Plans for a protest as Mardi Gras police violence video goes viral
Over 200,000 people have watched YouTube video of a young man being thrown to the ground while handcuffed by a NSW Police officer at this year’s Sydney Mardi Gras Parade - which Sydney’s LGBT community plans to protest
Over 200,000 people have watched a YouTube video of Sydney teenager Jamie Jackson being thrown onto the pavement while handcuffed at this year’s Sydney Mardi Gras Parade in less than three days.
A press photographer who took the video claims that he saw Jackson struggling with police officers who had him restrained as he demanded to know why he was under arrest.
He says one of these officers, with the badge number FAIRFIELD LAC 266, then ‘grabbed him by the back of the neck and slammed his head into the stone pavement, as he tried to get up he was then punched multiple times in the head, leaving blood all over the pavement.’
The press photographer says it was at this point that he began filming.
About a minute into the video the officer throws Jackson onto the pavement a second time having previously grabbed him around the throat.
Just before this there is a loud noise but it is unclear whether this is the result of the police officer pushing the camera away, the police officer striking Jackson, or Jackson attempting to kick the police officer.
A second video (see below) has also emerged showing Jackson resisting arrest prior to being assaulted in which he appears to slap one of two officers attempting to force him onto the pavement.
NSW Police have announced that Jackson has been charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and using offensive language in public.
It appears that the offensive language in public charge was the initial offense that brought him to the attention of police.
During the incident the press photographer was repeatedly told to stop filming by a second officer, despite the fact that it is not illegal to film on duty NSW Police officers.
Jackson’s father Stephen Reed told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that he was ‘devastated’ after seeing how police had treated his son.
‘He’s not a big boy … and seeing him being thrown around like a rag doll and [police] stepping on him too … I’m still a bit shaken up by it,’ Reed said.
‘Whatever happened before [the video starts] he shouldn’t have been thrown like that, it’s just dangerous.’
NSW Police Minister Mike Gallacher has announced that the incident, and another where a man was handcuffed and kicked by police after trying to cross Oxford Street will be the subject of a NSW Police Ombudsman inquiry.
The officers that were involved will also have their behavior reviewed by superiors.
However LGBT activists are calling for an independent inquiry into the incidents and are planning a public protest against the violence on Friday at 6pm in Sydney’s Taylor Square.
‘We are calling for an independent inquest into the bashings and arrests at Mardi Gras 2013,’ a statement by activist group Community Action Against Homophobia read.
‘We want an independent inquiry. Police should not investigate themselves.’