NSW Police is investigating one of its own officers, who was filmed kicking and pinning an Indigenous teenager to the ground during an arrest in inner-Sydney yesterday.
- In the video, the boy verbally threatens the officer before being kicked down
- He was treated in hospital after the arrest
- NSW Police Minister David Elliott said he had been briefed on the incident
The video, which was shared on social media last night, shows three police officers speaking to a group of Indigenous teenagers in Surry Hills.
In it, a 17-year-old boy, who cannot be identified under NSW law, can be heard speaking to a male police officer before saying “I’ll crack ya f**king jaw bro”.
The male officer can then be seen walking towards the boy and ordering him to “turn around” before holding his hands behind his back.
The officer then kicks the teenager’s legs out from underneath him, causing the boy to fall to the ground face-first.
Two female officers help to hold the teenager down as he is handcuffed.
The police officer has been placed on restricted duties while the investigation takes place.(Supplied: Facebook)
Central Metropolitan Region Commander Mick Willing appealed for the public to let the investigation run its course, particularly given the widespread anti-police protests globally.
“We’re all aware of incidents that have taken place in the United States and other parts of the world, and we are very aware of the sensitivities of what’s occurring overseas,” he said.
“Am I concerned about what I’ve seen in that footage? Absolutely, I am concerned, but I’m equally concerned about others who may use this footage to inflame it and turn it into something that it’s not.”
NSW Police is concerned people will use the Surry Hills arrest video to inflame tensions
He said the investigation would be conducted “thoroughly and openly” and police were talking to the boy’s family and community members.
Police were attending an unrelated incident in the area at the time.
The teenager has not been charged with any offences.
The officer involved is a junior constable who has been in the force for three years.
“There were words exchanged between them, which caused the constable to react and whether or not that reaction is appropriate is subject to that investigation,” Assistant Commissioner Willing said.
The boy receives medical treatment after being arrested in Surry Hills.(Facebook: Justice for Buddy, Lewis Kelly Jnr)
NSW Police confirmed the boy was taken to hospital for observation before being released into the custody of his family “pending further inquiries”.
“An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the arrest is now underway by officers attached to the Professional Standards Command,” the statement said.
“The constable involved has been placed on restricted duties while this review is carried out.”
NSW Police Minister David Elliott said he had seen the footage and had been briefed on the incident by the Acting Police Commissioner.
“The young fellow has gone home, the police are engaging with his family about the matter,” Mr Elliott said.
“And of course there will be a review of the standard operating procedures to make sure that all of those procedures were complied with.”
Officers pin the boy to the ground during the arrest.(Supplied: Facebook)
Nathan Moran from the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, based in Redfern, said the teenager’s arrest was an example of over-policing and the excessive use of force.
“Flicking the kid face-first onto a hard ground … that’s never warranted,” he said.
“Yes, I acknowledge he made some inappropriate verbal threats but you could see that nowhere did he pose a physical threat to warrant being flipped front-first onto his face, that’s just appalling.”
Mr Moran said the excessive use of force by the police was an ongoing issue for the Aboriginal community.
“Twenty-nine years ago we had a Royal Commission that highlighted that this type of policing should not continue,” he said.
“To think that we’re in 2020 and it’s still happening tells me that we have a long way to go.”