Sunday, January 10, 2016
Queensland's Keystone cops
What a bunch of amateur idiots! Kids terrified as cops storm Gold Coast home by mistake. No apology
A Gold Coast mother-of-two says her children were too traumatised to sleep last night after half-a-dozen police burst into their home and detained their innocent father by mistake.
Kristy Stewart told myGC a squad of officers stormed her Coombabah home along The Esplanade at around 9.30pm on Friday after allegedly mistaking her address for another in the street.
Mrs Stewart, 35, says her two children, aged 10 and eight, were shaking in terror as they watched police order her out of the house and rush inside to detain their innocent father.
“My husband was out on the back patio with the kids and I was in the kitchen when I looked outside and seen an officer approach the front patio,” Mrs Stewart recalled.
“I opened the front door and five or six police officers and two police dogs started coming from the front. “They yelled ‘step out from the door and put your hands to the front’.
“I stepped to the side and they yelled at me to stay put. “I kept repeating that they had made a mistake, that we have done nothing wrong (but) they wouldn’t listen.”
Mrs Steward told myGC the officers then raced inside her home and detained her 32-year-old husband in front of her 10-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son.
“My husband walked up the hallway as he could hear the commotion and was grabbed by both hands by an officer and (the police) said, ‘we know who you are’.”
But as it would turn out, the police actually had no idea whose home they were in.
“My husband kept saying that he hadn’t done anything and my daughter was pleading with them that we were not doing anything wrong. “Finally they asked for our address which obviously didn’t correlate with the address they were suppose to attend.”
Mrs Stewart told myGC the officers “bowed their heads”, some with “embarrassing smirks on their face”, as they walked back out of the house and regrouped on the front lawn. “The police where discussing how to get to the other address which is when I helped them out by giving them directions,” she said.
“It is extremely embarrassing for the Queensland Police Service, considering they are equipped with GPS.”
“It certainly shook us up. My kids and husband were so scared. It was scary as hell.”
Mrs Stewart said one officer yelled from the window of his patrol car before speeding off, “some excitement for you tonight!”
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Cop accused of using excessive force loses court battle over forced station transfer
A Surfers Paradise police officer with 28 complaints against him who has been stood down over allegations of excessive force has lost a court battle over being forcibly transferred. Senior Constable Nathan Irwin has been the subject of 28 complaints and 68 allegations over the past nine years, many relating to the use of excessive force.
In March, Sen-Constable Irwin was told he was being “temporarily redeployed” to Coomera and was not to attend the Surfers Paradise Police Station unless under senior supervision. Acting Assistant Commissioner Stephen Hollands wrote to Sen-Constable Irwin again in April asking him if he would prefer to be transferred to Southport or Nerang.
Sen-Constable Irwin objected to being moved from Surfers Paradise and with backing from the Queensland Police Union, took the case to the Supreme Court.
Court documents show Assistant Commissioner Hollands wrote that since 2007 there had been an “adverse pattern of behaviour” involving Sen-Constable Irwin. He said there had been 28 complaints and 68 allegations since 2007, “most notable with respect to matters involving assaults/excessive force”.
“Irrespective of the possible causes, the preceding allegations are indications that your level of professionalism is below that expected of a Senior Constable of Police in the Queensland Police Service. “Removing you from your current workplace will enable you to work in an environment where the frequency of confrontation with members of the public is less likely.”
Barrister Peter Davis QC argued the court should rule the transfer was invalid because it would be for the purpose of disciplining him for misconduct.
This week Justice Philip McMurdo dismissed Sen-Constable Irwin’s application and found the purpose of the transfer was “one of risk management”.
“The factual preconditions for the exercise of disciplinary powers do not exist because there has not yet been a conclusion of misconduct,” Justice McMurdo said. “He (the Acting Commissioner) has not sought or indicated that he will seek any disciplinary sanction.”
Sen-Constable Irwin has been the arresting officer in a number of high-profile cases of alleged police brutality, including that of youth worker Ray Currier, who suffered brain damage after his arrest.
The QPU said the transfer was based on complaints that had not been proven.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Cop accused of leaking Surfers Paradise police station bash footage facing charges
Justice campaigner Renee Eaves with the honest cop
A GOLD Coast police officer accused of leaking video footage showing his colleagues brutally bashing a young dad in a police station basement is facing criminal charges.
Gold Coast chef Noa Begic was repeatedly punched and ground in to the concrete floor of the station’s basement with his hands cuffed behind his back in January 2012.
While two officers responsible for the attack were given a slap over the wrist, the officer who allegedly leaked video footage to The Courier-Mail is now facing charges including misconduct and abuse of public office and fraud.
Rick Flori was a sergeant at Surfers Paradise police station at the time of the incident and his house was raided by officers from the Ethical Standards Command weeks later. He was ‘reassigned’ and has been fighting to clear his name ever since.
Sgt Flori was formally notified of the charges yesterday but vowed to fight them. “I intend on fighting the charges to the full extent of the law,” he said in a statement.
Of the four officers involved in the attack, only two ever faced disciplinary action and one of those – a sergeant seen washing away blood with a bucket of water – retired from the service before any findings were made. The officer caught throwing punches was stood down, but has since been reinstated without demotion.
Charges of public nuisance and obstruct police against Mr Begic were eventually dropped.
Mr Begic, who settled out of court in his own action against the QPS, is now prevented from speaking about the incident, but at the time he paid tribute to those who ensured the video footage came to light.
White knight Renee Eaves, who has helped both men in their battles against the QPS, said the charges against Sgt Flori were a disgrace. “There are many good police within the organisation without a voice and intimidated by these types of actions,” she said. “They are too scared to report misconduct for fear of workplace harassment or intimidation.”
Monday, May 18, 2015
Queensland police misconduct doubles with allegations over drugs, assault and drink-driving
IS Queensland returning to the days of the Moonlight State?
Police in Queensland have been misbehaving in record numbers, being stood down or suspended over serious allegations of domestic violence, drugs, drink-driving and assault, according to the The Courier-Mail.
One police employee was taken off duty every fortnight for alleged misconduct in the state in 2014-15, with 10 removed in the past six weeks.
A 39-year-old male senior constable was stood down this week ahead of an investigation into accusations related to the use of excessive force, wilful damage of a service vehicle and falsifying training records.
The number removed from a position with the service has almost doubled in the past two years from 14 to 27, The Courier-Mail reported.
Police confirmed 12 officers and staff were stood down and 15 suspended this year over serious allegations including drug use, stealing and assault, but refused to confirm how many were sacked or faced disciplinary action, according to The Courier-Mail
Four members of staff were removed from the service on disciplinary grounds in the past month alone, police reports show.
On April 30, a 36-year-old male constable from Brisbane was charged with drink-driving offences while off duty. The officer had not been stood down from his position.
A day earlier, a 27-year-old female constable was stood down pending a disciplinary investigation into the submission of false and misleading information, and being untruthful to an officer investigating a disciplinary matter.
On April 27, a 40-year-old male senior constable was arrested and charged with a number of offences including possession of unlicensed weapons.
And on April 23, a police liaison officer, aged 27, was dismissed ahead of a disciplinary proceeding relating to an allegation of dangerous driving.
Two officers were stood down in the past year for allegations of domestic violence, including a first-year Brisbane constable in August. Both are subject to investigation.
Brisbane senior constable Nicholas Sheahan was fined $750 after pleading guilty to a range of charges including possession of illicit drugs. He resigned from the force shortly after the drugs were found at his home in June last year.
The officer was once labelled a “hero” after saving a life on the state capital’s Story Bridge
The actions of officers who have faced court are examined by Queensland Police Service’s Ethical Standards Command.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Disgusting Police Behaviour towards elderly driver
Email from a member of the public
This incident didn't happen to me but to my elderly parents.
My father is 69 years old. He was driving along with my 65 year old mother. When they came to a red light they stopped and an unmarked police car stopped next to them. When the light changed my dad drove off knowing he had to merge and did so safely in front of the unmarked police car.
The car followed my parents for maybe 30 seconds before turning their lights on and signaling for my father to pull over. There was a male police officer and a female police officer. The male approached my father's car on the drivers side and was extremely abrupt and rude, accusing my father of speeding. My father denied this saying that he most definitely did not speed. The male police officer proceeded to tell my father that he was going 80 km/h in a 60 km/h zone. This was incorrect as the entire road is 80 km/h the whole way.
Again my father denied that he was speeding. My father asked for the male officer to give him his name twice and both times the officer refused. My mother who was sitting in the passenger seat leant over and assured the officer that my father had not been speeding. The officer replied by telling my mother to shut up and sit back in her seat.
My mother is a petite lady and was quite shaken after being spoken to in such a manner. Again the male police officer was telling my father he had been speeding and indicated that he had "everything he needed" to give my father a ticket. My father, at this point somewhat offended on my mother's behalf asked if this had anything to do with him taking off faster than the police car at the traffic light, to which the male officer became quite irate to the point the female officer, who had stayed by the police car, called out for the male officer to just leave it and to 'let's go'.
After a few threatening words to the effect of the male police officer watching my dad from now on, he finally went back to his police car and they sped off.
As you can imagine when I was told by my mother what had happened I was absolutely disgusted with the way my parents had been treated. This is how the police chooses to conduct themselves? It is no wonder that no one trusts the police to do the right thing anymore. I myself have had bad experiences too where I was belittled and made to feel like I wasn't even a worthy human being for them to treat right.
The QLD Police force has to start looking at who they give the badge to because I think the power goes to some officers' heads and they treat us civilians almost like cattle to be pushed around and intimidated. Something needs to be done!
Saturday, April 5, 2014
CCTV catches Gold Coast cops out
Video at link
THIS is the video ex-football star Campbell Brown says shows he copped a “coathanger” from Gold Coast police.
Brown says the CCTV footage proves officers were out of bounds when they arrested him at a Broadbeach nightclub earlier this year.
Police last week dropped charges of obstructing police and attempting to force his way back into East nightclub during a night of celebrations after his horse Sweet Idea won the Magic Millions Trophy race in January.
Police initially claimed the former Gold Coast Suns player had shoulder-charged them.
But Brown has accused police of fabricating charges against him. “Police basically made up a story,’’ he told News Corp Australia last week.
“We caught them out by getting the CCTV footage of what actually happened. To be brutally honest, that was an absolute disgrace. They (police) had to throw out the case in embarrassment.’’
A police statement of facts, obtained by The Courier-Mail, alleges Brown was refused entry to East, where he had been drinking with friends, but was argumentative and refused to leave.
But his lawyer, Chris Nyst, said the CCTV footage showed “quite clearly that the incident did not occur in the way asserted by police”.
Mr Nyst said the footage showed Brown apparently waiting peacefully outside the nightclub while a friend went inside to retrieve the ex-footballer’s credit card.
It then shows Brown later being led down an alleyway by police, thrown to the ground and handcuffed after his friend becomes agitated.
“Once I had the opportunity to review the footage, it was immediately apparent to me it did not support the police version of events,’’ Mr Nyst said.
“I brought that footage to the attention of the chief prosecutor, whereupon he promptly — and in my view very sensibly — agreed to discontinue the prosecution.’’
Mr Nyst said police claims they withdrew the charges because of a lack of clarity in the footage “are simply not correct”.
“This case is a good example of why people should not prejudge such matters,’’ he said. “Brown copped a lot of sledging from people who knew nothing about the charges. We have a presumption of innocence, and this is a timely reminder of what good sense that makes.’’
Brown was sacked by the Suns after breaking teammate Steven May’s jaw on a pre-season trip to the US last November.
Original report here
Note: A coathanger is a dangerous high tackle in Australian rules football, Rugby League, and Rugby Union. It occurs when a running player is stopped by an arm to the chest or neck and usually gets knocked backward onto their back. ...
Monday, February 3, 2014
THE freckled face of 13-year-old Jordan Rice made headlines around the world when he died with his mother in a flash flood that hit Toowoomba three years ago.
Blond-haired Jordan's final selfless act, urging a rescuer to save his little brother Blake before him, touched hearts everywhere, and moved Prince William to fly to Queensland to console his family.
But this is a story of what happens when the cameras go away and a family is left to pick up the pieces. I
It is also a story about the grim undercurrent of suspicion remaining between the survivors and authorities they feel compounded their troubles, in the wake of intense media attention.
It begins with the triple-0 call made by Donna Rice, 43, at 1.50pm on January 10, 2011, as she sat in her stalled Mercedes at a red light in a main street of Toowoomba with floodwaters swirling around her wheels. Jordan and Blake, 11, were in the back seat.
A coronial inquest found the man who answered Donna's call, Senior Constable Jason Wheeler "did not treat her call with the seriousness it warranted and did not treat her with respect". That's putting it mildly.
Wheeler chastised Donna for driving into floodwaters, when in fact the coroner found she had cautiously stopped in shallow water while other cars forged ahead.
But the water rose unusually fast and within minutes engulfed the car, forcing Donna and her boys onto the roof.
When Donna asked Wheeler to call a tow truck, he retorted: "You ring the tow truck company yourself."
He assigned Donna's call a low priority, and no help was dispatched.
Seven minutes later Jordan rang triple-0: "We're nearly drowning, hurry up please."
By then, two passing strangers Warren McErlean and Chris Skehan were risking their lives. Warren, 41, was knocked over twice in the swift-running water.
When Chris reached the car, Warren recalls Jordan and his mother urged him to take Blake.
"After Jordan told the rescuer to take me first, the guy said, 'C'mon little man, it will be OK'," Blake testified.
Chris passed the boy to Warren, who carried him to safety. But by the time he made it back to Donna and Jordan, the water had risen so fast the car was washed away. Chris managed to grab hold of a power pole but Donna and Jordan drowned.
It was a horrendous scene, watched by a screaming Blake.
But what happened next only compounded the grief.
Donna's partner and the father of her four boys, John Tyson, 49, still burns about police allegations that Jordan urged his mother to drive through the floodwaters, a claim later rejected by the coroner.
Police also claimed Donna displayed no urgency when talking to triple-0, and that emergency calls that day were handled "brilliantly".
John alleged in the Queensland's Floods Commission that 17 days after his wife and son died, he was heavied by a police inspector, who told him not to speak to the media about the triple-0 calls.
The officer did not return our calls but at the commission denied threatening John, and tendered the transcript of a recording he made of their conversation on a wristwatch recorder.
The partial transcript and audio, stored in the Queensland State Archives, do not show any threats made.
John says the transcript is incomplete and the officer's secret recording indicates an adversarial approach.
In any case, after the tragedy, John was beset by problems and felt abandoned by his hometown. He lost his plastering business, and took the $145,000 insurance money to the Gold Coast to start afresh with Blake, now 13.
He works as a labourer but struggles to pay the mortgage on his new house, and may have to return to Toowoomba.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Rough justice for 'whistleblower' cop in Surfers Paradise police station bashing
A POLICE sergeant accused of leaking video footage of fellow officers bashing a prisoner has been charged with misconduct - while the alleged perpetrators are yet to face action 20 months on.
Chef Noa Begic was allegedly bashed by a group of officers in the basement of Surfers Paradise police station in January 2012.
Video footage obtained exclusively by The Courier-Mail captured the shocking attack in full, but while two officers have been stood down over the incident awaiting an internal affairs investigation, the alleged whistleblower has been charged with police misconduct and will face a disciplinary hearing headed by Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski.
After an investigation by ethical standards, police will allege Sergeant Rick Flori "inappropriately obtained" official and confidential surveillance footage from the CCTV room of the Surfers Paradise police station and supplied it to the newspaper.
Sgt Flori's house was raided by police a few weeks later and he was transferred from the Surfers Paradise station.
He has now been charged with improper conduct and will face a hearing at a date to be fixed when he could face action including demotion.
In stark contrast, the two officers stood down over their alleged involvement in the shocking attack are yet to face any serious disciplinary action.
They were pulled from the front line after the newspaper broke the story and stood down from duty several months later, but they have not been formally charged.
The Courier-Mail yesterday asked the office of Police Commissioner Ian Stewart for comment on why the investigation into their conduct had dragged on so long, but only received a brief statement in response.
The statement says disciplinary allegations were "being considered by the Deputy Commissioner".
Mr Begic was enjoying a few drinks after work when he was arrested by a group of officers in the heart of the Surfers Paradise nightclub strip in January 2012.
He was charged with public nuisance and obstructing police, but the charges were eventually dropped.
Mr Begic has now engaged lawyers and plans to sue the Queensland Police Service.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Qld. cyclist hit by car alleges "imaginary" police interview
The video starts off like any other typical workday ride.
A cyclist is riding along the road, glancing over his shoulder to check on other vehicles, when a white jeep flashes past.
Suddenly, the car's side mirror knocks him from his bike, sending him tumbling to the ground at high speed. As the camera comes to rest, you can hear the cyclist's screams of agony. His upper leg has been shattered.
This video is gaining traction on social media after being posted by the Brisbane cyclist who claims Queensland police fabricated his testimony on the official crash report, in the course of fining the driver of the car one demerit point for "following too closely".
It comes to light at a time when cycling advocacy groups are renewing a national campaign for a minimum passing distance law, following the death of cyclist Richard Pollett in similar circumstances.
Craig Cowled, 38, who lost 1.5 litres of blood while spending seven hours in surgery, remembers the events leading up to the incident clearly, including an early premonition of danger.
Brisbane cyclist Craig Cowled, whose leg was shattered when he was hit by a car.
Brisbane cyclist Craig Cowled, whose leg was shattered when he was hit by a car. Photo: Fairfax Media
"As I was approaching a set of lights ... a white car came very close to me," Mr Cowled said. "It unnerved me a little but sometimes you shrug off these close passes and move on."
Mr Cowled said he started off again, "really putting my head down", taking a legal position in the middle of the left lane and staying out of a turning lane while constantly doing "head checks" over his shoulder for following cars.
"It came as a real surprise to me when this [white] car moved into my field of vision and suddenly I was hit. The bike went out from underneath and I slammed down onto the road."
A detail from an X-ray following surgery to repair Mr Cowled's shattered femur.
A detail from an X-ray following surgery to repair Mr Cowled's shattered femur.
Although he was in tremendous pain at the time of the incident, he clearly recalls passers-by creating a safe space around him and the speedy arrival of an ambulance. The police arrived and took a statement from the driver of the vehicle that had hit him, but Mr Cowled says he was rushed to hospital without speaking to them.
"I had a compound fracture right through my femur - the thigh bone, the biggest bone in your body - it was fractured clean through," he says.
He praised the "amazing" skills of the medical staff at the Royal Brisbane Hospital who inserted a titanium rod through the length of the bone, and reattached his leg to his hip joint.
While he was in hospital, a police officer visited but he was in treatment. He was later told the officer had merely come to tell him the location of his bicycle, which had been damaged in the crash.
When he was released from hospital almost a week later, Mr Cowled called police to give a statement and show them his video footage of the incident.
In a letter he delivered on Friday to the office of the Queensland Commissioner of Police, Ian Stewart, Mr Cowled details what happened next.
After leaving several messages and getting no reply, he eventually made contact.
"The officer advised me that I was not required to make a statement as the matter had been finalised," he writes. "I was very surprised and asked several times, why not?"
Mr Cowled said he was told that the driver been charged with a traffic offence. The officer would not tell him what the charge was, but told him that he should be happy that police had found 100 per cent in his favour, which would help to facilitate his personal injury claim.
A few weeks later Mr Cowled received a copy of the police report via his solicitor.
He was amazed to find that a statement had been filled in on his behalf, in first person speech. Inaccuracies included an entry that he had been cycling for recreation - he was in fact en route to work. Much of the statement attributed to him contains the same information as the statement given by the motorist who hit him. It ends by saying: "I have been struck by a vehicle on my right. I have then hit the bitumen and was instantly in pain."
The driver’s statement in the report said he had seen the cyclist up ahead, and had noticed him when nearly overtaking him at the earlier intersection. The driver said he was "trying to go around [the cyclist] in the lane" and "his bike has clipped the car".
The report concludes that the driver of the vehicle "has seen a bicycle up ahead and attempted to overtake ... and not left enough space", thereby causing a collision. This was judged as requiring a fine of "follow too closely", with the recommendation that "no further action be taken".
"In all honesty, I feel I have been brushed aside on this issue," said Mr Cowled, a PhD candidate with three sons under the age of six. "It’s galling."
He has sought legal advice, and hopes that his letter to the Commissioner will spark an investigation into police handling of the matter.
Police told Fairfax Media on Monday afternoon the matter was the subject of an internal inquiry.
"The Queensland Police Service is currently making inquiries in relation to allegations that have been raised to the police handling of an investigation where a cyclist was injured on Kingsford Smith Drive," police said in a statement.
"Those allegations have been forwarded to the Ethical Standards Command and this matter is now the subject of an internal inquiry."
Mr Cowled has been told it may take a year for him to recover full mobility, and there is a chance he will need a hip replacement. Six weeks later, he is still taking strong medication to manage constant pain.
The incident has come at a time when cycling advocacy organisations are campaigning for states to adopt laws that enforce a minimum distance for cars passing bicycles.
Sean Sampson of the Amy Gillett Foundation, which is campaigning under the slogan "a metre matters", said: "This incident highlights the need for change to create a safer environment for bicycle riders, the type of behavioural and legislative change that can be delivered through the introduction of minimum passing distance laws."
After months of public hearings and requests for submissions, a government inquiry into cycling in Queensland was completed last week. It is due to deliver its findings on November 29.
The inquiry follows a court case over the death of Mr Pollett, a virtuoso violinist, who was run over by a truck while cycling on Brisbane's Moggill Road in September 2011. In May this year, a jury found the truck driver was not guilty of any offence under the available laws.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
The Police service is protecting him. It's only a very persistent victim that is giving hope of justice
A POLICE officer who assaulted an elderly homeless man in a mall seven years ago has failed to stop the Crime and Misconduct Commission trying to have him disciplined.
Bruce Rowe was assaulted in Brisbane's Queen Street Mall in 2006 when some police officers pinned him to the ground and Constable Benjamin Arndt kneed him.
Constable Arndt was found guilty of assaulting Mr Rowe and fined $1000, with no conviction recorded, after a private prosecution.
After the CMC referred a complaint from Mr Rowe to the Queensland Police Service, an assistant commissioner decided Constable Arndt needed only "managerial guidance'', and there was no disciplinary action.
The CMC has applied to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal for that decision to be reviewed, on the ground that Constable Arndt should have been disciplined for misconduct.
Constable Arndt tried to strike out the CMC application, saying it lacked substance and the tribunal did not have jurisdiction to deal with it.
The tribunal heard when the CMC first investigated Mr Rowe's complaint, it found there had been an illegal assault and referred a report to the QPS for any disciplinary action.
In February, the QPS told the CMC that managerial guidance had been provided to Constable Arndt.
The officer was told no further action would be taken in relation to the complaint and no adverse reference would be put on his personal file, the tribunal heard.
Tribunal member Michelle Howard said the CMC Act allowed the tribunal to review specified decisions made about police officers if the CMC applied.
While Constable Arndt argued there had been no reviewable decision, Ms Howard found there had been a decision in relation to an allegation of misconduct regarding the unlawful assault.
On May 10, she found that it was a reviewable decision that was made within the appropriate time and dismissed Constable Arndt's application.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Gold Coast surf shop worker claims to be second man brutally bashed at Surfers Paradise police station
A GOLD Coast surf shop worker claims to be the second man brutally bashed while handcuffed in the bowels of Surfers Paradise police station.
Josh Gowdie, 21, is suing the Queensland Police Service for tens of thousands of dollars in damages.
He claims he was assaulted and thrown into a brick wall inside the Orchid Ave police station in December, 2011.
CCTV footage of the incident, obtained by Mr Gowdie's lawyers, was broadcast last night by Channel 9.
Mr Gowdie was allegedly bashed a month before chef Noah Begic claims to have been subjected to similar police brutality in the basement of the Surfers police station. He, too, is suing the police service for a six-figure sum.
"The police can't be allowed to get away with this sort of thing," Mr Gowdie told The Courier-Mail last night. "The two officers who did this to me are not fit to be in the police service."
Mr Gowdie said the incident happened in Surfers in the early hours of December 5, 2011, when he was "standing up for a female who got arrested".
He said police pushed, shoved and punched him in the street before hurling him against a brick wall in a passageway inside the police station. "I didn't do a single thing to deserve it," he said.
"I told them I'd had shoulder surgery and they (police) said they'd dislocate my shoulder again. "I suffered multiple injuries including cuts and bruising, grazes, claw marks and a chipped tooth and I still get flashbacks."
Mr Gowdie said he was speaking out now because he was frustrated at the slow pace of the police investigation.
A QPS spokeswoman said the investigation was ongoing.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Man bashed by Qld police to sue
A MAN allegedly bashed by police under the Surfers Paradise police station has launched legal action against the state of Queensland.
Noa Begic was arrested after a night out in Surfers Paradise in January last year and taken to the basement of the local police station, where CCTV footage appeared to show him being punched and thrown to the ground by officers.
The Courier-Mail posted exclusive footage of the incident on its website and all charges against Mr Begic were later dropped.
However, he has now taken legal action, engaging high-profile law firm Maurice Blackburn to sue the state of Queensland in a civil suit. He is believed to be seeking a six-figure settlement.
A close friend of Mr Begic said it was taking a long time for the mental scars to heal after the ordeal. "He was very anxious about police for a long while as you can imagine," said the friend. "He is trying to get on with his life and sees this as a chance to close the door on that chapter."
Two of the four officers allegedly involved in the incident remain suspended from duty while the Queensland Police Service's Ethical Standards Command runs its own investigation.
Mr Begic had been drinking with friends after finishing his shift at a Surfers Paradise restaurant when he was approached by police officers. He was arrested and taken to the basement of the nearby police station.
CCTV then appears to show a handcuffed Mr Begic being flung to the ground before being punched several times in the head by one of the officers as he is pushed into the back of a police wagon.
One of the officers is then shown pouring a bucket of water over what looks to be a puddle of blood on the basement floor.
Mr Begic was charged with being a public nuisance and obstructing police after he allegedly directed numerous loud and abusive comments towards officers patrolling the Surfers nightclub strip.
The charges against Mr Begic were thrown out last June. Mr Begic has also asked the Queensland Police Service to pay his legal costs from that court action.
The ethical standards investigation into the affair continues, while an investigation is also under way into an officer accused of leaking the CCTV footage to the newspaper.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Officer who failed to issue alert on sinking boat set to be demoted
A POLICE officer who failed to alert authorities that a boat was sinking in the Torres Strait before five people died is likely to be demoted, after a successful Crime and Misconduct Commission appeal.
A girl, four, and four other people drowned when the Malu Sara went down on the way from Saibai to Badu Island in October 2005.
Thursday Island Sergeant Warren Flegg was told the vessel was taking on water but did not tell rescue authorities that the boat was in distress until hours later.
After a disciplinary hearing an Assistant Commissioner found Sgt Flegg should be demoted to Senior Constable for two years, but suspended the order, subject to him completing training.
In February last year a Queensland Civil and Administrative Appeal Tribunal senior member dismissed the CMC's appeal against that decision, finding that the sanction was appropriate.
But the CMC brought a fresh appeal, on the basis that a reasonable tribunal would have found the sanction "unreasonable or plainly unjust". The Commission no longer asked for Sgt Flegg to be dismissed.
On February 20 QCAT appeal tribunal members Justice Alan Wilson and Dr Bridget Cullen said a suspended sentence did not reflect the seriousness of Sgt Flegg's misconduct and it was "surprising".
"His failure to pass on critical information as soon as practicable was a very serious omission, particularly when he was a trained search and rescue co-ordinator," Justice Wilson said. "The failure to discharge that duty persisted for some hours, compounding its seriousness."
Justice Wilson said in his view Sgt Flegg should be demoted to Senior Constable for two years from a date to be decided and be allowed to apply for a sergeant's position only after two years, under certain conditions.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Qld. man on obstructing police charge claims officers bashed him
Timothy William Barker shows his injuries.
A MOUNTAIN Creek man facing one charge of obstructing police says he was savagely bashed by officers during his arrest.
Lawyer Adrian Hawkes alleged that his client, Timothy William Barker, 28, was assaulted while being arrested on Christmas Day.
"My client has been seriously attacked by the two officers," Mr Hawkes told Maroochydore Magistrates Court.
Magistrate Bernadette Callaghan said there were mechanisms in place to respond to such allegations.
"If your client has a complaint against the police, he should take it to the CMC," she said.
"He already has," Mr Hawkes responded.
Ms Callaghan adjourned the matter to February 11 to enable case-conferencing between both parties, a direction Mr Hawkes opposed.
The events leading to Mr Barker's arrest were not clarified in court yesterday.
Mr Hawkes said he took photos of the injuries when Mr Barker was released from Maroochydore watchhouse.
He said his client unsuccessfully asked police on Boxing Day to drop the obstruction charge.
Qld. cop kills another cop over drugs?
I don't know much about this but a man claims that in 1988 he saw Qld. Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Wilson murder a uniformed police officer then leave the scene of the murder (in Airlie Beach North Queensland) looking like a suicide.
Shortly afterwards Wilson and underworld associates allegedly stole 2 tons of confiscated cocaine from Airlie Beach police station. When asked about the missing drugs, the cops simply said, "We can't find it. It's been lost..."
The witness was subsequently savagely beaten in an apparent attempt to shut him up. He has tried various avenues to draw attention to his matters but has hit a brick wall throughout, not very surprisingly.
The claims are in an eBook available on Amazon here ... which see -- JR
Qld Police Commissioner Stewart
An interesting email received:
Commissioner Stewart is currently under investigation by the Anti-discrimination Commission for acts of reprisal against police officer, Senior Constable Lyn Jones for participating in a public interest disclosure.
The public interest disclosure concerned a forensic officer from the Fingerprint Bureau Brisbane stealing from a crime scene. The incident was reported to senior management at the Fingerprint Bureau, Inspector Brendan Keleher and Inspector Tony Carstensen, who then bullied staff not to report the incident as they had both applied for promotion and "didn't want anything interferring in their promotional prospects".
After disclosing the incident to Ethical Standard Command, S/C Jones was advised by Senior Sergeant Blair Webber at the Fingerprint Bureau that the senior officers were "drumming up" complaints against her to "get rid of her". Five (5) months later S/C Jones was managerially transferred from the fingerprint bureau under allegations of complaints made against her. One (1) month later she was suspended without pay in relation to false complaints submitted by Sergeant David Reece, Sergeant Waldo Kowalsky and S/Sgt Blair Webber of the fingerprint bureau.
The complaints were investigated by Inspector Ray Rohweder who is a known associate and mate of S/Sgt Webber. Rohweder was also under investigation, at that time, for threating and bullying staff. After being found guilty of these offences, Rohweder was managerially transferred from Ethical Standard Command, but made sure he took S/C Jones' disciplinary file with him. Rohweder then continued to "drum up" complaints against her.
Three (3) years later S/C Jones is still suspended without pay on false complaints. To date, her disciplinary file is over 1000 pages as Inspector Rohweder collects statements from "rent a crowd".
CMC advised S/C Jones in March 2012 that "from the documents ESC had provided it was quite obvious that the QPS was trying to get rid of her as she had been labelled a 'trouble maker' for being a whistleblower".
The public should hear not only about the bad cops, but what happens to the good cops who dob them in. Officer who particpate in a public interest disclosures and tell the truth get bastardised by management, receive death threats and labelled "dogs". If we keep our mouths shut we get dismissed from the service for not dobbing them in. In other words, we're dammed if we do and dammed if we don't.
But S/C Jones is not one for being bullied by the "boys club" and has submitted a complaint to the Anti-Discrimination Commission for the QPS's acts of reprisal. I wish her luck, but she's more likely to "disappear" like S/Sgt Mike Isles before they'll let her win.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
CMC says police officer got off lightly after 'forgetting' to act on tip-off
Qld. Police negligence leads to death
THE CMC has accused the police service of failing to appropriately discipline an officer whose inaction may have contributed to the death of a missing man.
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal documents show that Barry Powell, 64, was still alive and would have been for at least another 24 hours when a local rang police to report sighting an abandoned vehicle at Wyandra in the state's southwest that belonged to Mr Powell on December 6, 2009.
His body was eventually discovered nearby in dense bushland five days later.
The temperature at the time the vehicle was abandoned was about 40C. He had been travelling with his dog, a black labrador, and at the time temperatures soared to more than 40C.
An internal police investigation found officer-in-charge of Augathella station, Sergeant Andrew Ernest Thomas, "failed to take appropriate action" after he was told of an abandoned vehicle.
"At about 8.30am on the 11th of December 2009 the body of Barry Frederick Powell was located in bushland approximately 650m northeast from his vehicle," Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett said in a notice of formal finding dated November 20, 2012, lodged in QCAT.
"It is estimated Mr Powell was alive until the morning of December 8 2009."
Mr Barnett said Sgt Thomas failed to investigate or consider the likelihood that a person who abandoned the vehicle might need assistance and the consequences of them not receiving any, particularly after being "exposed to such environmental conditions".
Sgt Thomas received a two-year suspended sentence, so if any further acts of misconduct were committed, he would be demoted from sergeant to senior constable.
Sgt Thomas did not report the phone call to Charleville CIB until December 10 and a massive search involving SES and police on foot, horseback and motorcycles followed.
"Subsequent inquiries with the family of Mr Powell indicate that he was travelling from Western Australia to his residence in Hervey Bay following surgery," QCAT documents state.
"It is apparent from the evidence contained in the brief that Mr Powell was taking a considerable amount of medication for a number of pre-existing medical conditions."
In the hearing, Sgt Thomas said he "banged" his head on an airconditioner and forgot as other things "simply overtook" his mind.
He also argued the information he received related only "to a vehicle on the side of a road, not to a missing person" and he did not accept that a "sufficient nexus" existed between his failure to take appropriate action and Mr Powell's death.
"It logically follows that had you taken steps to have the report investigated, Mr Powell would have been located some time on 8th of December 2011," Mr Barnett stated in the disciplinary hearing.
However, due to the cause of death being undetermined and a ruling by the entomologist that the mPMI (minimum post-mortem interval) could not be provided because of "gross deficiencies in the collection of original evidence", Mr Barnett said he was unable to find clear "causal connection" between Sgt Thomas' inaction and Mr Powell's death.
The CMC argued to QCAT that the sanction did "not adequately reflect the gravity of the misconduct", which included a failure by Sgt Thomas to "protect the public, uphold ethical standards within units of public administration, and promote and maintain public confidence in the QPS".
Sgt Thomas was transferred from Augathella to Toowoomba in January 2010. QPS declined to comment while the matter was before QCAT.
The case is one of four appeals of QPS disciplinary decisions by the CMC before QCAT.
They include Constable Anthony Richard Francis, who was demoted after being found guilty of improper access to and disclosure of confidential police information, several conflicts of interest, failing to report misconduct by another officer and urinating on a police vehicle he was using as a "blue light taxi" after a boozy night out.
QCAT is due to make a decision on those matters next month.
The CMC won a landmark legal ruling last year when it was determined in Brisbane's Court of Appeal it had the authority to intervene if it considered police had not been properly punished by internal discipline.
The appeal court upheld the CMC's appeal which found QPS' punishment of an officer whose involvement in a high-speed car chase ended with the death of a bikie manifestly inadequate.
A date for the Sgt Thomas hearing is yet to be set but a compulsory conference is set for March 6.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Police coverup of bungled prosecution
THE mother of a murder victim is furious Queensland police won't honour a promise to come clean about a failed investigation of the brutal 1999 killings.
Despite 12 years of police work and DNA evidence, police failed to secure convictions against two men accused of the killings of Ann-Maree Kropp and her partner Christopher Nancarrow at Springbrook on the Gold Coast.
The men were found to be not guilty, with no clear evidence of motive presented at the month-long trial in October 2011.
Police promised the Kropp family in January that the findings of an internal review into what went wrong "will be conveyed to you in due course".
But although the QPS has completed its probe, it has made no attempt to contact the family.
"We've heard nothing," Shirley Kropp, Ann-Maree's mother, said. "They've totally ignored us. It's just not good enough. I just wonder what they're trying to hide."
Mrs Kropp said she had heard through the Queensland Homicide Victim Support Group there had been errors in DNA sample collection.
It had also been a mistake to compel testimony from a forensic specialist who was experiencing psychological distress.
"They've got off blind because they stuffed up," she said.
But the QPS could not confirm the findings. It would say only that "a review of the of verdict" in the case "reinforced the Queensland Police Service's ongoing commitment to continuous improvement in terms of the investigation of serious crime".
A retired detective who initially worked the case said in 2011 that "police politics" had wrecked the investigation.
Paddy Fenely, a former Gold Coast CIB officer, said he had found promising lines of inquiry suggesting the murdered couple had been recruited by a drug ring linked to Nomads bikies planning to supply methamphetamine to truck drivers in Murwillumbah.
But the investigation was transferred to another unit.
Under changes to Queensland's double jeopardy laws last year, murder cases can be reopened if "fresh and compelling" new evidence emerges.
Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon, who took over the investigation in 2007, said last month no further arrests should be expected and no one was being sought for questioning.
Monday, December 3, 2012
Shady police officers caught on the wrong side of the law in Queensland
A POLICE officer caught smuggling drugs from New Zealand and another who molested a boy are among a dozen police officers found on the wrong side of the law in Queensland in the past year.
The Courier-Mail can reveal that nine of the officers found guilty of crimes - which also included assault, excessive force, drink-driving and inappropriate behaviour - since July 1, 2011, are still working for the Queensland Police Service.
None was sacked, but the drug smuggler, pedophile and an officer who stole weed killer from a shop all quit, while another was suspended and two others were stood down from operational duties pending internal investigations.
Documents obtained under the Right to Information Act show an additional 16 officers suspected of official misconduct resigned before investigations were complete.
Those allegations related primarily to assault and excessive force with a weapon, corruption favouritism, victimisation and harassment and inappropriate behaviour.
* Allegedly running a side business and getting a prisoner to help move house.
* Using police position to intimidate a vet into providing free treatment.
* Arresting and cuffing a man who was then punched "repeatedly in the face" and "smashed his head into a police van and kicked him in the back".
Most resignations meant that internal investigations were dropped, but Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett said management would consider keeping them open when dismissal and demotion were a possible outcome and there weren't any criminal charges.
He said since 2010, QPS had only twice continued investigating police who had resigned - once for an officer who acted inappropriately and the other involving an officer accused of drug offences.
"In an organisation of over 10,600 officers, inevitably there are going to be issues from time to time," Deputy Commissioner Barnett said. "But I think the number of officers who come to attention for serious misconduct is very small."
He said the review into police discipline was stalled pending the outcome of the review into the Crime and Misconduct Commission.
"Everyone . . . who's in this area is keen that allegations of misconduct or criminal conduct are dealt with as soon as possible," he said.