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October 27, 2021

Byron cops filmed ‘bashing’ intoxicated teenager

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A screen grab of the A Current Affair footage, which was taken by Byron locals who witnessed the incident. (Channel Nine)

Four police officers in Byron Bay have been filmed appearing to bash a 16-year-old man who was allegedly under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The footage from the 11 January incident outside a Byron Bay hostel was aired by A Current Affair and shows four officers attempting to restrain the young man after he had been pepper sprayed and tasered.

The police had been called after the young man had removed his clothing and was yelling for water around 2am.

A police spokesperson confirmed the incident, saying police were called to Lateen Lane, Byron Bay, about 2.30am on Thursday 11 January 2018, following reports a naked male was acting erratically.

‘Officers from Tweed/Byron Police District found a 16-year-old youth lying in the street. It appeared the male was impaired by drugs and/or alcohol,’ the spokesperson said.

‘The teenager allegedly became aggressive towards police and OC spray had to be used. He then allegedly attempted to assault officers and an electronic control device had to be deployed.

‘The teenager continued to violently resist officers until he was arrested and taken to Byron Bay Police Station. He was assessed by paramedics to ascertain what may have influenced his behaviour.’

In the video shared by A Current Affair, the officers are seen to have the teenager pinned to the ground, with two of the officers repeatedly striking the teenager with batons.

The teenager can be heard yelling ‘please help’, and an officer is heard calling him a ‘f….. loser’.

Criminologist Dr Terry Goldsworthy, a former police officer, told the Channel Nine program that the  excessive police force on the young boy was unnecessary, especially with the number of officers attending.

‘If it’s just a matter of handcuffing him with four officers there, I probably wouldn’t see the need for the repetitive baton strikes,’ he told the program.

The footage can be viewed here: https: //www.facebook.com/ACurrentAffair9/videos/1434502819989424/




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  1. I was bashed by police when I was having a mental health episode. I think there is a culture of violence in the police force. I don’t trust them.

  2. I am normally very supportive of the local police, they do a fantastic job in a difficult area, with limited resources. I have it from reliable sources that officers from the Byron Bay LAC have DOUBLE the case load that most officers in Sydney LACs do.

    But, that footage is pretty damning. There is something wrong when four big, burly cops cannot handle a completely naked 16yo boy and feel that they should be beating him repeatedly with battons as he is lying on the ground obviously at that point NOT resisting arrest. Especially after being tasered and capsicum sprayed.

    • If this were happening in Palestine it would be normal for Israeli cop/military thugs to bash, maim and kill young Palestinians but we do not expect Byron police to copy them.

  3. This is totally unacceptable….. police have way too much authority to think that it is okay to do this to a young kid who clearly was not being abusive. Who calls them to account?

  4. There is no need for violence. Have they no pride in appearing to do their job properly? Without aggressive force and injury? Shame!!!

  5. happens too often reminds me of Jo’s day;s in Queensland the Police bashed many young people I remember one with busted ear drums and another who had facial surgery messed up badly and needed it redone. It will continue to happen if they are allowed to get away with it. How could you keep hitting with a Baton when he was pleading for them to stop asking for God to help him. It made me sick to hear him.

  6. The police are supposed to stop violence not initiate or encourage. I don’t believe the Australian police training programme has any humanistic component incorporated, such as extending empathy or compassion first. A 16-year-old is essentially a child, these young men need positive role models, whether it be fathers, teachers, police officers or other members of the community, regardless of their negative actions. Applying violence to overcome negative human behaviours have never shown succession in history, so why use it? Authority, the position of power and/or of hierarchy doesn’t give anyone the right to hurt another human, eye for an eye has never solved anything. It is time for Australian police to wake up to this reality… and do some serious training to understand the basis of pain, addictions and other forms of suffering (i.e., pain-based behaviours). Australian police need intensive therapeutic training to manage such scenarios and situations without resorting to violence. In the academic literature, it is well known that when confronted by violent or disturbing situations, our own stress levels (i.e., cortisol) rise, expressing in further anger, aggression and/or violence. Therefore, part of the fundamental training has to be around managing one’s own stress arousal and to overcome the propensity to further violence. This language might seem ridiculous or too soft for the ultra-macho status of the Australian Police. It is sad to see immature men dressed in power suits believing they can behave and justify their actions to this extent – absolutely appalling.

  7. What needs to be sorted out is if the victim had prescription psychiatrist drugs in his system because in the withdrawal symptom the victim is scared for 3 days before their anxiety calms to a point of control , anti smoking medication called Champix has the same symptoms seeing it was designed to calm psychiatric patients and in that process it was found patients stopped smoking so some bright spark in the Pharmacy Guild legalised it for smokers without reading the fine print of it’s withdrawal symptoms that can cause suicidal feelings which I found out personally a few years ago and I warned my psychology qualified Qld MP at the time and was ignored .

    I reckon we should replace all male coppers with female ,they make more sense to me and they are nicer in doing their job for us .

  8. This is the modern version of the Le Guin theme, “Those Who Walk away from Omelas“.
    The world over police routinely exceed their remit – it’s all that pumped up thugs,armed & in uniform are good for, otherwise they’d do something more honourable, like Good Soldier Schweik’ job in civvy street.
    Nothing new, for the more classically inclined, read Kipling’s “Tommy” on the moral myopia that ignores the “rough men who guard us whilst we sleep“.

  9. The police behaved this way because it was 2 a.m. in a back alley and they believed they were unobserves.
    These petty thugs are trained to escalate confrontation, they have no respect for the rule of law believing themselves above consequences.
    With four people larger than the kid holding him down, I have to ask, just how “violently” would he have been able to resist (even though the video & audio clearly show who was being violent unnecessarily).

  10. Lets hope the police don’t do this to other naked people they find on Byrons beaches or is this the next level of intimidation we can expect from the local police who seem to be out of touch with the sort of behaviour the community expects of them. Police are supposed to be there to protect us from criminal behaviour not intimidate or bash us. Make a complaint – Commonwealth Ombudsman

  11. It is vitally important that persons in positions of authority be held to account. Police Officers abusing their power should be reported to their Superintendent as the very least. As Australians we are all too quickly losing our rights, as each new piece of limiting legislation quietly slides through parliament. If we do not bring these abusers to account, we are enabling them to continue with their heavy handed treatment of whomever they find difficult to handle, as happens in the USA. Do we really want to end up like that? There is a fundamental attitude problem if an officer can call a very young person who is obviously under the influence of something quite potent, a f….. loser. Apart from being unprofessional it is inhuman. Always speak up if you feel you are being abused at the hands of law enforcement, or you see someone else being unfairly treated. You have the right to ask for their badge number and the name of their station; then you can contact the relevant Superintendent. Whilst I acknowledge the job of law enforcer is a difficult one, there is no excuse for this unbridled abuse.

  12. Out of control police in police state Oz. As there’s clear video evidence of the excessive and unnecessary force used by the police in this case on that hapless teen (as there often isn’t in other cases) there’s a good case to sue them.

  13. I have contacted our local MP to discuss this assault and have been requested to contact the Police Ministre, Tony Grant if anyone from the public is interested in contacting the office with your concerns and comments.The contact details for the NSW Police Minister Troy Grant is –

    [email protected]

    The Hon. Troy Grant, MP
    52 Martin Place
    SYDNEY NSW 2000

    P(02) 8574 6800

    F(02) 9339 5536

    • It is our State MP’s job to represent us by reporting these instances to the Police minister but instead of that they sit back and ignore our plight and expect us to do their job .
      Writing a letter ourselves will get us no result as we will be directed to the nearest filling cabinet to be forgotten much like any thing sent to the Health Minister , any complaints there can land you up in your hospital’s mental health ward to be filled full of drugs for you to forget your complaint .

  14. I hope this is referred to ethical standards I am wondering if there is going to be any consequences for these officers – There is a lot of bad publicity about local police officers of late and most related to naked people and that over inflated sense of self importance that they carry.

    Do they have any sort of decent psychological testing prior to enlistment, I think if they do then it needs looking at as it is not identifying those who have personality flaws.

  15. That footage of four male officers bashing a sixteen year old, who was begging them to stop. Begging them for a glass of water. He had been tasered, capsicum sprayed and was then having the living daylights bashed out of him. I saw one low life cop bashing into him with a truncheon type weapon. Sue them and boot them out of the force. That is the most shameful attack of a human being I have seen in my seventy years on this earth! As Derryn Hinch used to say on radio. Shame Shame Shame!

  16. Disgusted by this reoccuring local behaviour. I know personally of other people this has happened to. I am horrified by this abuse of power. I don’t trust police let alone like them. Obviously these police officers need to face charges and be dismissed. I believe the police force needs more training in this area. This is a child 16 is not an adult.
    if you want to track this indcident and the investigation contact: LECC and you can follow the process.

  17. I would thank the police for their actions, we, the silent majority, have to put up with these drug infested vermin playing havoc with innocent peoples lives,day in day out. The Police must be at their wits end having to place their lives on the line every day trying to contain these lunatics only to have the brain deads of our society suggest maybe they should be taken out to dinner and discuss what their problem is.
    I am sure that the brain deads would be the first to complain about lack of Police action if their wife or daughter was being raped or their son had a knife rammed through his gut buy a drug crazed lunatic.

    • How do you know this 16 year old is a drug crazed vermin when he could have been having a medical experience ?
      If a person had a heart attack would you presume that person to be a drug addict before you would lend help ?


  19. It is now 2021 and nothing has changed.
    The police officer, who brutally beat this naked, unarmed boy obviously distressed and calling for help, has now been aquitted citing “red mist” as the reason for his excessive force.
    Not right !?!!!
    Does anyone else agree this is a crazy?!!
    Where is the ‘Protect and Serve’!??!
    Where is the justice ???


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