Shooting spurs community outrage
- Jason Marshall
- Thursday, 3 May 2012
Last Tuesday hundreds gathered at NSW Parliament House to protest police brutality following the shooting of two teenage boys in Kings Cross in April.
The boys were trying to flee police in a stolen vehicle when they hit two people, causing the police to open fire through the windscreen.
The 14-year-old driver was hit in the arm and the chest, and his 17-year-old passenger took a bullet in the neck.
Video footage taken by a witness shows NSW police dragging the bleeding passenger across the pavement and punching him repeated in the head.
The boys, including another 4 passengers, one as young as 13, were from Mt Druitt and are charged with being in a stolen vehicle among other offences.
Assistant Police Commissioner Murdoch told ABC radio that the community should look at the police actions in context.
Rally organiser and president of the Indigenous Social Justice Association, Ray Jackson said it is wrong of the police to take the focus away from their own actions.
“The issue is the retaliation that the police decided they needed to do, they have no duty of care to the six occupants in that car,” he said.
“The police have had it easy for too long, and governments, instead of being the gutless mob that they are need to stand up and take their cops on.”
NSW Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge will be referring the matter to the Police Integrity Commission.
“Only in NSW where you have the government and the Labor opposition refusing to come out and have any criticism of the NSW police, could it be seen to be a radical step to be asking not to have police to investigate police, but to have an genuine independent inquiry when there are serious questions to be answered about police conduct,” Mr Shoebridge said.
The community fears an internal police investigation could lead to a white wash.
Mr Jackson read out a prepared statement from Gail Hickey, who was the mother of TJ Hickey, a boy who died after being impaled during a police chase in 2004.
The statement documented how the police denied her son proper medical treatment and then attempted to cover it up.
“There was no independent, transparent investigation, the officer also refused to give evidence in the coroners court about what he did that day that led to my son’s death,” Ms Hickey said.
“We must remember that this is not just an aboriginal problem, deaths in custody, assaults by police, are aimed at every citizen in NSW and the rest of the country. Police abuse our rights every day,” Mr Jackson said.
“They are our police and they must work to our moral code and ethics, not their warped, mutated, diseased way of doing things at their own pleasure.”
Mr Jackson said in the last four months, 5 people have died in police custody.
There will be a National Day of Action on May 12 to commemorate the more than 400 deaths in custody since 1980.
By Jason Marshall
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