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May 8, 2021

Police pepper spray inquiry supports officers

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An internal inquiry into police use of capsicum spray on a ‘lock-on’ protester has found its use was acceptable, claiming the man was not locked onto equipment and was resisting arrest at the time of the incident.

But the in-house police investigation into the incident has been slammed by NSW Council of Civil Liberties for it being conducted by police from the same local area command, and taking just two days to complete.

Echonetdaily reported exclusively last Wednesday that Gareth Devenish of Mullumbimby was sprayed directly in the eyes by police at close range and had ‘pain compliance techniques’ applied to him during a lock-on to the underside of a truck at the protest site the previous day.

Police allege Mr Devenish only locked on after being sprayed and was kicking at officers and resisting arrest.

But despite being arrested at the time, Mr Devenish has yet to be charged by police.

‘It’s very surprising that the police are now alleging the protester assaulted them. This allegation seems to have been made only after the incident has received media attention,’ Stephen Blanks, secretary of NSW Council for Civil Liberties, told Echonetdaily this morning.

‘The police are on a campaign to abolish the right to silence in NSW but in this particular case the police took the protester to the police station after the incident occurred and it would seem none of these allegations they now want to make were put to him at the police station, when they could have been.

‘If the right to silence was abolished in NSW, this is a clear case where the police evidence may be disbelieved because it wasn’t mentioned at the first available opportunity.’

Northern Rivers Guardians spokesman Scott Sledge told ABC’s AM program last Thursday that he was on the other side of the truck when Mr Devenish was sprayed, so he (Mr Sledge) yelled to police that they could ‘not do that as he was locked on and defenceless and that’s torture’.

The investigation’s finding also appears to fly in the face of strict police guidelines for the use of the spray, which are limited to: ‘protect[ing] human life, as a less lethal option for controlling people where violent resistance or confrontation occurs, or as protection against animals’.

 


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6 COMMENTS

  1. Of course they were cleared, they always are which clearly shows the ridiculous nature of internal inquiries. Such internal “investigations” invariably allow the police to carry out any type of terrorist activity they wish with utter impunity and is a clear demonstration of the farcical nature of the Australian “justice” system. A system which has zero to with justice and which has everything to do with supporting the corporate rape of this country.

  2. I am horrified that this incident was seen by many and appeared that the policeman ‘s actions were totally unjustified.How could charges against him NOT be brought?
    Disgraceful.

  3. Several Richmond LAC police have already admitted to the Police Integrity Commission that they collude to develop statements regarding incidents they are involved in (statement by one Richmond LAC officer), and that they have lied in writing (six Richmond LAC Police) and again in court (four Richmond LAC Police).

    And now they investigate themselves, find nothing (surprise, surprise) and then charge someone vexatiously as a result of a complaint.

    How does this help with Police-community relations?

  4. This is beyond ridiculous.

    Instead of taking notes based on reality, seems these “police” wait a couple of days, do a couple of media releases, see what floats, then get together and write up a work of fiction that they all decide to agree on. Photos, video, evidence be damned.

    Police say they plan to charge an anti-CSG gas protester after officers completed an investigation into the use of capsicum spray on the man during his arrest.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-04/protester-faces-charges-after-capsicum-spray-probe/4551170

    and later

    Police allege Mr Devenish only locked on after being sprayed and was kicking at officers and resisting arrest.

    After being sprayed??

    Are the police intentionally making fools of themselves?
    Or is there an other message being sent.

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