

  40. Absolutely appalled watching those who “uphold the law” using such force against a mere strip of a boy. I hope they are currently suspended and consequently jailed. Scumbags.

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