In infuriating but unsurprising news, the police officer who assaulted an Indigenous teenager in custody in 2019 still has his job and is a serving police officer.
7.30 obtained footage of the assaults which shows Senior Constable Jeames Iain Murray slamming 18 year old Patrick Little’s head into a wall at Goulburn Police Station and then throwing him at a cell door. The video is confronting to watch, and a clear example of the violence perpetrated against First Nations people in custody.
“Modern-day policing needs to step up”: Footage shows serving police officer assaulting Indigenous man in custody at Goulburn Police Station.https://t.co/OIhKrjpYnO
— ABC Indigenous (@ABCIndigenous) October 21, 2020
On Tuesday at Goulburn Local Court, Magistrate Susan McGowan found Murray guilty of two counts of common assault. He was fined a total of $3,500 and had a conviction recorded. Murray tried to defend his actions by pleading not guilty and claiming that the force he used was legal and appropriate.
The magistrate rejected this, saying that “there’s no circumstance where this was warranted.”
The footage is obviously shocking and infuriating, but what’s worse is the lack of justice – despite a conviction, Murray is still serving as an officer at Goulburn Police Station.
The police officer has been convicted and fined $3500 for assaulting Mr Little, and yet continues to serve at Goulburn Police Station on “restricted duties”.
Not only does this not go far enough, but this is a matter of systemic injustice. Dismantle it all.
— sara m. saleh | سارة صالح (@SaraSalehOz) October 21, 2020
How is it that a police officer can be convicted of brutally assaulting a teen, and then go about his work as normal? Law enforcement is this mans JOB, so how is it possible to break the law himself and maintain his ‘service’?
This is exactly why the #BLM movement is so important and necessary in this country – because clearly, Black lives do not matter. If they did, police officers wouldn’t keep their jobs after bashing Black kids.
Karly Warner, the CEO of the NSW and ACT Aboriginal Legal Service, has commented saying “I just think it’s outrageous. What does this say about accountability for police misconduct?”
“I think anyone who watches this footage would agree that it’s really horrific,” she said.
“As much as of course this is not something that’s surprising, it still is really horrifying. It really cuts quite deep because it’s the people that are meant to serve and protect you.”
The case raises significant concerns about how NSW Police manages criminal allegations against officers. 7.30 can also reveal that Murray has continued to serve at Goulburn Police Station on “restricted duties” since he was charged more than a year ago. https://t.co/LxErcVh1Go
— shahleena musk (@musk_shah) October 21, 2020
The fact that Patrick Little was described as compliant when he was in the back of the police car, the fact that there was body cam and CCTV footage, the fact that Patrick Little reported the incident, testified and relived his trauma in court, got the man who assaulted him convicted, and Murray STILL has his job just goes to show that there’s no justice in police.
You can do everything right, and you still won’t get justice, because police are inherently corrupt.
This is why the ACAB movement isn’t controversial, but necessary. Cops are out of control, and were always built on colonial violence. And there are no good cops – just look at the cop that helped Murray subdue Patrick Little. They weren’t convicted of anything, but they helped Murray beat up a kid. Being compliant with violence is the same as partaking in it when you are in the police force.
Until we abolish the police, Black lives will not be safe. It’s terrifying to think that Patrick Little could have been just another statistic or headline for Black deaths in custody.
You can read my ACAB explainer piece here.
Thankyou @abc730 …Snr Constable Murray is a racist thug. The fact that he is still a cop says everything about the increasingly suss NSW government and its thug (police) force masquerading as upholders of the law.
He not only should be fired but jailed.
— Paul Bongiorno (@PaulBongiorno) October 21, 2020
Image Sources: Twitter