Paul Rea, Coorabell
Imagine for a moment it was your 16-year-old boy suffering psychiatric distress, stripping himself naked and wandering aimlessly into the street (www.echo.net.au/northern-rivers-policeman-accused-of-youth-assault-acquitted).
Imagine him appealing to the police for help and being unable to make himself understood. Being capsicum sprayed and tasered before being felled and bashed with batons. Then knelt upon, immobilised, handcuffed and utterly at the mercy of police.
Imagine him begging for water, screaming ‘I’m not resisting’, only to be crudely insulted by one of the officers who weighs in with another half a dozen full-blooded blows to the boy who is pinned to the ground and unable to protect himself.
I find it hard to imagine how I would feel if this happened to someone I love.
I don’t even know the boy or his family and I’m angry. Angry at the cop who has now been found not to have used excessive force, angry at the legal reasoning used to support his acquittal, angry at the obvious failure of police training that led to the officers behaving as they did, on that night in Lateen Lane, three years ago.
And what really gives me the shits is that not once has it been mentioned that any of the basher’s colleagues – not a single officer – had the courage or character to step up during the affray to stay his hand or in any way seek to restrain him. Just think about that.