Tuesday 4 May 2021, 4:30 pm
The Aboriginal Legal Service has welcomed charges brought against a serving NSW Police officer for common assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, following an arrest of an Aboriginal boy in June last year.
Video footage of the arrest went viral at the time, taking place amid Black Lives Matter protests worldwide following the murder of George Floyd by a US police officer.
“Aboriginal people are too often the target of systemic racism and police mistreatment. We are routinely harassed, stopped, questioned, and searched by police for no reason. We are refused bail at higher rates and disproportionately pursued through the courts for minor offences,” said Karly Warner, CEO of the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT (ALS).
“You can’t have justice without accountability. Police should be subject to the same laws that apply to the community. We welcome this step towards justice,” Ms Warner said.
The boy’s family also welcomed the charges.
“We as a family are happy with the way this is now proceeding, legally and fairly,” said a family spokesperson.
“We know we cannot discuss the details of this case now that charges have been laid. We as a family cry and share the grief and pain of the families who have had the lives of their young Black sons and daughters taken away from them violently by police and custodial authorities.
“Aboriginal people across Australia have been unfairly treated, racially vilified, and systematically oppressed since 1788.
“We look forward to the law being applied with fairness and justice.”
Media contact: Alyssa Robinson - [email protected] / 0427 346 017
A NSW Police media statement on this matter can be found here: https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/news/news_article?sq_content_src=%2BdXJsPWh0dHBzJTNBJTJGJTJGZWJpenByZC5wb2xpY2UubnN3Lmdvdi5hdSUyRm1lZGlhJTJGOTUyMTkuaHRtbCZhbGw9MQ%3D%3D