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Police to review incident involving Byron Bay teenager

Police will ‘review’ an incident in which a naked teenager was tasered, capsicum sprayed and struck by officers after allegedly assaulting them in Byron Bay last month.

Video footage aired by A Current Affair on Tuesday showed police striking the disturbed, 16-year-old boy with batons outside a hostel on Lateen St Byron Bay on January 11.

The youth can be heard screaming for help in the footage as four officers appear to strike him with batons while pinning him to the ground.

In a statement, NSW Police said officers from the Tweed-Byron Local Area command had been called to the lane by residents at around 2.30am and arrived to find the youth lying naked in street.

Police said the teenager allegedly became aggressive, necessitating the use of capsicum spray.

The youth then allegedly attempted to assault the officers and was tasered, police said.

He was eventually arrested and taken to Byron Police Station where he was assessed by paramedics.

The statement said that the incident was now the subject of a review.

NSW Police declined to respond when asked by The Echo who would be conducting the review.

However, a NSW Police spokesman said it would be ‘independently oversight’ by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission – an independent police watchdog set up last year.

However, NSW Upper House Greens MP David Shoebridge has called for a more ‘transparent’ review of the case.

Mr Shoebridge told ABC radio this morning that such reviews of apparent police misconduct needed to be conducted in full public view.

The incident has brought an angry reaction from some sections of the local community, including Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson who described it in a media interview as ‘an outrageous misuse of excessive force’.


7 responses to “Police to review incident involving Byron Bay teenager”

  1. chris brown says:

    Police, policing the police – are you kidding. No truth will come from the police because they close ranks at ALL COST

  2. Ken says:

    It certainly reflects badly on a society,
    when a child is pleading for help and all the ” NSW Finest” want to do is brutishly bash a helpless, naked, totally subdued kid being stomped on by four thugs. Makes me think more fondly of the motorcycle gangs , at least they have some ethics !
    G”)

  3. CitizenJane says:

    ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING

    The police in this beautiful part of Australia are spoiling the landscape, Wht brutes.
    .

    When are “we the people” going find a better way than a ‘force’ adding intentional pain and suffering to our lives ? NSW Police Force is no longer a “service” and “the club” of rank and file need to be held to account!

    Here’s a suffering teenager probably near “frozen” in the new “ice age” of meth addiction…needing water.
    mmmmm? Lets see…Delirious naked drug affected ADD 4 large police officers clothed with sprays, batons, lasers and guns? The squad apparently needed to protect themselves?

    WHAAA?

    On dear . do our tax dollars pay the police to be a vicious gang of THUGS?

  4. Neal Brown says:

    This is not an isolated incident. But it will treated as such and the culture of brutality will go on. The more frightening thing is deaths in custody. If this happens in public view, what happens behind closed doors?

    The police didn’t suddenly set on this guy in an organised fashion out of the blue. This demonstrates police culture. Post the police in different areas every few years so that they don’t become part of the community. Let them relate only to each other and build an ‘us and them’ attitude. Organise them in gangs. Give them more and more weapons: tazers, batons, guns, pepper spray. Discretion and defusing of a situation are too subtle for hit squads trained and liberally equipped for the purpose of enacting legalised violence.

    Many cops exhibit humanity. But some use even the handing out of a speeding ticket as a platform to get off on the manipulation of power and fear. Ultimately it is not the individual policeman’s fault. In a country that participates in wars round the world and has a history of genocide against Australia’s indigenous people, this comes from the top. Which is why it is unlikely that anything will happen from the police investigating themselves in this ‘isolated incident’. The violence is institutional.

  5. CitizenJo says:

    Discusted and appalled at these thugs dressed in uniform. Here to protect and help? clearly this is becoming more and more a thing of the past.
    My thoughts and prayers are with this young boy and his family right now.

  6. Laura says:

    So saddened to read this article, this poor boy has no doubt been let down by a string of people only to be humiliated and beaten by a force we are meant to turn to for help. I have always found the police force in Australia rule wi aggression at every turn whether that’s talking down to a civilian, handing out speeding fines wi puffed out chests to the lowest form of control and misused power like this. What the Australian police force need to be taught or reminded of is that they are public servants, paid for by our taxes to serve and protect us. They are merely there to uphold the law, they are not the law. They need to go take a trip to cities like London, Berlin, Stockholm to learn how they police successfully. I couldn’t imagine how disastrous Notting hill carnival would be if the British bobby went around like the school bully trying to fight down people in the crowd, hell would break loose. Instead the British cops get amongst it, happily engaging wi the community using smarter techniques to oppress potential antisocial behaviour, and it bloody works!! How the hell does a situation occur where 4 aggressive burley men need to use brute force on a lone child?? There needs to be some serious training to start happening pronto! These police officers resemble Stone Age half wits who behave more like class bullies than highly qualified trained personnel. I want my money back!!!!

  7. Cornelia Schyle says:

    I still after days of this happening and me watching the video feel distressed and can NOT forget about it. The brutality these officers displayed on a young man it must have been horrific for this 16 year old ( not even an adult) to be surrounded by these in my eyes criminals. How do we know that this young man has not been spiked, felt completely disoriented and when police arrived they had nothing better to do than beat with full power and beat and beat endlessly it seemed, completely out of control. I was in tears calling out stop, stop sitting at home at my computer. What happened to this young man afterwards???? Was he brutally thrown into the police wagon? He would have been severely hurt, broken bones, organ damage??? Even just writing this I feel distressed and am trembling. Who called the police anyhow why not give him some water if that’s what he was calling for? I have heard from several cases where persons have been spiked and have done things and found themselves in situations they could not even remember. What is next – certainly these police officers can not get away with this. Another point comes to my attention how about drug testing police, how do we know that these officers were not influenced by intoxicants? Where is the young man now? How is he? Traumatised for life?

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