Kings Cross shooting: Concern over excessive force

Kings Cross shooting: Concern over excessive force

April 24, 2012

New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) has expressed concern at the excessive use of police force following a shooting incident in Sydney's Kings Cross over the weekend.

While NSWALC recognises that critical investigations are underway into this matter, footage captured on the scene shows NSW police using excessive and unacceptable levels of force.

NSWALC CEO, Geoff Scott, said the actions of police in this case were clearly heavy-handed.

"Raw footage of this incident shows a level of force used that must be a concern to any clear-thinking citizen," Mr Scott said.

"I think its pretty clear to anyone watching the vision, the wounded boys were no longer a risk to the broader community, and that their age and critical condition had been established before being doused with capsicum spray, pulled from the vehicle and assaulted.

"One would assume though, that the priority of police is to protect the health and safety of the NSW public.

Mr Scott also critcised the ongoing practice of police justifying their actions in the media despite ongoing, active investigations.

"This incident is obviously under investigation. It's hard then to fathom why the NSW police have jumped to make public comment about the incident to Sydney media," he said.

"This sort of trial by media only seems to appear when the police have a case to answer and are seeking some form of justification.

"Police commenting officially on police shootings amidst active investigations merely leads the public. It's a longstanding problem that needs to be addressed.

"The guilt or innocence of any party shouldn't be commented on until a full investigation is completed. The NSW police should not be above this very basic moral, ethical and legal consideration."

"NSWALC will monitor the outcomes of investigations into this matter very closely.

"Positive dealings with the police are vital to a cohesive and safe society. Incidents such as what we have observed here do little to foster that relationship."