Sydney police filmed in 'brutal' arrest at gay Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras party-goer is seen screaming 'I did nothing wrong!' as a policeman throws him to the ground
Sydney police are being accused of brutality during an arrest at last weekend’s Mardi Gras.
A video allegedly shot at the gay pride parade shows an unidentified partygoer in handcuffs thrown on the ground by a policeman, who then stands on the man’s back.
The footage does not show clearly what happened immediately before the man is thrown to the ground, and it is not known why the man was targeted by police.
Alex Greenwich, Independent member for Sydney, said the footage is ‘certainly distressing’.
‘I will be calling for a full investigation,’ he said. ‘I have also spoken with other parade goers who have described similar events and will bring this to the Police Minister’s attention as a matter of urgency.’
Onlookers in the video can be heard protesting and alleging the man had been handled violently before the film started rolling.
‘We just saw you whack his head against the ground,’ a woman can be heard saying. ‘His blood is on the ground!’
Another police officer instructs the person behind the camera to ‘stop filming, mate’. When asked why, the officer responds: ‘Cos I said.’
The video, posted by SydneyMardiGras2013 on YouTube, claims the footage was shot near Oxford Street about 11.30pm on Saturday (2 March).
Greenwich said: ‘The local commands around Sydney have proven to be very supportive and worked well with the gay and lesbian community.
‘This is what makes the footage so surprising and concerning.’
Other incidents, including strip searches, were also alleged to have taken place at Mardi Gras.
A statement from Mardi Gras Organizers said: ‘The Board and Management of SGLMG assure the community and parade viewers that we have requested a meeting tomorrow with the Minister of Police and that we are working with the state Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich, MP Sydney, to have this incident investigated and addressed.’
UPDATE: The New South Wales Police Force have now issued a statement relating to the footage.
It reads: ‘The NSW Police Force is aware of footage on YouTube relating to an incident at the Sydney Mardi Gras on Saturday night.
‘An investigation will be conducted into the full circumstances surrounding the incident. As soon as we can provide any further information or updates, we will certainly do so.’
Check out the video below. Warning: It contains scenes of physical violence and swearing.