Australia | Law Enforcement | News | Sydney

Shocking Incident of Police Brutality Caught on Camera at Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras: VIDEO


A press photographer caught what appears to be a troubling incident of police brutality on Saturday night on camera, as a reveler at Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was manhandled and assaulted in front of a crowd of onlookers.

Watch the clip (warning: violence), AFTER THE JUMP...

Sydney2Writes the cameraman:

I was a press photographer for the parade, walking along the backstreets shortly after it had concluded between 11pm and 11:30pm, we heard a man screaming for repeatedly for help.

Walking over we saw him being restrained by two police officers with another 4 in close proximity, he was repeatedly asking them "What have I done wrong?" which they would not respond, all they would say was "you are under arrest". He calling for people walking past to help him and with a large crowd of people began to surround the event. He was struggling and resisting but not aggressively.

The officers told him to stop resisting to which he would reply "why are you doing this I haven't done anything?."
The officer "FAIRFIELD LAC 266" then grabbed him by the back of the neck and slammed his head into the stone pavement, as he tried to get up he was then punched multiple times in the head, leaving blood all over the pavement. The crowd of people overlooking screaming at the officer to stop.

Sydney3After seeing that I began filming.

What I found most shocking about this event is that the other officers seem to be aware that the amount of force they are using was completely unmerited and excessive. So they hastily try to force me to stop filming.

As a press photographer I knew I was completely within my rights to film police officers in a public space, doing nothing wrong and breaking no laws, so I refused. You will notice I ask multiple times why I am not allowed to film and what laws am I breaking and receive no response.

There were at least 6 officers in the immediate vicinity, the victim was only small and could have easily been restrained by the officers without injury. Instead they choice to force him into submission by repeatedly punching him and throwing him into the pavement.

You'll also hear him asking over and over what he has done wrong to which he doesn't get a response.

Watch the clip (warning: violence), AFTER THE JUMP...

UPDATE: Reports on the incident from the Sydney Morning Herald:

"I'll be calling for an investigation," said the state MP for Sydney, Alex Greenwich. "From what we can see it does appear to be heavy handed and extremely concerning."

And the Australian site Same Same, which reports on another incident involving excessive force:

BruiseBryn Hutchinson, who until last month was co-convener for Community Action Against Homophobia – the group that organises and holds large regular marriage equality rallies in central Sydney – has told Same Same that about 11.25pm on Saturday he was unexpectedly set upon by up to five police officers from Parramatta Local Command as he crossed the Oxford Street near the intersection of Crown Street.

Hutchinson, 32, was with his partner, his sister and her friend when they decided to leave a Taylor Square hotel just after 11pm. Hutchinson, who is soon to commence studies for his PhD at the University of Sydney in the field of Bioethics, says he was not drunk or disorderly, or offensive or rude in any way, when the incident occurred...

...Hutchinson, who stands at 169cm and weighs only 65 kgs, said after a brief conversation with the police officer during which he said he was simply crossing the road he decided to continue to the other side.

“I can’t remember if he said anything more, but basically it was a verbal interchange and there was no physical contact. Then I was grabbed from behind by several police officers and then thrown onto the ground on my back. Then another police officer was leaning over me and threatening to charge me. I don’t know what he wanted to charge me with. I just kept saying I wanted to simply cross the road.

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  1. Disgusting. I can't watch the video.

    Posted by: Gigi | Mar 5, 2013 8:17:16 AM

  2. they look like a bunch of barbarians (the police)

    Posted by: oliver | Mar 5, 2013 8:24:36 AM

  3. Unless there is some amazing circumstance we don't yet know about, all of those offices should be fired and jailed.

    Posted by: Ken | Mar 5, 2013 8:27:56 AM

  4. The police force in Sydney is one of the most corrupt in the world. Recently, a tourist was tazered to death despite being in a drug-induced frenzy.

    Australia is basically a hole.

    Posted by: rise | Mar 5, 2013 8:29:04 AM

  5. Is it fair to say Australia's the most homophobic of all developed countries?

    Posted by: tcw | Mar 5, 2013 8:31:38 AM

  6. Alcohol. Some people can't handle it.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 5, 2013 8:31:41 AM

  7. The gay community in Sydney is pretty gutless and probably won't do anything about this.

    Posted by: rise | Mar 5, 2013 8:34:26 AM

  8. @Rise,

    I'll say upfront I don't particularly like police attitudes in many circumstances and I'm not a cop a** kisser, but how should a person in a 'drug induced frenzy' [I.E. a dangerous person, dangerous to themselves and those around them, and out of control] be handled? Tazers in theory are supposed to be less lethal means of getting an out of control suspect under control, as opposed to using a physical beating with sticks, hands, etc., Or as opposed to shooting them. Of course the people who market tasers greatly exaggerate when they claim it's non-lethal or even say 'less' lethal, because tasers do in fact have the potential to be lethal. But getting beaten with night sticks also has the potential to be lethal.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 5, 2013 8:39:23 AM

  9. It may be barbaric, but you should never ever actively resist arrest. They aren't going to not arrest you because you're resisting. They'll just beat you into submission. The time to complain is afterwards.

    Posted by: Merv | Mar 5, 2013 8:39:37 AM

  10. Ignore Ratbastard everyone. He'll ALWAYS be a troll.

    This is vile, inhumane, barbaric, sick and REPULSIVE on every level!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: Jimmy | Mar 5, 2013 8:42:32 AM

  11. Ratbastard/Rick: you are one sick monster to have that reaction to THIS incident caught on camera. You've sunk low before, but this is a new low. Even for you.

    Posted by: Real Talk | Mar 5, 2013 8:43:14 AM

  12. Can we all just agree to ignore Ratbastard and his constanting spinning of homophobic incidents where he ALWAYS blames gays and lesbians? Can we just ignore this cancer?

    Posted by: Duration & Convexity | Mar 5, 2013 8:44:02 AM

  13. I would sue the living life out of that police department. You don't have a right to nearly kill a human while arresting them.

    Posted by: Lee | Mar 5, 2013 8:44:45 AM

  14. The crowd should have swarmed the cops. What are they going to do, shoot them? They could have swarmed and surrounded them. They should have rioted. This would have made head line news not just in Australia. As it is, this will barely register. Too bad, because yes, it does look like genuine police brutality, although we don't know from this clip what led up to this incident, so maybe it's out of context.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 5, 2013 8:45:20 AM

  15. This is awful. You can see the fear in his eyes. Police are corrupt throughout the world. I've seen police personally target gay people for no reason at all.

    Posted by: Texas Dude | Mar 5, 2013 8:45:56 AM

  16. Horrible. Couldn't even really stomach seeing it. The reality is, the apologist and/or self hating crowd always manages to spin these stories to somehow blame gay people. They just don't like the idea of homophobes being held accountable for their actions. Police brutality toward all minorities, including gays, has been well reported. All throughout the world. Let's not pretend it doesn't happen often, and sadly, most times when cameras aren't there to catch it.

    Posted by: Greg | Mar 5, 2013 8:47:35 AM

  17. No, I'm not a 'troll'. What I said about alcohol [and other mind altering substances] is 100% true, and there are people in such situations as pride celebrations who get out of control. It's why bouncers and security exist. Same thing at clubs, bars and parties. Who denies this? I'm not saying this was absolutely what happened here, but all we know from this clip is what happened after a certain point, not what happened before then. Everything I wrote is rational, not troll-like.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 5, 2013 8:50:07 AM

  18. In a different context, this would be on a different kind of site and there would be people paying to watch this and enjoy this.

    Or at a different kind of festival, this would be a show some studio put on for entertainment.

    Obviously not in this instance, and it seems pretty clear that the above comments are not made by people who would enjoy such a scene or show. I feel bad for the guy, having been in a similar, but less extreme situation myself.

    Posted by: G | Mar 5, 2013 8:52:22 AM

  19. @Greg,

    I've seen and experienced police abuse of power against all kinds of people, period, not just 'minorities'. I've been subject to un-warranted harassment a few times by cops and I'm a white male and they [white and Asian male police] didn't know I was gay, so it had nothing to do with that.

    There's always some trouble at events where people 'party'. Everybody knows this, unless you live like a hermit.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 5, 2013 8:56:02 AM

  20. Guys, on the plus side, this is being picked up in Australia mainstream press. The Sydney Morning Herald currently lists it as the second headline on their main page:

    Posted by: Daniel | Mar 5, 2013 8:58:05 AM

  21. What we needed here was a Stonewall uprising against those pigs. And yes, Ratbastard you are a troll.

    Posted by: Ken | Mar 5, 2013 9:01:27 AM

  22. @Ken,

    Why can't posters like you just counter any point I've made that you disagree with instead of using the old, tired control mechanism of calling someone a name like 'troll'?

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 5, 2013 9:10:46 AM

  23. Not convinced either way just yet.

    Of course the victim's statements that he did nothing wrong don't really prove anything - both a guilty and an innocent person will say "but I've done nothing wrong" in this situation. Similarly, the fact that he's about to start a PhD program are irrelevant. Anyone can commit a crime, and that includes well-educated people.

    What facts do we actually have? Not enough. We don't see the events that immediately preceded this confrontation, and I'd like to know more about what happened. It is very hard to see what happens at 56 seconds into the video - does he kick the police officer before he is thrown to the ground?

    I still recall the "Corner Bistro" incident, well documented on here, where a very sympathetic story of homophobic abuse turned out to be fabricated. Ever since then I've been cautious.

    Posted by: Yeek | Mar 5, 2013 9:17:19 AM

  24. Couldn't watch the video, horrible. Hopefully the situation will be totally ivestigated.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Mar 5, 2013 9:20:00 AM

  25. Looks like the NYPD aren't the only pigs that take crowd control and their stupid fences so serious.

    Posted by: UDontKnow | Mar 5, 2013 9:28:08 AM

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