Calls for independent investigation into Mardi Gras policing
NSW Greens MP Cate Faehrmann has called for an independent investigation into policing at this year’s Mardi Gras following numerous allegations of excessive force being used.
Video footage on YouTube of a young man being thrown to the ground and detained has sent shock waves through the community, as well as other reported incidents.
“The footage I've seen is very disturbing and I know it will be deeply shocking to the gay community that desperately wants to trust the police for their own safety,” Faehrmann said.
“For a distressed young man to be thrown violently to the ground and then continuing to be tread on despite already being handcuffed appears to be excessive force at best.”
Other allegations of police brutality involve leading gay activist Bryn Hutchinson who has alleged that he was kicked and stomped on after he attempted to cross the road.
Faehrmann said an independent investigation should examine whether homophobia was behind the unnecessary force used and whether police needed further training to prevent similar incidents in future.
“This community is one that still experiences homophobic violence and discrimination on the streets. Police officers should be trusted friends to this community – clearly there is a way to go yet,” Faehrmann said.
Independent MP Alex Greenwich has said he will be calling on the Police Minister to investigate “as a matter of urgency”.
"The local commands around Sydney have proven to be very supportive and worked well with the gay and lesbian community,” Greenwich said.
“This is what makes the footage so surprising and concerning"