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Cairns officer in street brawl is being investigated, police confirm

An officer who grabbed a young man by the throat is being investigated after the trio involved in the violent brawl with police were cleared of serious assault charges.

The June 27 street brawl in Cairns was initially described as ‘a sickening, vicious and callous attack on an officer who was simply doing their job’.

But nine months after the brawl, which saw three men charged with serious assault, new video footage revealed the police officer initiated the violent attack.

 

The footage shows Acting Sergeant Stephen Robertson suddenly grab the 21-year-old’s throat

This shocking street brawl involving Queensland police was initially described as 'a sickening, vicious and callous attack on an officer who was simply doing their job'

This shocking street brawl involving Queensland police was initially described as ‘a sickening, vicious and callous attack on an officer who was simply doing their job’

Mr Bovey said the three men had been severely impacted by the highly-publicised incident. Darcy Rayner is pictured 

Mr Bovey said the three men had been severely impacted by the highly-publicised incident. Darcy Rayner is pictured 

Explosive new footage shows Acting Sergeant Stephen Robertson speaking with the three men before suddenly grabbing Darcy Rayner’s throat, as the 21-year-old stood with his arms crossed.

A Queensland Police media spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday an investigation had been launched into Sgt Robertson. 

‘The internal investigation is ongoing into the actions of the officer,’ she told the Cairns Post. 

Sgt Robertson’s action sparked a wild brawl in June last year and saw Mr Rayner, his brother Brodie, 23, and 22-year-old friend Jayden Symons charged with assaulting the officer and wilful damage of police property.  

Acting Sergeant Stephen Robertson claimed in a sworn affidavit that a man ‘lunged towards me as if he was going to assault me,’ forcing him to ‘use open-hand tactics to keep him at arm’s length and away from me,’ The Cairns Post reported. 

The charges were on Tuesday discontinued in the Cairns Magistrates Court and the trio were awarded $9,700 in costs after Sgt Robertson’s own body camera footage came to light. 

Explosive new footage shows the policeman talking to the three men, including Darcy Rayner - who stood with his arms crossed

Explosive new footage shows the policeman talking to the three men, including Darcy Rayner – who stood with his arms crossed

‘The QPS acknowledges the decision of the magistrates,’ a Queensland Police media spokeswoman said on Wednesday.  

‘It’s certainly the first time that I’ve come across a situation where a police officer has sworn to one set of facts only to have it rebutted by the footage of a camera that he himself [was wearing],’ defence solicitor Philip Bovey said, according to the paper. 

‘Footage in fact shows that it was the police officer himself who grabbed the defendant by the throat and propelled him backwards and what then followed was the other defendants coming to his aid as they were entitled to do.’ 

Mr Bovey said the three men had been severely impacted by the highly-publicised incident and that sections of the community turned on them after seeing the initial footage and hearing the police’s version of events. 

The resulting brawl saw Mr Rayner, his brother Brodie (right) and 22-year-old friend Jayden Symons (left) charged with assaulting the officer and wilful damage of police property

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said at the time unprovoked attacks on police by intoxicated civilians were unacceptable

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said at the time unprovoked attacks on police by intoxicated civilians were unacceptable

He said if the new body camera clip had not come to light, all three would most likely have been jailed. 

On the night of the incident, the trio had been drinking after attending a funeral for their friend Cory Duncan, who was killed in a motorcycle crash the previous week.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said at the time unprovoked attacks on police by intoxicated civilians were unacceptable. 

‘This was a sickening, vicious and callous attack on a police officer who was simply doing their job,’ he said.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted the union for comment.  

'This was a sickening, vicious and callous attack on a police officer who was simply doing their job,' he said

‘This was a sickening, vicious and callous attack on a police officer who was simply doing their job,’ he said



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