Police officer escapes punishment after investigation found he slammed Indigenous boy to the ground


Australian police officer slams a handcuffed indigenous boy into the ground during a forceful arrest – but is cleared of any wrongdoing ‘because the teenager spat on him first’

  • A teenage boy was shoved to the ground during an arrest in Perth in 2018
  • An internal review found the five police officers had done nothing wrong 
  • In video footage, the boy is seen being thrown to the floor and hitting his head
  • One eyewitness who pleaded with police to get off the boy was also arrested
  • It comes amid concerns about the treatment of indigenous people by police 

A police officer who slammed a handcuffed indigenous boy to the ground has escaped any punishment over the incident.

Shocking video footage shows the teenager being shoved and his face pushed into the pavement during an arrest outside Perth train station on July 7, 2018. 

Despite being sat down on a bollard and handcuffed, the boy is then seen being thrown to the ground by an officer, causing him to hit his head on the pavement.

An internal investigation found the force used by the officer was ‘necessary and not excessive’, according to the Guardian. 

The decision comes amid rising concerns about police attitudes towards indigenous people in Australia and New Zealand.

It follows the death of American man George Floyd, who died after a policeman knelt on his neck for eight minutes, sparking the Black Lives Matter protest movement.  

The CCTV footage from Perth showed the teenager surrounded by five police officers, sitting down with his hands tied behind his back.

He then appears to speak to the officers, and is then grabbed and dragged to the ground, where he hit his head.  

An officer is then seen using his forearm to push the boy’s face into the pavement for almost 60 seconds, before another officers pulls his legs up and leans on him. 

The officers are seen grappling with the boy on the floor outside Perth train station on July 7, 2018 (pictured) with an internal investigation claiming they didn't use excessive force

The officers are seen grappling with the boy on the floor outside Perth train station on July 7, 2018 (pictured) with an internal investigation claiming they didn’t use excessive force

The boy cried out in pain, according to a witness, who was also arrested for obstructing police after trying to intervene.      

‘It’s excessive force,’ Nicholas van Hattem, president of the WA Law Society, said.

‘Once someone has been detained and placed in handcuffs, if there’s not a physical risk there, and it seems very clear from the footage that there isn’t, there seems to be no reason to push him to the ground in that way.’

The internal police investigation heard that the officer believed the teenager ‘had spat at them or was preparing to spit at them’.

It found the officers have no case to answer and hadn’t used excessive force.    

Witness Tanya De Souza-Meally (pictured, far right) is seen pleading with police on the night in question, saying they were 'hurting' the teenage boy

Witness Tanya De Souza-Meally (pictured, far right) is seen pleading with police on the night in question, saying they were ‘hurting’ the teenage boy

The eyewitness arrested for obstruction, which was later dropped, said she had been walking past the train station when she saw the boy surrounded by police. 

‘I overheard this boy sounding kind of distressed. He was saying ‘I want to get home, how am I going to get home’,’ witness Tanya De Souza-Meally explained. 

She said the officers’ actions towards the boy had been ‘shocking and brazen’, saying she had pleaded with them to ‘stop hurting him’.

The Black Lives Matter protests began in the US after Mr Floyd’s death on May 25, but soon spread to Australia and New Zealand.

Activists have been calling for better treatment for indigenous people, and for an end to Aboriginal deaths in police custody.

Black Lives Matter protesters rally in Melbourne's CBD on June 6 (pictured) as the treatment of indigenous people is put under the spotlight

Black Lives Matter protesters rally in Melbourne’s CBD on June 6 (pictured) as the treatment of indigenous people is put under the spotlight 

The boy's face was pushed to the ground during the arrest outside Perth train station (pictured) in July 2018

The boy’s face was pushed to the ground during the arrest outside Perth train station (pictured) in July 2018

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Manoj Prajapati

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