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March 6, 2021

Byron beating prompts meeting to ‘hold police to account’

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Footage of Byron police beating a 16-year-old.

Footage of Byron Bay police beating a 16-year-old man with batons earlier this year has prompted Greens MLC David Shoebridge to call a meeting to examine ways to hold police to account.

The meeting will be held tomorrow at the Suffolk Park Hotel at 6pm.

Mr Shoebridge said that while the beating investigation was to be overseen by the police watchdog,  the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission, the actual investigation would still be handled by police.

‘These types of investigations should not be run by police,” Mr Shoebridge told Echonetdaily.

He said the meeting would examine ways to ensure such incidents received genuinely independent investigations, and also look at the type of training police receive.

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge.

‘The focus needs to be on the systemic problems within the police force. Too often we see coronial inquiries and police investigations hanging out young police officers to dry … but unless we look at the systemic problems nothing will change.

‘Most police have only one day training in dealing with people with mental health issues which means the system is setting up these young police officers to fail.

‘For the last few decades NSW has gone down the path of disbanding mental health services and replacing them with police.

‘Often the intervention of police can inflame a situation and lead to an increase in violence.

‘That isn’t the fault of the police who turn up with none of the skills needed to address the situations that confront them.

Mr Shoebridge said options to be considered at the meeting included 24-hour on call mental health response teams and a serious commitment to adequate training of police officers.

Mr Shoebridge said he was astounded after inquiring about a death in Sydney last year that police did not have a data base on people who had died at the hands of police.

‘That emphasised that the police, coroners’ courts and the government of the day look at these incidents as isolated events rather than joining the dots together and seeing that there are problems with the system,’ he said.



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  1. The police definitely need more training in dealing with mental health issues. I wonder how this incident would have ended if approached differently…if someone (not dressed in full police garb-those uniforms are designed to scare people) had’ve approached this young man with a big glass of water and a sarong?

  2. No different to the military they are trained to treat us like 2nd class citizens because that is the way so said Jacquie Lambie of her time in the military Police no different to how public servants treat us more so how politicians treat us that they don’t care what we think .

  3. The Echo has reported a 16 yo man was beaten by the police. Surely it should be a 16 yo boy that was beaten by the police.Lets get dome perspective here

  4. Very much anti police power trips BUT if this kid was on ICE then having experienced a flatmates super human strength and violence on ICE, I’m tending to give the police some support here. (I have not seen the footage so don’t know the details of this case).


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