Screengrab from Facebook video
Screengrab from Facebook video

Sydney policeman caught on video body-slamming Aboriginal teen

By Subel Bhandari Time of article published Jun 2, 2020

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Canberra - A Sydney police officer is under investigation after a video surfaced of him body-slamming an Indigenous teenage boy while making an arrest.

In video footage circulated on social media, the police officer is seen kicking and slamming the 17-year-old boy face-first onto the pavement. 

The incident took place on Monday evening at Wark Park in Surry Hills, a suburb in Sydney city. Police alleged the teenager had "threatened an officer" when they were speaking to a group of them.

The teenager was briefly arrested and taken to a police station, New South Wales Police said Tuesday. He was then taken to a hospital for observation before being released into the custody of family pending further inquiries.

WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE

"An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the arrest is now underway by officers attached to the Professional Standards Command," police said in a statement.

The constable has been placed on restricted duties, police said, adding senior officers have met with the community and local elders. 

The area - Surry Hills and Redfern - is one of the very few places in Sydney city where Aboriginal families still reside. 

One of the boy's relatives said on Facebook that he was with friends near his home when the police arrested him for what she said was "no reason at all."

Guardian Australia news website quoted a family member saying the boy had sustained a bruised shoulder, cuts to his knee, face and elbow, and chipped teeth. 

In Australia, Indigenous youth remain massively over-represented the justice system and were 22 times more likely to be in detention or justice supervision, according to a government report last month. 

dpa

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