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Family of Aboriginal teen kicked by cop in Surry Hills will press charges

The distraught family of an indigenous teenager who had his legs kicked from beneath him during an arrest demand the officer involved is charged.

The 16-year-old’s mother, father and older sister fronted a press conference on Wednesday where they revealed they would take legal action if an internal police inquiry doesn’t result in charges against the officer.

On Tuesday, police revealed they had stood down the officer involved in the arrest after Daily Mail Australia published the confronting video. 

The teenager told an officer he would ‘crack you in the f**king jaw, bro’, following a verbal altercation at Eddie Ward Park in Surry Hills about 5pm on Monday.

In response, the officer handcuffed him and kicked his legs from underneath him at the same time, sending the boy tumbling face first into the footpath below.

His older sister told media that watching the footage for the first time was ‘chilling.’ 

The boy’s family and other members of his legal team took a knee during a press conference on Wednesday to pay respects to other people who had been unfairly targeted

The 16-year-old's mother, father and older sister fronted a press conference on Wednesday where they revealed they would take legal action if an internal police inquiry doesn't result in charges against the officer

The 16-year-old’s mother, father and older sister fronted a press conference on Wednesday where they revealed they would take legal action if an internal police inquiry doesn’t result in charges against the officer

‘We’re all feeling anger that we can’t express and sadness that we live in a society where that is normal,’ she said.

Police suspended the officer involved pending an investigation from the Professional Standards Command, and held meetings with the community and local elders about the investigation.  

But the family are calling for an external investigation into the actions of the officer, and want to be informed about the consequences for the other cops who witnessed the arrest.

Human rights lawyer George Newhouse for the National Justice Project on Wednesday confirmed the family would pursue private prosecution if the officer is not charged with assault.

‘He used excessive force, and that should result in a charge of assault,’ he said.

While rare, the spokesman said the family had every right to commence private legal proceedings to have charges laid if police fail to do so.

The boy's father fronted the media on Wednesday

The boy's father fronted the media on Wednesday

The teen’s father said the footage took him back to his own childhood, where he claims he was often targeted by authorities as a teenager

A 16-year-old boy suffered a chipped tooth and bruising all over his body after he was thrown to the ground by a police officer

They are also calling for future investigations into officer misconduct to be completed by an external body. 

The teen’s father said the footage took him back to his own childhood, where he claims he was often targeted by authorities.

‘My son experienced this and I experienced this in my life as a young 17 or 19-year-old,’ he said. ‘But them days, we didn’t have what we have today.’

The boy, who suffered chipped teeth and bruises across his body during the altercation, ‘wants to do things that other white kids do, but there is no opportunity,’ his father said. 

Instead, according to his family, he is made to feel like he is in a ‘prison made up of the whole world’. 

According to his family, he is made to feel like he is in a 'prison made up of the whole world'

According to his family, he is made to feel like he is in a ‘prison made up of the whole world’

Following his arrest, the family claim he was taken to holding cells before being transferred to St Vincent's Hospital via ambulance, where he spent the night waiting for results from x-rays to his shoulder, knee and elbow.

Following his arrest, the family claim he was taken to holding cells before being transferred to St Vincent’s Hospital via ambulance, where he spent the night waiting for results from x-rays to his shoulder, knee and elbow.

‘As Aboriginal people, we experience extra obligation to answer to people. Who we are, where we’re going, what we’re doing even when we’re just walking along,’ his mother said.

‘He shouldn’t be made to feel like he’s in a prison, having to answer what he was doing and where he was going and being stopped and searched when he was just hanging out in his local park with his friends.’ 

The teen was released without charge following his arrest and taken to St Vincent’s Hospital for treatment. 

His sister said the boy was distraught and his teeth were chipped during the ordeal.

‘When he came back home later that night, he was shaken up,’ she said.

‘He was very sore this morning and he was distraught.

‘Teenagers, they’re lippy, but you don’t just abuse children because they’re lippy.’  

Family member of Aboriginal boy allegedly assaulted by a NSW cop is seen with NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge at Parliament House on Wednesday

Family member of Aboriginal boy allegedly assaulted by a NSW cop is seen with NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge at Parliament House on Wednesday

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller (pictured) on Wednesday admitted there were 'other ways' the officer could have dealt with the matter, other than the leg sweep

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller (pictured) on Wednesday admitted there were ‘other ways’ the officer could have dealt with the matter, other than the leg sweep

Police are conducting an internal investigation into the officer’s approach to the arrest, and placed him on restricted duties for the duration of the investigation.

Earlier on Wednesday, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller on Wednesday admitted there were ‘other ways’ the officer could have dealt with the matter, other than the leg sweep.

Mr Fuller said the officer in question had worked in the force for three-and-a-half years and had no record of complaints, and likely regretted the way he arrested the teen.  

‘This is a case of two things – is it reasonable for someone to swear and threaten a police officer? And then, is the force the officer used reasonable?’ Mr Fuller told 2GB Radio.

‘I don’t know what happened before in terms of the lead-up but there was probably other ways the officer could have dealt with that matter, no doubt.

‘I totally accept that officers need to show restraint.’  

Footage of the arrest was captured on a mobile phone and posted on social media. 

A bystander can be heard yelling: ‘You just slammed him on his face. He’s in pain.’  

Footage shows the officer, who was patrolling in Surry Hills in Sydney at the time, swipe the feet from underneath the man during the arrest

While on the floor, the young man appeared to struggle to manoeuvre his arms behind his back and was wailing

Footage shows the officer, who was patrolling in Surry Hills in Sydney at the time, swipe the feet from underneath the man during the arrest (left). While on the floor, the young man appeared to struggle to manoeuvre his arms behind his back and was wailing (right)

'He has a bruised shoulder, cuts and grazing to his knee, face and elbow and chipped teeth,' a relative said

‘He has a bruised shoulder, cuts and grazing to his knee, face and elbow and chipped teeth,’ a relative said

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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