VIDEO: Aussie Cops Assault Youth for Filming, Threaten Him With Arrest (InformationLiberation)
Police in Parramatta, Australia do not like being filmed. When a young man happened upon a group of cops searching a black youth in what he believed was a random search, he took his camera out and started to film the police.
Filming police in Australia is entirely within the law, just last week the Sydney New South Wales Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch, commenting on a very public incident of alleged police brutality during a Mardi Gras celebration, criticized his officers for threatening a videographer who captured the disturbing video on tape, saying ordering the man to stop filming showed the "naivety" of the police officers involved. I guess word never made it around to the officers seen in this video, as they show just the same "naivety."
In this video, Australian police officers upon noticing they're being filmed threaten to charge the youth with "hindering," which is Australian police's catch-all go-to false-charge-of-choice in the same fashion as American police's charge of "interfering."
As two cops bandy about threats of "hindering," another officer by the name of "Senior Constable A. Loxley" starts to freak out and asks him, "Why are you filming?! Why are you specifically filming us?!"
"Because I can film."
"But you can't use our audio, I don't give you permission to use our audio."
"OK, I'll cut the audio out."
At this point two officers say they "intend to search" him, and "failure to comply with [their] request means you may be committing an offense, do you understand?"
"Recording you is not an offense, officer."
The youth says he "doesn't consent" to being searched without a parent or guardian, at which point the officer violently grabs him, the youth responds saying "he's touching me, he's squeezing me, he's hurting me!"
The young man says in his own report the officer "hit the iPad I was using to record and twist[ed] my hands and arm to my back," but he managed to "slip out" of the cop's grip.
He then moves to record his friend being shoved up against a wall by police, his friend suddenly screams out in pain as the three police harassing the one youth appear to shove his face into a wall, which reportedly caused him to suffer "what doctors said was mild internal bruising" and a "swollen eye which will result in a black eye."
As this happens Constable Loxley is continually ordering him to put his camera down, when the youth hears his friend scream in pain, he yells out, "Oh my god! Oh my fucking god! Are you serious?!"
Constable Loxley lights up at the smell of blood because cursing is a so-called crime in Australia, finally the cop has some charges to threaten the youth with to get him to comply with his will!
"Watch your language or I'll arrest you for it! ... If you swear one more time in public, sir, I will arrest you for offensive language, do you understand?!"
Now that the cop has some "legitimate" charges to hit the youth with, he tacitly admits he's aware filming police is not a crime, and says "If you want to film, that's all well and good, but if you give us a hard time, I'll arrest you for offensive language!"
The cop again threatens to charge him with "hinder[ing]" and orders him to go across the street, to which the youth complies likely due to fear of the offensive language charge. After his friend is released, seemingly without any charges, he joins with him on the other side of the street. As they go to leave they approach Constable Loxley and ask to get his name.
"Go away!" Constable Loxley grunts out before he seemingly swipes at the youth, jostling his camera.
"Take the thing away now! If you stick that in my face one more time! Get it out of my personal space! Get out of my personal space, son! ... You've been filming me all the time, you haven't stopped!"
Eventually, Constable Loxley successfully bullies the youth into leaving after throwing around a plurality of threats, when another officer takes his own camera out to photograph the young man he said he posed and smiled for the picture, he then told the officer to please "put it on my Facebook."
"Put it on the police Facebook!"
"We will," the cops respond.
"Wave to the camera!" he tells them!
Here's how it went down in the young videographer's own words:
Bradley and I were just chilling in Parramatta across from the station (Opposite side of Westfield where Hungry Jacks is)
Two police officers in a car stopped and asked us what was in our bags (They looked like Goon sacks but they were really just popcorn in silver bags) *see pic*
They were like "Yeah, alright" and drove off.
A couple of minutes later we saw the same cops on foot approaching a random person walking up the street and demanding to search them .. once completed they went on to search another person... they were both just casually walking up the street being harassed by these cops..
Brad walked over to the second guy getting searched and told him to pull out his phone and start recording as it is COMPLETELY legal to record police officers in public areas.
He did.. The police noticed I was recording the whole thing and started asking questions and telling me to stop the recording (even though it is completely legal)
As I was verbally fighting back, the cops demanded to search me.
But remember, as always, I "Don't consent to searches"
The officer hits the iPad I was using to record and twists my hands and arm to my back (which I slipped out of)
Suddenly, Brad gets pushed to the wall and shortly after they hit his head against a brick wall leaving him with what doctors said was mild internal bruising, swollen eye which will result in a black eye (Sucks, 2 days before Good Life Festival)
The Police took a photo of me (I obviously posed for it with a big smile on my face) as they said I was free to go as I hadn't committed an offence.. (except for swearing in public, as you will hear in the video)
We went to Blacktown LAC to speak with Sergeant Leigh Smith who confirmed we did not commit an offence and also verified that it IS legal to film officers in public (or anyone for that matter)
Constable Oxley (Officer who asked me why I was filming) - Parramatta LAC
Constable Bostock (Attempted to search me with no reasonable suspicion) - Parramatta LAC