If you want a look at some of the systematic racism against Indigenous Australians, look no further. Just a few hours after footage emerged of a police officer in Sydney brutally kicking the legs and arresting a 16-year old Aboriginal boy, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller appeared on 2GB this morning for an interview.
And I kid you not, speaking about the officer in question, the Commissioner said that the officer simply had a “bad day”.
“Not for one minute am I saying the officer’s actions were correct,” he said on air.
“The fact that this officer doesn’t have a chequered history and he has been in (the force) for three and a half years, if the complaint is sustained against him, you would have to say he has had a bad day.”
And to make things even more tone-deaf, he even went on to say that he doesn’t think people want the officer sacked.
Police Commissioner Mick Fuller says he is “absolutely” sorry about handling of the Surry Hills arrest: “We could have handled that situation better. (But) I’m sure people don’t want the officer sacked” #auspol
— Ben Fordham Live (@BenFordhamLive) June 2, 2020
I want him sacked AND charged for violence against an unarmed minor. You might want to mention THAT to the NSW Police Commissioner, Ben Fordham! If that’s not an example of blatant #racism & police brutality, I don’t know what is! #AboriginalLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/9jykYevBmm
— Peter Murphy (@PeterWMurphy1) June 2, 2020
Are we shocked by this standard response to police brutality against Indigenous Australians? Of course not. It doesn’t make it any less tragic though.
Okay the young Indigenous boy threatened the police officer, and if that language was an arrest-worthy threat, then so be it. But why the overtly aggressive force? Just imagine, how that boy will hold that memory for the rest of his life – being brutalised a white police officer when he can barely drive a car.
australian cop kicked an indigenous teen’s legs out from under him and let him land face first onto the concrete – and australian media airs the story to spout copaganda. OPEN YOUR DAMN EYES THIS SYSTEM IS CORRUPT EVERYWHERE !!
— 𝚔𝚎𝚎𝚕𝚎𝚢. ♡ (@aquaIarious) June 2, 2020
As the boy’s sister told Triple J’s Hack, he was visibly shaken up, and very sore that day after the whole incident happened. As you can imagine.
the sister of the Indigenous teenager in Surry Hills told triple j’s Hack “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.”https://t.co/5MyRJZgGVl
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) June 2, 2020
The final frustration for me was watching old mate, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, and NSW Police Central Metropolitan Region Commander Mick Willing, respond on the
blatant assault incident.
Gladys mentioned that “we still have a long way to go in our country”, and that the whole saga unfolding in the US is a “good wake-up call” for us here in Australia. Are you kidding me, Gladys? Wake-up call? Yet you continue to give police even more powers, wages and authority across NSW??
“And we have to ensure that we can do what we can in our own country to protect all of our citizens,” she also said. The irony is too much.
Meanwhile, Commander Mick Willing was even less empathetic.
“Am I concerned about what I’ve seen in that footage? Absolutely, I am concerned, but I’m equally concerned about others who may use this footage to inflame it and turn it into something that it’s not,” he said.
I love the use of inflame as if people are basing their rightfully angry reactions on anything else other than conclusive video evidence.
By all means arrest the kid, do what you need to – but there is no need for brutality. That’s the issue.
Given what’s happening around the world, this is perhaps the best time to come together and take action. It’s a crime if we stay silent.