Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thick-skulled Queensland police missed a rapist who was right under their noses

And the so-called police watchdog was not interested. The man the police framed instead has just had his conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal

A MAN suspected of killing Goodna schoolgirl Leanne Holland is a police informant and convicted rapist. He is a sadistic, violent predator, who was once friends with the Holland family, lived near them and had taken Leanne for rides in his vehicle.

The man, 56, unofficially worked with detectives investigating Leanne's murder. The Sunday Mail spoke to him briefly in 2006. He claimed to have helped police solve the killing by working "undercover" but declined to elaborate.

The Sunshine Coast man served a seven-year sentence for rape and incest before being released in 2003. Coincidentally, he was in the same jail west of Brisbane as Graham Stafford for some of that period. The man was identified by two women in a Sunday Mail report in 2005 as being responsible for Leanne's murder. The women claimed they told police the man, their biological father, carried out the shocking sex slaying but it was never investigated. In the 2005 book Who Killed Leanne? by former detective Graeme Crowley and criminologist Paul Wilson, the sisters revealed:

• Their father knew Leanne and raped them at the same spot at Redbank Plains, Ipswich, where her body was found.

• He tortured them, leaving similar cigarette lighter burns to those on Leanne's body.

• He had photos of her corpse which he either took himself or obtained from the police file and threatened that they would end up the same way if they talked.

The Sunday Mail revealed in 2006 that the man was repeatedly given weekend leave from prison during his rape sentence. Corrective Services sources said the man was given 13 weekend leave passes in one seven-month period.

The Sunday Mail took information on the man to the CMC [police watchdog] in 2007 but it declined to investigate, saying it would be an "unjustifiable use of resources".


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Another corrupt Queensland police investigation

POLICE who investigated an alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse at a Queensland Catholic primary school had close ties with teachers and the principal. At least three police officers involved in the investigation last year of a teacher, later charged with the rape and abuse of 13 young girls, had children at the school or spouses on staff at the close-knit Toowoomba school, west of Brisbane.

Police previously said all officers with any involvement at the school were taken off the case at the start of the investigation.

The initial abuse complaint was made by a nine-year-old girl and her father to the school principal in September, 2007. Police were not told and the veteran teacher, 60, remained at the school for another 14 months, during which time he is alleged to have abused another 12 girls, resulting in him now facing 46 charges of rape and indecent treatment. He faces court next year. Police were belatedly alerted in November last year , but only when another child brought her allegations of abuse directly to them.

The Weekend Australian has learned that a detective who last year helped interview the alleged offender and later took the statement of the father -- who made the first abuse complaint to the principal -- is married to another teacher at the school and was treasurer of the parents and friends association that threw a farewell for the alleged pedophile, who retired briefly from the school before being rehired last year. The father told the detective he and his daughter had gone to the principal with abuse complaints about the teacher, involving herself and another girl, more than a year before before he was arrested. Under state law, schools and their governing bodies have a mandatory requirement to report to police any suspicions of sexual abuse by a staff member. Two other police involved in the investigation also had children at the school.

Police last night issued a statement saying they "hold no concerns whatsoever" of any possible conflict of interest among the investigators. But parents of the victims say they were assured by police there had been no prior suspicions about the teacher, who later confessed to some of the abuse.

In February, the state government ordered an investigation into the school because of a series of reports by The Weekend Australian revealing the inaction to the earlier abuse complaint to the principal. In May, the principal became the first person in Australia to be charged under the six-year-old mandatory reporting laws. But this week, he was acquitted after magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist found the principal had met his legal obligations by reporting the complaints to senior officers in Catholic Education.

Documents showed that after the parent's complaint -- coupled with staff allegations about the teacher giving out lollies and putting children on his lap -- the principal suspected he had sexually abused at least one student. Prosecutors accused the principal and Catholic Education of watering down the complaints before taking them to the teacher, who denied the allegations.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Three more rogue cops

THREE Queensland police officers involved in a series of internal investigations have been stood down, suspended or resigned.

The Ethical Standards Command has taken action against a 37-year-old male constable from the central region following an investigation relating to a firearm matter. The officer has resigned and has been served with a notice to appear in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court on January 20, in relation to an offence under the Weapons Act 1990.

In a separate incident, a 40-year-old male constable from the southeastern region has been suspended after alleged conduct involving a firearm matter and other issues.

Investigations are continuing and the constable remains on extended sick leave.

And a female senior constable, also from the southeastern region, has been stood down over the administration of a police social club account.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Toothless police watchdog?

Parliament told CMC head 'refused to act' on complaint about police Mafia. They could at least have looked into it. The claim that it was outside their jurisdiction is risible. Once again we see evidence that the CMC is just a reincarnation of Sir Joh's old Police Whitewash Tribunal

A MAGISTRATE'S wife has detailed explosive claims about how the head of Queensland's corruption watchdog refused to investigate her allegations about cabals of police families committing serious crimes. Respected academic Dr Christine Eastwood has claimed Crime and Misconduct Commission chair Robert Needham failed to act on her allegations that a senior member of his own organisation was a member of one of the families. But Mr Needham last night denied the allegations, saying they appeared to stem from a long-running family dispute.

In a statutory declaration, Dr Eastwood, the wife of Southport magistrate John Costanzo, claims she and her husband held a meeting with Mr Needham in a Coolangatta hotel room in August. Dr Eastwood alleged Mr Needham taped their conversation but refused to accept her complaint. "Towards the end of the meeting, when I expressed concern that he had left me with nowhere to go, he again discouraged me from going to police and reiterated that the CMC would not accept the complaint," she said. "He left the meeting room and refused to take with him any of the documentation I had prepared in relation to the complaint."

Mr Needham said it was a case of "adding one and one and getting 10". "Unfortunately, the emotional situation means their objectivity has totally gone." Mr Needham said the allegations were not in his jurisdiction and did not raise "reasonable" suspicion.

Opposition deputy leader Lawrence Springborg attempted to table Dr Eastwood's declaration yesterday, as well as a complaint and correspondence with the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee, in Parliament. While Mr Springborg said Dr Eastwood's declaration had not yet been put before the parliamentary committee, Speaker John Mickel stymied the tabling of the documents out of caution not to breach House rules applying to submissions before a committee.

But last night, under federal parliamentary privilege, Liberal MP Peter Lindsay read Dr Eastwood's statutory declaration into the Lower House record.

Dr Eastwood claims in the documents that senior police, including detectives in the fraud squad and in the drug and property crime squad, were potentially involved in serious crimes including fraud, forgery and murder. The documents show Dr Eastwood wrote to the PCMC after Mr Needham allegedly refused to act but she objected to the committee informing the CMC of her complaint to seek a report from the watchdog on the issue. She said such a move could potentially inform the allegedly corrupt police of her complaint, putting her family at risk.

In Parliament, Mr Springborg questioned Attorney-General Cameron Dick on whether he was aware of the issue and if he was satisfied they had been fully investigated. Mr Dick criticised Mr Springborg for trying to table the documents before the PCMC but promised the matter would be properly investigated.

SOURCE. There's a smell of coverup over this -- JR

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Some more observations of Queensland police goons

An email from a reader

Perhaps getting older one becomes more sensitive to things, but since I moved to Cotton Tree at Maroochydore 4 years ago, I have found myself thinking more and more with dissatisfaction on the matter of the police force in Qld, from the most basic level, that being, someone in the street who simply observes and takes note.

Each and every instance of observing members of the police has been unsatisfactory-to-highly unsatisfactory, and here I find myself, searching Google and reading a blog such as yours.

Of late, I witnessed a police car pull up an acquaintance of mine as he was walking home from work, and watching the manner of their interaction with him, I was appalled. It was a police car with 4 members inside, patrolling the very quiet waterside neighbourhood of Cotton Tree. They pulled the car right off the curb in front of this chap, blocking his progress along the footpath, wound down a window and demanded with aggressive tones what he was doing. When he replied he was walking home from the Plaza where he worked as a store manager (he was in full uniform, very neat, with a work bag), they queried him further about his address and place of work, then drove off abruptly with no further comment.

The interaction contained no salutation, no final words of thanks or recognition, nothing, just abrupt, aggressive bullying with absolutely no reason. The person was clearly shaken, quite badly, to the point where I offered to walk him home and hear what had happened in further detail.

I was so taken aback, and so affronted by this event in my little street, in my sleepy neighbourhood, involving a person who in no terms looked like a victim or suspect either, that I actually called the local Maroochydore station, and made a formal complaint.

This in itself was an ordeal, in which I had to endure every effort to shunt my complaint aside, to verbally badger me into recanting and hanging up, and eventually to placing obstacles in my path to making a complaint which I felt was my right, as a taxpaying citizen concerned at the conduct of a public employee. I am not so much of a pushover, and can string a sentence together, an attribute I have found that absolutely infuriates the police communications office, luckily as otherwise my complaint would have gone the way of many others, I am betting.

It seemed that at some point I passed a test, the "do we really have to do something about this person" test, after which a police communications person called me back and addressed the issue, albeit in a way that I suspect meant it would go no further. As it turns out, the car was responding to a call reporting a woman yelling in the area, and they were doing a drive by of the street.

Since then I have kept careful note of all further incidents I have witnessed by police in my town, and I must say, the attitude of dogged rudeness and self entitlement absolutely appalls me. I started out thinking along the lines of your latest blog entry, the hardships of the police job, and the social penalties they must work under, and giving them benefit of the doubt for that. But my observations are all in instances where really ordinary, respectable for lack of a better term, people have born the absolute rudeness and bullying of their local police force.

When an officer cannot enjoy an interaction with a pleasant member of the public, one like my acquaintance who would have been pro-police, polite to a fault, helpful and thankful, then there is something wrong, seriously wrong, in the system. The excuse that they deal with the awful spectrum of humanity, and hence their job is so difficult, no longer pulls weight with me.

As a PhD, a MPsych and a very well travelled, intelligent law abiding citizen (yes after dealing with the communications office one finds oneself pulling out all the armour and giving it a polish) I say the Queensland police force is a repulsive organisation, not fitting of the tax payers dollars to fund it, nor the good will it so belligerently demands.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Watchdog slams Queensland police corruption

ANTI-corruption watchdog chief Robert Needham has slammed police mishandling of the Mulrunji death in custody, unleashing his most scathing attack yet on an internal police investigation. The Crime and Misconduct Commission is expected to release its report on the police investigation into the 2004 Palm Island death in custody of Cameron Doomadgee, 36, known by his tribal name as Mulrunji, next year.

Mr Needham, the CMC chair, said yesterday the CMC was less than happy with the handling of the police probe into the death of the Aboriginal man inside the Palm Island watchhouse five years ago. "What we've done is go back to ground zero," he said. "We've gone right to the primary documents. We went to every interview that's ever been had with all the relevant officers and gone back through every single thing in great detail."

The CMC report is expected to recommend disciplinary action against senior officers who investigated the death in custody and to criticise the case as an example of police protecting their own. Mr Needham said he would wait until the report was finished before going any further.

Yesterday he released the three-year investigation into policing in remote indigenous communities ordered after the infamous riots and burning of the police station on Palm Island, five years ago today, and another 2007 riot in Aurukun.

The CMC report calls on the State Government to make finalising all outstanding legal matters in the affair by the sixth anniversary of Mulrunji's death next year a high priority "goal".

But the man's family remains sceptical. "It's not over yet,"' said sister Lizzie Doomadgee. Yesterday Lizzie and two sisters admitted to a case of deja vu as they sat in the front row of Townsville Magistrates Court. They sat, resolute, as they did through a first coronial inquest, a CMC inquiry, a Department of Public Prosecutions decision, an Attorney-General's appeal, a manslaughter trial, and now another inquest. "We're waiting for justice," said Ms Doomadgee. They still have a civil damages suit pending against Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley and Queensland Police.

Five years ago, Mulrunji died of internal bleeding with four broken ribs and his liver cleaved in two after a jailhouse tussle with Sen-Sgt Hurley. Sen-Sgt Hurley was tried and acquitted of the manslaughter of Mulrunji in 2007.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Brian Hine yesterday ordered the second inquest be held over 10 days on Palm Island and in Townsville from March 8. The second inquest comes after a Court of Appeal ordered the findings of the 2006 inquest that Hurley caused the injuries to Mulrunji by punching him be set aside.

It later emerged Mulrunji probably died as a result of a catastrophic injury caused by compressive force to his stomach, most likely a knee. [The knee of a hulking cop by the name of Hurley, to be precise]

Counsel assisting the coroner Ralph Devlin said there had been "many conflicting and inconsistent accounts of witnesses".


Monday, November 16, 2009

Honest cop back at work after beating corrupt police bosses -- for now

A OFFICER who exposed cronyism and corruption in the police force has returned to duty after 18 months of being forced to see psychiatrists despite being fit. Sergeant Robbie Munn said he was greeted by "a lot of smiles, handshakes and pats on the back" by other officers at the Maroochydore police station after battling against police bureaucracy.

Sgt Munn, who rebelled against a culture he said deterred whistleblowers from reporting "dirty little secrets" in the service, credited an October story in The Courier-Mail with restoring his career. Only days before the story ran, Sgt Munn was barred from duty but within hours of the story's publication his doctor received a report clearing him for service. "The story was the only reason I was allowed back," he said. "I still think they want me out and will try to medically retire me."

Sgt Munn is working three days a week on a rehabilitation program recommended for him last year but only offered to him after the story appeared. Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson said he would meet with Sgt Munn to discuss his concerns, but the meeting has yet to occur.

Sgt Munn was supported by Queensland Police Union general secretary Mick Barnes, Maroochydore's Sgt John Saez, a 37-year veteran, and dozens of Dayboro residents impressed with his services as officer-in-charge in the town.

Sgt Munn, who was in charge of 70 police officers at Maroochydore, said he was smeared in the bureaucracy after exposing that police cheated on promotion exams by plagiarising and paying others to complete their work. He also unsuccessfully tried to reform rosters at the Maroochydore watchhouse after becoming concerned at some work practices. A year later, two officers were charged and eventually jailed for taking advantage of female prisoners.

When he was overlooked for promotion in Dayboro, he appealed to the CMC and won, embarrassing his managers. After having a heart attack, Sgt Munn said he was not allowed to return to duty despite his GP and two psychiatrists saying he was fit. The police service was accused of doctor-shopping for a negative report to keep Sgt Munn from returning.

He was embarrassed to be paid more than $100,000 from a fund for ill police officers while he was on enforced leave. "At least now I have direction. For 18 months I had no direction," he said.

Police bureaucrats sat on a favourable report on his mental condition until after the newspaper article appeared.

Evie, his wife, said her husband had been "honest to his own detriment". Union secretary Mr Barnes said Sgt Munn was a victim of "bastardisation" in the force. "It highlights the mindset within many senior QPS officers who are unable to agree to disagree," he said.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Outrage over handling of Queensland police bullying claim

THE son of a missing Queensland policeman has accused the state's top cop of lacking professionalism in dealing with allegations his father was bullied by high-ranking officers.

In an open letter to Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson, Steven Isles claims concerns over the treatment of his father Senior Sergeant Mick Isles have been dismissed without an open and transparent investigation.

Sen Sgt Isles, the officer in charge of Ayr Police Station, south of Townsville, has been missing since September 23 despite exhaustive search operations involving police, army and SES personnel.

His disappearance came just days after he returned to work following 13 months of sick leave, which was prompted by allegations of misconduct for which he was fully exonerated.

The Isles family claim his disappearance and the lengthy investigation which preceded it were the result of bullying and victimisation by high-ranking officers and has called for an inquiry into the internal culture of the Queensland Police Service (QPS).

However, Mr Isles says his allegations have been ignored, pointing to media comments by the commissioner last month.

"I just don't believe he was the subject of bullying – I know the people involved and I just don't believe that that was so," Mr Atkinson told the Nine Network on October 13.

Mr Isles insists Mr Atkinson should have maintained a neutral position on the matter and allowed the claims to be independently investigated.

"Where is a person's right to raise grievance and an individual's expectation they ought be dealt with professionally and impartially?" he asked in the letter.

"In my opinion, remaining impartial and without bias as the CEO of the QPS would be the most professional course of action," he wrote.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thuggish attitudes and behaviour among the Queensland police start at the top

If there's one thing police officers are good at, aside from crime fighting, it's putting on a tough exterior. With a job description that includes dealing with hardened criminals, drunks and nuisances, there's an understandable emphasis on remaining authoritative, tough and unbreakable. It's one of the reasons that many cops don't associate much with people who don't wear the uniform. "No one else can really understand what it's like, what you go through," one experienced officer, who asked not to be named, said.

This collective mentality and feeling of camaraderie is generally a good thing - most officers will tell you the best therapy they get comes from chatting to their workmates. So when you find yourself on the outer, in conflict with the upper echelons of the police service, it can be hard to cope. "When the police department turns on you like that it's sort of like being rejected by a parent," one officer said. "You get institutionalised to that extent and when the institution turns against you it really is like your mother or father has abandoned you."

Which may help explain what was going through Senior Sergeant Mick Isles' head when he disappeared on September 23. The highly respected officer in charge of Ayr police station, in north Queensland, had been off work for 13 months on stress leave as first the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) and then police ethical standards command investigated allegations of wrongdoing. He returned to work on September 21, fully exonerated but still feeling humiliated by the lengthy investigation that was well known around town and the police service.

"We were all stressed, but then we were never the ones who were publicly humiliated, so we cannot understand what was going through his mind," his son Steven said. "This destroyed him."

Exactly what happened to Sen Sgt Isles is unknown. An extensive search south of Ayr located his vehicle but no sign of the 58-year-old. Theories about his fate are plentiful. Many believe he committed suicide, while some have raised the prospect of foul play. Most who knew him, however, believe he is still alive and in hiding somewhere.

In his father's absence Steven Isles has begun a crusade of sorts against what he calls a culture of victimisation within the Queensland Police Service (QPS) and the CMC. Steven Isles has been inundated with support from dozens of serving and former officers from Cairns to South-East Queensland. Many agreed to be interviewed for the purposes of this article, though declined to be named for fear of recrimination. All were scathing in their criticisms of the treatment of Sen Sgt Isles, beginning with his very public arrest at a charity event last August.

"If it was me running (the investigation) I would have phoned him and said: `Mick, we've got a problem, meet us at the station'," one senior officer said. "It's not like he's not going to turn up, they know where to find him, it's just not reasonable."

Others spoke out against the delay in finalising the investigation, but say the case is not uncommon. "They are notoriously slow, they have no consideration for what it puts the copper and their family through," one officer said. "The CMC can drag it on for as long as they like, it's absurd."

However, the CMC and Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson have claimed the investigation would have been completed much earlier had Sen Sgt Isles agreed to speak to investigators. Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said lawyers had advised Sen Sgt Isles to speak to the CMC. "When our members are under investigation we get the best lawyers in Queensland and members need to follow their advice," he said. "I believe if that advice was followed, the conclusion would have been a lot quicker."

Steven Isles says his father was willing to speak with the CMC but wanted correspondence with the anti-corruption watchdog in writing first.

Other officers raised concerns of bullying within the police service. One station boss, who says he fell out of favour with upper management over disputes about funding and officer safety, says he was repeatedly subject to intimidation tactics. He said one inspector would make unannounced visits to his station, some two hours away from the regional headquarters, simply to inspect his haircut. "It was so blatantly obvious that they didn't like you and they came after you," he said. "If they get in their mind that you are questioning them they will chip away at you until it drives you over the edge and that's obviously what's happened to Mick."

For his part, Steven Isles said his father had been warned six weeks before the investigation was launched that a commissioned officer was "gunning for his head". However, those who worked with him say they can't imagine how Sen Sgt Isles would have got himself on the wrong side of upper management. "He wasn't one to ruffle feathers, I can't see him annoying anybody," Steven Isles said.

Mr Atkinson this week denied there was a culture of intimidation within the QPS. "I reject that, I really do," he said. "We're not perfect as an organisation ... but I think the last two decades have seen an incredible change in the department, and I would hope the next 10 years sees further change."

Whatever the case, the many questions surrounding Sen Sgt Isles' disappearance will now be investigated by the state coroner. In the meantime, Steven Isles is going to make sure his father's case won't be forgotten. "We are here to fight this culture, we want to make sure that no employee is treated like this again."


Monday, October 12, 2009

The force of corruption again

Police whistleblower sent home, told to see psychiatrist. No time for integrity among the Queensland police hierarchy. Is Terry Lewis back?

A VETERAN officer who has exposed cronyism and corruption in the police force has been ordered off work even though his doctor says he is fit for duty. Sergeant Robbie Munn – who wants to resume his decorated 30-year career – says the service has a culture that deters whistleblowers from reporting "dirty little secrets".

The police force claims Sgt Munn, who has fully recovered from heart surgery, requires psychiatric help and has ordered him off the job for 18 months. Sgt Munn's treatment has prompted serving officers to speak out, claiming he is being shunned because he is seen as "dangerous because he stands up for the truth". Sgt Munn, who was in charge of 70 police officers at Maroochydore, has revealed:

• Police cheated on promotion exams by plagiarising and paying others to complete their work.

• He unsuccessfully tried to reform rosters at the Maroochydore watchhouse after becoming concerned at some work practices. A year later, two officers were charged and eventually jailed for taking advantage of female prisoners.

• The anti-corruption watchdog made a rare decision to overturn a police appointment and install Sgt Munn after he was overlooked for promotion.

"There's a culture within the service to avoid accountability for management practices. There are a lot of dirty little secrets," Sgt Munn said. "A lot of your rank and file would come forward but they have seen what has happened to previous whistleblowers."

The Police Service has been accused of "doctor shopping" psychiatrists to block his return and refusing to provide a rehab program for the officer. Sgt Munn is on paid leave and says he has received more than $100,000 in the past 18 months from a police sick leave fund. Sgt Munn says the fund is meant for other officers "with genuine medical problems". "The harassment is continuing even though I'm not at work. I'm not ready to retire. I've spent 30 years of my life helping the community and there is value in me being able to do that," Sgt Munn said.

The QPS refuses to answer questions about Sgt Munn, former officer-in-charge of the Dayboro and Maroochydore police stations. Commissioner Bob Atkinson has been on leave this week. "The QPS is currently seeking medical information to determine (Sgt Munn's) fitness and ability to undertake the role of a police officer," a police spokeswoman said.

Evie, his wife, said her husband had been "honest to his own detriment" for speaking out years ago against fraudulent promotion practices, drawing the ire of supervisors and those involved in the rort.

Sgt Munn has arrested hundreds of criminals, had his jaw broken and a knife held to his chest. But he said criminals would be "envious" of shady activities within the force.

Queensland Police Union general secretary Mick Barnes said Sgt Munn was a victim of "bastardisation" in the force. "It highlights the mindset within many senior QPS officers who are unable to agree to disagree," he said.

Maroochydore's Sgt John Saez, a 37-year veteran, said he knows of no reason why Sgt Munn shouldn't be working. He said Sgt Munn was an intelligent supervisor "always looking out for the welfare of his troops" and was quick to suggest reforms to the force. "I honestly think they think Robbie is a dangerous fellow. Because he stands up for the truth, they want him out," Sgt Saez said. "If you buck the system, they put your name up on the wall with a black mark on it."

Sgt Munn's problems began in 1996 when he was wrongly denied a promotion at Dayboro. He took the matter to the then Criminal Justice Commission, which found in his favour.

In 2002, Sgt Munn blew the whistle on corruption within the promotion system of QPS. He found evidence of officers paying for answers to promotion tests, prompting an ethics investigation that led to the police service installing plagiarism software.

In 2005, when he was in charge of Maroochydore watchhouse, he suggested reforms to the roster system after becoming suspicious of shift requests from some officers. His suggestion of a larger rotation was vetoed. The following year, it was revealed officers had been sexually assaulting female inmates. Two officers were jailed over more than 20 charges and several others resigned.

"One of my motivations is to improve the lot of other officers. They might think if I can stand up against a corrupt system, they can too and it will make it better for them," Sgt Munn said. "I've got the runs on the board for doing that. If I can bring it out, maybe it won't happen to others. "Regardless of what they say, I can still hold my head up high."

Sgt Munn believes he was victimised after his whistleblowing by officers who made unsubstantiated complaints against him. He took stress leave and later had heart surgery and now the QPS refuses to take him back. The QPS made Sgt Munn visit one of its consulting psychiatrists, Petros Markou, who has suggested he return to work with a rehab plan that the QPS has yet to develop. Dr Markou said Sgt Munn's challenging of the police selection panel for the Dayboro position sparked retaliation.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another mad Qld. cop. Sounds like a REAL gun nut

Weapons seized from home of police "ethics" expert! A fair commentary on Qld. police ethics, I think

QUEENSLAND's Water Police chief is under investigation by Customs and police for allegedly importing illegal machinegun parts. Customs and Border Protection officers, members of the police Weapons Licensing Branch and the Australian Defence Force's Explosive Ordnance Demolition team raided the home of Inspector Alan Magarry north of Brisbane last Thursday.

Police said a van was removed, along with items suspected of being Australian Defence Force property including a Kevlar helmet, current-issue body armour and boxes of .223 ammunition. Insp Magarry is also being questioned over his alleged possession of a fully automatic Steyr assault rifle, a type of firearm used by the ADF.

Neighbours said cars were lined up all along the street during the raid. "There were soldiers in camouflage gear and a couple of cars up the driveway," said one resident. "A paddy wagon was out the front and a girl was bringing stuff out of the house." An ADF spokesman confirmed the Explosive Ordnance Demolition team attended because of the nature of the material being seized. Insp Magarry is a qualified armourer and operated a private armory business from the stately brick home.

A Customs spokesman said the raid was a result of the discovery of firearm parts in four parcels from America addressed to the home. It is alleged the parts are machinegun kits allegedly used to make inoperable automatic weapons operable. Other items included documents and computers.

Police said Insp Magarry was currently on recreational leave, but was assisting the Ethical Standards Command. "Customs informed police of their concerns last week and we have been assisting them in their inquiries since that time," said a QPS spokeswoman. Insp Magarry was appointed as the Water Police State Co-ordinator this year after a stint with the Ethical Standards Command.

An officer of 27-years' experience, he spent six years as officer-in-charge of Mareeba police station in north Queensland where he drove award-winning projects tackling truancy, graffiti and juvenile crime.

President of the Queensland Police Commissioned Officers Union, Detective Superintendent Tony Cross said there was a "slight chance" the matter would be raised at the next executive meeting. "I understand the allegations are outside the ambit of his work," Det-Supt Cross said.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More evidence that many of the Qld. police are just hoons -- even in an "elite" squad

Police union pleads for them not to be fired and says Australians will understand why officers played up on a bucks night

THE Queensland Police Union has called for a reprieve for officers involved in a buck's night nude run. The police service's ethical standards command is investigating a report from a woman who witnessed two men run naked around a bus stopped at traffic lights in Brisbane's east on Sunday. When police checked the bus's registration, they realised it was an unmarked police vehicle. The officers on board were from an elite squad, and were celebrating a buck's night.

Deputy Commissioner Ian Stewart said yesterday that other officers on board the bus may have been naked.

Both the nude run and the use of two police vehicles is being investigated, and the officers could face criminal charges, as well as disciplinary action ranging from a caution to sacking.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said on Tuesday that sacking the officers would be "over the top". The officers conceded their actions were stupid, but didn't deserve dismissal, Mr Leavers said. "Of course it's embarrassing and they will face some internal discipline issues, however sacking them would not only have a massive affect on them and their families, it would also deprive the QPS of officers who are trained to the very highest of standards," he said in a statement.

"The officers involved were part of a specialist squad which requires extremely rigorous training and skills. "Because of the specialised nature of their work and the fact that these officers are usually on call 24 hours a day, these officers do not normally drink alcohol. "Their actions on Sunday are completely out of character and they are very remorseful."

Mr Leavers said most people would recognise that people acted out of character on buck's nights. "I think that many Australians can relate to things that can occur on buck's or hen's celebrations," he said.

Police Minister Neil Roberts and Commissioner Bob Atkinson are expected to give a media conference at 10am (AEST).


Update about the police hoons:

A POLICE bus carrying at least five naked SERT officers stopped at least four times as it drove across Brisbane to allow passengers to make nude runs outside.

An embarrassed Police Commisssioner Bob Atkinson today admitted the police minivan was carrying at least five naked officers and said the vehicle stopped at least four times for those on board to make nude runs outside it. The officers involved are members of the Special Emergency Response Team, who cost $50,000 each to train (in addition to their regular police training).

One of those stops was at a Capalaba intersection where a woman motorist saw nude men running around the bus and phoned police - who were very surprised to discover that a police vehicle was involved.

Commissioner Atkinson said the last three months had been terrible for the police service, and he could offer no excuses. He promised the matters would be fully investigated.

The practice of passengers running around vehicles parked at intersections is known as the Chinese fire drill.

Earlier today, the state's Police Union dismissed calls for the sacking of the off-duty officers as too high a price to pay. Callers to talkback radio have demanded the police be fired for the buck's party stunt at Capalaba on the southside on Sunday afternoon.


Apologies to any non-Australian readers: "Hoon" is an Australian slang term that is virtually untranslatable into standard English. It implies a combination of stupidity, self-indulgence, exhibitionism and disregard for the law. Street racers are hoons

Update 2: Naked police officers stood down

FIVE Queensland police officers allegedly involved in naked romps through Brisbane on Sunday have been stood down. The Ethical Standards Command will investigate reports of the highly-trained Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) officers allegedly running naked around a police vehicle while stopped at several sets of traffic lights in Brisbane during a buck's party, which had also involved a river cruise with strippers.

The latest scandal for the Queensland police came to light after a member of the public reported an incident of naked men running around a small bus at traffic lights. A number plate check revealed it was a police vehicle, apparently authorised for use by a police sergeant.

A sergeant from the Metropolitan North district, an acting sergeant from Operational Support Command and three senior constables from Operational Support Command will work in Brisbane-based non-operational roles outside the command while the investigation is finalised. The stand downs will not affect the operational readiness of specialist police services, police said in a media statement. The state's Crime and Misconduct Commission has been advised and will overview the investigation.

On Tuesday, Commissioner Bob Atkinson said the police service was taking the incidents seriously. "This has been the worst couple of months for us that I can recall for many years,'' he said. "It's a nightmare in a sense that you just hope there's nothing else coming.'' [The more they are given slaps on the wrist for bad behaviour, the more there WILL be something else coming -- JR]

The officers have the backing of the Queensland Police Union, which says the naked romps are not a sackable offence.


Friday, September 4, 2009

'Urinating' Queensland cop shocks onlookers

There really are some charmers in the Qld. police

A QUEENSLAND police officer is being investigated after allegedly being caught urinating on a poker machine inside a Sunshine Coast nightclub last night.
The officer has been stood down pending the outcome of an investigation. This follows another police officer being stood down after allegedly clocking 223km/h during an authorised pursuit.

In the latest incident, a group of off-duty police officers were celebrating the departure of several colleagues from the force at the Blue Bar at Alexandra Headland, when it is understood an officer was caught urinating on a poker machine inside the premises. CCTV footage from the club has been seized and it is understood the alleged incident was captured on a mobile phone.

Senior officers from the region are investigating the allegations, with oversight from the Ethical Standards Command. The Crime and Misconduct Commission has also been informed about the investigation. Staff at the Blue Bar refused to comment about the incident.

Tasers unsafe in the hands of Australian police goons

They are a valuable alternative to gunfire but police use them indiscriminately -- meaning that a valuable tool may have to be taken away from them in order to protect the public from a rogue police force. Can you imagine a cop firing one 28 times into a man lying on the ground? No wonder the guy died of a heart attack! Such an abuse is of course well outside all guidelines for use of the weapon. The cop concerned should be in jail for manslaughter

The controversial Taser stun guns may be scrapped in Queensland after a review warned that the weapons could kill and could not be modified to prevent a repeat of the death of a man this year when he was shot 28 times with the 50,000-volt device.

The joint Crime and Misconduct Commission-police review, launched after the June heart-attack death of north Queensland man Antonio Galeano, has ordered an overhaul of police training and operational policy, requiring the stun guns to be used only when there is a "risk of serious injury".

The review, to be released today and obtained exclusively by The Australian, marks the first time an Australian authority has recognised the possibility the stun guns can injure or kill, especially when fired repeatedly at a person. "The possibility of Taser use causing or contributing to death is possible and cannot be ruled out," the review warns.

The Arizona-based manufacturers have repeatedly denied the weapons can kill.

The report is expected to influence the nationwide rollout of Tasers, amid mounting evidence the weapons are being used by police as an everyday compliance tool and not as a non-lethal substitute for a standard gun in high-risk situations.

Sources have told The Australian a coronial investigation has concluded that amphetamine addict Galeano, 39, was deliberately shot 28 times, each time for a duration of up to five seconds, after he confronted police with a steel bar at his unit in Brandon, south of Townsville. It was initially claimed the stun gun might have malfunctioned or that there was a glitch with the built-in computer system recording the number and duration of shots from the weapon.

But investigators will allege the policeman repeatedly Tasered Galeano, who dropped the metal bar after the first few shots, while he lay unarmed and writhing on the floor. He died minutes later while still in handcuffs.

Civil liberties lawyers called for a criminal investigation into the death of Galeano in June, when The Australian revealed he had been shot 28 times. Until then, police had claimed he had been shot only two or three times.

It will be announced today that the freeze on the rollout of Tasers to 3000 general duties officers -- ordered after the death of Galeano -- will be maintained while police move to implement the recommendations of the review.

Meanwhile, the 1200 Tasers with the Queensland police force will remain in operation. But the use of Tasers is under threat, with the CMC recommending they be modified so a single shot lasts no longer than five seconds, and that a limit be put on the numbers of times the weapon can be fired. Police have been told by the manufacturer that "at this stage, this is not feasible with the Taser X26" -- the $15,000-a-piece weapon being used in Queensland and around Australia.

The review recommends that Queensland Police fit an automatic video device on the weapons, which records every time the Taser is pulled from its holster. Queensland police last year refused to buy the weapons with the optional "Tasercam" because of the cost.

Civil liberties lawyer Scott McDougall, director of the Caxton Legal Centre, said police should be forced to table in parliament every deployment of the stun guns in Queensland. He said an independent medical study should be conducted on the weapons, and a freeze on their use should be implemented until the findings were released. "We have clients who were Tasered who were not offering any resistance to police," he said. "Fears that Tasers would be used as a compliance tool may have come to fruition around Australia."


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Another Queensland police thug

Law enforcement by a senior cop who has no respect for the law?? He has already killed two people but he apparently wanted another "scalp"

A POLICEMAN has been allegedly clocked doing 223km/h during an unauthorised pursuit, six years after being involved in a wild chase in which two men were killed. Senior-Sergeant Bryan Eaton is being investigated for allegedly racing after a speeding car along a busy section of the Bruce Highway near Brisbane 11 days ago without flashing lights and sirens – or approval. The car got away but the pursuit was captured on camera.

Sen-Sgt Eaton has since been stood down as officer-in-charge of the Pine Rivers traffic branch pending an investigation by Ethical Standards Command. The matter also has been referred to the Crime and Misconduct Commission.

The Queensland Police Service changed its pursuit policy in May 2004 after the deaths of Coen stockmen Andrew Hill, 33, and Alan Toohey, 49, on Anzac Day the previous year. Both men died when their unregistered and unroadworthy car crashed into a creek bed and a police four-wheel-drive driven by Sen-Sgt Eaton ploughed into them. A coronial inquest was told the police vehicle reached about 75km/h on a dirt road and in bad light in pursuit of the men, who were driving a "bull-chaser".

State Coroner Michael Barnes found Sen-Sgt Eaton had driven in a "dangerous manner, with little regard for the safety of the occupants of the car he was chasing". Mr Barnes did not recommend charges because he found a reasonable person would not have foreseen the "chain of events that led to the deaths". But he urged "a more restrictive pursuit policy". After the inquest, Hill's widow, Camilla, attacked the decision not to charge Sen-Sgt Eaton, claiming traffic officers could "get away with murder".

The pursuit policy has undergone further modification since 2004, and yesterday a Queensland Police Service spokesman said every pursuit and attempted intercept was closely monitored "to ensure adherence to these policies". Under current policy, officers must immediately abandon a chase if it creates an unacceptable risk to the safety of any person. Officers also must inform police communications of the pursuit and follow their instructions.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said their best advice to officers was to avoid police chases. "Our union has long recommended to our members that they do not pursue offenders under any circumstances because of the lack of legislative protection and the attitude of the State Coroner should a tragic incident occur," Mr Leavers said. He said earlier this year that police felt extremely frustrated and hamstrung by the pursuit policy, which was seen as preventing them from catching offenders. "I see a lot of anger from police around the state because they are not allowed to do their job," he said.

Sen-Sgt Eaton is continuing to work for the police service in the Metropolitan North regional office. An estimated 650 police chases are conducted by Queensland police each year.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Corrupt cop still in the Qld. police force

With only a minor demotion -- even though he used his senior position in an attempt to cover up an attempted murder!

It looks like the Misconduct Tribunal is a reincarnation of Sir Joh's old Police Whitewash Tribunal

The CMC has failed to have a police officer sacked for trying to convince a Brisbane couple not to take action against their daughter for conspiring to kill them. At the centre of Inspector Gerard McKendry's conflict of interest was that the 15-year-old schoolgirl was a good friend of his daughter's.

But although an internal police investigation also found McKendry had failed to protect the integrity of the crime scene, no sanction was imposed. New details can now be revealed about the sensational crime - and the Crime and Misconduct Commission's frustration with the police disciplinary service.

The CMC appealed the QPS decision and argued the officer should be sacked. Yesterday, the Misconduct Tribunal found he was unfit to continue as a commissioned officer and demoted him to sergeant level. The tribunal found he should not be sacked because of his history as a competent, hard-working officer.

Joshua Andrew Hockey and his teenage lover, who cannot be named, in 2006 plotted to kill the girl's mother and stepfather so they could run away. Hockey was supposed to cut the mother's throat and then kill the stepfather. But the plan went awry when Hockey could not overpower the stepfather.

Hockey and his girlfriend pleaded guilty to attempted murder and conspiracy to murder. Hockey received a nine-year jail sentence and his girlfriend, on appeal, had her sentence reduced to two years' jail.

McKendry was the regional duty officer on the night of the drama. A the scene, he provided "inappropriate advice to the (parents) in relation to providing the details of a particular solicitor, suggesting they not make a complaint against their daughter", a tribunal statement said. Evidence given by other police revealed McKendry was heard to say, "I would be getting her legal representation" and "I believe your daughter has mental health issues and I'd be directing your solicitor to take that path in relation to this". He was also heard telling the girl's mother that she could have a shower. Other police had directed the woman not to shower because it could destroy evidence.

The CMC's appeal decision comes after a major report into police corruption, a two-year investigation codenamed Operation Capri. CMC chairman Robert Needham said he was "prepared to accept" disciplinary findings taken by QPS in relation to Capri but said he was unhappy with aspects of the police disciplinary system.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Keen law-enforcement in Queensland again: 10 years to match fingerprints

JUSTICE can be slow but even two of the legal world's veterans were today stunned when it was revealed police took 10 years to match fingerprints at a crime scene with those of the culprit. In the District Court in Brisbane, Richard Allan Crookall , 29, pleaded guilty to the burglary of a house on September 30, 1998.

Crookall broke into the house at Wavell Heights, in Brisbane's north, and stole jewellery, money, CDs and sunglasses. Forensics police found a fingerprint at the scene on October 1, 1998. However, the fingerprint was finally matched to Crookall on December 12, 2008.

His fingerprints had been in the"system" since 1997 when he appeared on drugs charges and Crookall was a regular visitor to the courts in the past decade . He was sentenced to 30 months jail in 2007 for burglary offences.

When told there had been a delay in processing the fingerprint, long serving Judge Keith Dodds replied: "That is an understatement. These charges should have been before the sentencing judge at least in 2007. What do you want me to do set him back to jail?" The court heard, however, Crookall had breached his parole and was now due for release on September 7.

Barrister Peter Nolan, for Crookall, said the delay was "inexcusable". "If ever there was a case of no further punishment this is it. This offence should ahve been dealt with years ago," Mr Nolan said.

Judge Dodds sentenced Crookall to a further 10 months jail term with parole on September 7.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

A small bouquet for the wallopers

There are a lot of goons and drongoes in the Queensland police "service" but there are some decent people too

Tonight I was pulled up for a breath test and the lady cop with the test kit took one look at me, smiled, said "I think you're OK", and waved me through without testing.

I was stone cold sober, neatly dressed and had Anne with me so I suppose we just looked like an elderly couple out for the night -- which we were. So the lady cop got it right and behaved to a higher standard than duty required. I congratulate her.

A couple of months ago another lady cop stopped and helped me change a tyre, as I was in fact having a spot of bother with it. And she was most pleasant too.

If only all police were of that quality!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Gross corruption in the Queensland police gets a big yawn

IT'S almost too fanciful to be true: a prisoner is picked up from jail and taken for a drive by police officers through the suburbs on Brisbane's southside. He's handed a list of unsolved break-and-enters, perhaps as many as 300. He reads the details: how entry was gained, what was taken, the time the crime was committed. And he's told that he needs to admit to at least 20 to make his reward worthwhile.

What was that? According to evidence given by the prisoner to the Crime and Misconduct Commission, police collected his girlfriend and delivered her to Morningside police station. And it was there where they engaged in sex and the prisoner injected himself with drugs his girlfriend brought.

The prisoner, called RI in the scathing report into police released this week, was not the only person allowed to come and go from their jail cell. Murderers and armed robbers were allowed out of custody: one to meet his partner and young children in Roma Street Parkland for a play; another to lunch at a swish riverside restaurant.

The CMC's Dangerous Liaisons report, based on its Operation Capri, is not a repeat of the Fitzgerald inquiry - but it's certainly a reminder of how a bad lot of eggs can stink out a whole refrigerator. And with more than 25 officers implicated in wrongdoing - ranging from stupidity to outright criminal activity - it should not be dismissed as easily as it was this week.

The sheer brazenness of some officers seems to know no bounds. Take this example, also outlined in the report. An informant fund existed, courtesy of the Australian Bankers Association and the Credit Union Security Forum. And over the period of its operation, 77 payments were made, a total of $17,990. But no records were kept, an "end justifies the means" mentality meant that few rules existed, and money was misappropriated. Police also falsely claimed payments had been made to informants, signatures were forged and evidence of transactions faked.

There's no better example of the latter than one outlined by Robert Needham and his team in their comprehensive and temperate investigation report. In that example, officers faked an audiotape and produced it as proof of a payment to an informant. The audio was supposed to support a meeting between two officers and an informant at a coffee shop at West End. But investigations showed it was made in carpark bay 148 on level B2 of police headquarters, and that a police officer assumed the role of an informant for the recording.

The litany of misdemeanours, maladministration and outright corruption weaves its way throughout the report, but it is Lee Owen Henderson, who is shown to have more influence on one group of officers than their own commissioner, Bob Atkinson. Henderson had 1241 calls diverted through one police station, at a cost of $2056, and his monthly telephone call bill was $535 - a big sum for a prisoner without any obvious source of income. But he was no ordinary prisoner. Called "The General", he had his own police locker, was able to arrange a police drug raid and despite earning only $7500 as a prisoner in a six-year period, spent at least $100,272.17.

He helped one officer buy a car, organised a theft from prison, and even sent two fluffy toys and two bibs - worth $85 - to a couple of police officers who were celebrating the birth of their baby daughter. He signed it "loyalty and love always".

Henderson was allowed to pose as an underworld crime figure with connections to corrupt police, had his own locker at the Rockhampton police station, and had access to police computers to help someone who wanted to give a "flogging" to a person they couldn't find.

The revelations this week are terrible but so is the response to them at every level. The Police Union decided to go in to bat for those police officers who were subject to the report, not the 99.9 per cent of others who are honest and law-abiding and who will be tainted by the accusations levelled at their colleagues. Commissioner Atkinson, who accepts responsibility for the misconduct, has allowed many of those under a cloud to resign on full benefits. That means they've got off scot free. And the Government? Originally elected on a post-Fitzgerald reform agenda, it seems to have decided silence is the best policy.

Queenslanders deserve better, especially those law-abiding, honest and hard-working police officers who will now be unfairly tainted by the wrongdoing of their unscrupulous colleagues.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why am I not surprised? 25 Queensland Police officers implicated in criminal scheme

The whitewashers of the CMC finally do something useful. Note that they had to be prodded by another agency, though

Twenty-five Queensland police officers have been implicated in a corrupt scheme to rort money paid to criminals for information, a new report has found. The Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) today released a 142-page report, Dangerous Liaisons, which examines the results of an anti-corruption operation codenamed Capri. The report found 25 police officers - some ranked as high as inspector - were implicated in the rorts. Three officers are currently before the courts and 22 have been disciplined, with 11 resigning from the police service before their hearings were completed. Some of the officers are still working.

The investigation covered three areas - Rockhampton in central Queensland, Cleveland on Brisbane's bayside and the since disbanded armed hold-up squad. The bulk of the allegations related to payments made to prisoner informant Lee Owen Henderson, who is serving two life terms in jail for murder.

In 2005 the CMC received information from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) suggesting that some police officers had an "improper association" with Henderson, who was then in the Rockhampton jail and was seen by officers as a valuable informant. But the report found "evidence suggests that (Henderson) rarely, if ever, provided information of value". "Instead, Henderson manipulated police officers for his own ends," the report said.

"In return for his supposed assistance, Henderson was obtaining benefits from police, including access to confidential law enforcement information, access to Queensland Police Service (QPS) and Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) resources for his own personal use, removals from custody, and some financial assistance. "Some officers assisted him in an (unsuccessful) attempt to secure a lower security classification."

The CMC investigation found that the relationship between Henderson and the officers stemmed from practices which came out of the now disbanded armed robbery unit. "The practice (from armed robbery unit) involved police officers providing prisoners with rewards and other benefits to encourage the making of confessions and the giving up of information," the report said.

The investigation uncovered other activities including the removal of prisoners from custody for "improper purposes", misappropriation of money intended to be used as rewards and the improper receipt of money and gifts from Henderson. The CMC found that the misconduct "not only compromised individual police officers, but had the potential to undermine the integrity of the QPS as an organisation, and with it, the criminal justice system".

Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson said in the foreword to the report many of the officers involved had started out "with the intention of solving or preventing serious crimes". "After the policies and procedures were not properly followed and strategies used were not sound," he wrote. Mr Atkinson said the QPS had since set new guidelines for the use of funds to pay informants. "Revised procedures were also implemented ... to enhance accountability and to raise approval levels for prisoner removal from correctional facilities," he said.

CMC chairman Robert Needham said the publication of the report, close to the 20th anniversary of the Fitzgerald Inquiry being tabled in State Parliament, "should serve as a reminder that lessons learned gradually diminish with the passage of time and generational change". "It is inevitable that as time passes, slippage in the ethical standards of our police will occur," Mr Needham said. [That's a fact!]


Monday, July 20, 2009

Queensland police set their usual "good" example

Too many of them are just goons

A QUEENSLAND police officer has become the eighth officer charged with drink-driving this year and the first to face new disciplinary measures. He is the eighth police officer caught drink-driving this year, but the first to be charged since police commissioner Bob Atkinson introduced a new regime of discipline for officers caught driving under the influence, including possible dismissal.

The off-duty policeman with about three years service was charged with drink driving in his private vehicle on Sunday morning. The constable from Maroochydore Police Station was arrested on the Sunshine Coast Motorway at Marcoola about 1.15am. He will appear in the Maroochydore Magistrate's Court on August 3. The officer is to be served with paperwork on Sunday standing him down from operational duties, the Queensland Police service said in a statement.

On June 24 Mr Atkinson announced a crackdown on officers caught driving under the influence would begin from July 1. He said officers who drink and drive will face a pay cut and possibly dismissal if the circumstances of the offence are considered serious enough.

At the time the police union threatened legal action if the tough new penalties are considered too severe.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Queensland police are debating whether the length of a cab-driver's socks is really an issue that they should be concentrating on

Given their almost complete lack of interest in car-theft and such things, re-examination of their priorities is long overdue

A shocked Brisbane taxi driver who was fined $100 by police for not pulling up his socks may have the extraordinary penalty withdrawn. The Queensland Police Service told The Courier-Mail "a decision will be made as to whether to withdraw (the fine)" once all facts surrounding the incident were known.

To date, the QPS has refused to answer queries about its power to enforce a fine for wearing short socks, nor its opinion of the male traffic officer involved, saying: "It would appear that the officer . . . issued (the fine) under the provisions of Section 131 of the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Regulations 2005 relating to the appropriate dress code for taxi drivers." But the legislation does not stipulate that short socks are banned. Instead, it merely states: "The driver of a public passenger vehicle must, while driving the vehicle, be neatly dressed."

In June, part-time Yellow Cabs driver Kidd Moors was arguing with an officer about a seatbelt compliance issue on the side of the road at Hendra before the policeman wrote him a ticket that stated: "Failed to dress neatly . . . WHT/runners, short running socks".

The incident sparked claims of "payback" and "an abuse of power" from the Cab Drivers Association of Queensland.


Friday, July 17, 2009

More hostile and stupid behaviour from the Queensland police

Co-operation between police and cabbies has in the past been very helpful in catching criminals but the Queensland goons seem to be doing their best to terminate any such co-operation

"PAYBACK" and "an abuse of power" are how taxi drivers are describing the extraordinary actions of a police officer who fined a cabbie $100 for not pulling up his socks. "That's just ridiculous, just crazy," Cab Drivers' Association of Queensland member Paul Henderson said. "In 18 years that's the first time I've heard of it ... it creates animosity between drivers and police even further." CDAC secretary Lee Sims slammed the fine as "an intimidation just to get even" and "an abuse of power", The Courier-Mail reports.

Mr Sims, who has been critical of Queensland Transport's management of the taxi industry, questioned whether police had the authority to issue the fine and its permissibility in court. He said it was the first time he had heard of such a "petty" notice but conceded drivers by law had to be "neatly dressed" – an area open to interpretation.

The driver advocate said a recent government blitz on Brisbane drivers resulted in cabbies copping $400 fines for not having a 2009 version of a street directory, or for allowing a car's window tinting to peel.

The Courier-Mail yesterday obtained the ticket issued last month to taxi driver Kidd Moors in which the officer claimed the offence was: "Failed to dress neatly". He identified the evidence as "WHT/runners, short running socks".

Queensland Police Service yesterday was unable to respond in time to the newspaper's questions about the harshness of the fine or the frequency such fines were handed out.

Mr Moors, 41, from Narangba, said he intended to fight the "sock fine" in court, along with a fine for not wearing a seat belt.

Mr Henderson said dress rules for drivers included the need to wear a uniformed shirt that was tucked in, business trousers or tailored shorts with long socks pulled up and dress shoes.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Qld. cops arrest and charge woman for being in her own car

They had the facility to go online and check that the car was in her name but they didn't bother. They were good at telling lies afterwards, though. If they had any scrap of decency, they would have acknowledged their mistake, apologized, and not taken the matter to court. She was doing no wrong so her angry response was justified, if not wise. Even the court thought the goons handled the matter badly and gave the woman no punishment

A Brisbane woman seriously assaulted a police officer after he tried to arrest her for breaking into her own car, a court has heard. Jennifer Elizabeth Somers, 30, pleaded guilty to one count of serious assault, two counts of obstructing police and one count of public nuisance in the Brisbane District Court yesterday.

The court heard that in the early hours of a Sunday morning in November 2007, a heavily intoxicated Ms Somers was looking through her unlocked car for cigarettes. The court heard two police constables, Peter Lashford and Wendy Poon, responded to a call that a woman had broken into a car in the area. After some initial uncooperative behaviour and swearing, the court heard, Ms Somers gave the officers her full name, claiming she was the owner of the car, but could not produce identification.

The court heard a verbal disagreement between Constable Poon and Ms Somers broke out, before Const Poon tried to arrest Ms Somers as she did not believe she was the car's owner. Ms Somers resisted arrest and when placed in a headlock by Constable Lashford, she bit him on the biceps, the court heard.

Defence lawyer Harry Fong said Const Lashford then shouted out "I've been bitten, the b---- has bitten me". Const Lashford wrote in his victim impact statement to the court that the bite had drawn blood, although a Mater Hospital medical report said the skin had not been broken.

Mr Fong said his client was a charity worker and a single mother of two children, one of which was in need of constant attention. In his sentencing, Judge Terry Martin said that while the police officers involved could have handled the situation better, they had a tough job and deserved the support of the courts. Judge Martin also highlighted Ms Somers' criminal history, which contained several police obstruction and assault offences in 2002 and 2004. He sentenced Ms Somers to four months' imprisonment, but released her on parole immediately.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Corrupt Queensland cops whitewash their misuse of Tasers

COMPLAINTS about Queensland police officers' alleged misuse of Tasers are routinely being investigated - and dismissed - by police. Of the 13 complaints made about Tasers since July 2007, only three have been finalised, with two of those found to be unsubstantiated.

Police also dismissed the third complaint - relating to the use of a Taser of a 16-year-old girl at South Bank - finding the constable involved had displayed sound judgment in his actions. However, the Crime and Misconduct Commission disagreed with that finding and conducted its own investigation, which resulted in harsh criticism of police "for failing to learn from their mistakes". Police are still investigating nine other complaints received about the use of Tasers, with the CMC overseeing the latest investigation into the possible Taser-related death of Antonio Galeano, 39, in north Queensland this month.

A CMC spokeswoman said the commission was generally only involved in complaints "of acomplex nature".

Family and friends of Galeano farewelled the 39-year-old yesterday in Ayr, about 5km from Brandon, where he collapsed and died shortly after his confrontation with police on Friday, June 12. Although officers involved have said he was Tasered no more than five times, data from the weapon revealed it was discharged 28 times. An autopsy has found the man suffered a heart attack, but it is not yet clear if the taser triggered that. [Would 28 rapidly repeated high voltage shocks from a Taser cause a heart attack? Nah! Just ONE shot is usually disabling. It's the goon concerned who should be shot]

The incident has prompted a four-week review of Tasers in the Queensland Police Service and temporarily halted the statewide rollout of the weapons.

Civil libertarians have called for an independent investigation into the death, but Queensland Police Union acting president Ian Leavers said investigators should be left to do their job without comment. "Only at the conclusion of all these tests will the actual cause of death be known, and only then will the actions of the officers be able to be properly assessed," Mr Leavers said.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Killer Queensland police goons: 'I begged them to stop'

A woman claiming to have witnessed a fatal Taser incident in north Queensland last week says she begged police to stop continuously zapping him with the electric stun gun moments before he died. Antonio Galeano, 39, died after being shot with a 50,000-volt Taser stun gun during a violent confrontation with police at a unit in Brandon, near Townsville last Friday. Police initially said Mr Galeano was shot three times but data recorded by the Taser showed it operated on 28 separate cycles during the confrontation.

The Australian newspaper says a post-mortem examination by pathologists found the man - had a pre-existing heart condition - died in handcuffs just 10 minutes after being shot with the Taser. A police source told Mr Galeano was "talking and lucid" before he suffered the heart attack.

Brandon woman Sandra Winn - who has made a statement to the Queensland Police Ethical Standards unit - reportedly said she saw police Taser Mr Galeano seven times, and begged the officers to stop. "The police officer states that he only used that Taser ... three times," Ms Winn told The Townsville Bulletin. "He hit him through the window here, the first time, hit him in the chest. "Toni fell down, he hit the ground, I heard him."

Ms Winn declined to speak to when contacted this morning, as she was on her way to Mr Galeano's funeral, to be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ayr. Mr Galeano's parents Carmelo and Agata said their son was "dearly loved". His son Blake and sister Giovanna and extended family will pay their final respects at Ayr Cemetery.

Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson last week said Mr Galeano, who was clutching shards of glass and an iron bar, had assaulted a woman before she ran to a nearby unit and called police. However, police have been unable to confirm how many people were in the unit at the time of the incident.

"I stood up on that chair (and looked through the window from outside) by that time they'd gone in," Ms Winn told The Townsville Bulletin. "The police officer was standing over him and going (makes Taser motions) on his back. "I was screaming (at) this window ... at the police officer stop, stop, stop you are supposed to be helping me. How many times can you hit him with that before you're going to kill him?"

Ethical Standards Command Assistant Commissioner Peter Martin said an investigation into the man's death would endeavour to compare the number of Taser "bite marks" on Mr Galeano's body with the data obtained from the Taser.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Qld. police goons again!

Recent revelations about police misbehaviour don't seem to have slowed them down any. The cop who put his knee through Mulrunji Doomadgee's liver got away with it so I guess they have reason to be confident that they can do as they like without fear of retribution

THE Police Minister has ordered a report into the alleged assault of a handcuffed man at a Gold Coast police station after viewing a video of the incident. Neil Roberts has asked Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson for a report by the end of this week after being shown the footage by The Sunday Mail on Friday.

The incident, recorded by cameras at the Surfers Paradise Police Beat office, shows a male officer forcing the 19-year-old building worker to the floor after he allegedly refused to remove his socks. The man, who has his hands cuffed behind his back, hits the floor face first and when the policeman rolls him over there is a dark patch visible on the carpet under his face.

The man's mother, who uploaded the video on YouTube, claims the incident left her son with a $30,000 dental bill for jaw fractures and seven broken teeth.

An internal investigation by the police Ethical Standards Command (ESC), watched by the Crime and Misconduct Commission, last year cleared the police officer of using excessive force.

However, the man - who asked not to be identified because he fears police persecution - is using the video of the incident, on October 6, 2007, in a personal damages claim against the Queensland Police Service.

Mr Roberts admitted that his initial response after seeing the video was "one of concern" and he had asked the commissioner for more details. "There is no sound accompanying the vision to provide context to the situation," he said in a statement to The Sunday Mail.

The 19-year-old was one of several partygoers arrested following a brawl in Orchid Ave about 10pm. He was charged with a public nuisance offence, and later with obstructing police for having failed a direction to remove his socks.

The video shows him standing at the counter of the Police Beat beside a male officer while another officer speaks to him from behind the desk. Three other men, two also handcuffed, are seated along a wall below the camera. The 19-year-old kicks off his shoes, then appears to make an attempt to remove his socks with his feet before the officer forces him to the floor. The officer rolls him over, revealing the pool of blood before rolling him back on his face and walking into the station. The man eventually struggles to a sitting position and the other men seated in the station notice the bloodstain. They jump out of their seats before being restrained by police who then escort them out of the Police Beat - over the top of the man.

Mr Roberts said his initial advice from the commissioner was that the man was injured in the Orchid Ave brawl and was bleeding and spitting blood. "The officer involved took him to the floor to better manage the situation," he said. Mr Roberts said the man's mother made a complaint of excessive force, but investigations in December last year found the claim was unsubstantiated. He said despite repeated attempts by ESC investigators to speak with the man, he had declined to make a complaint or assist with the investigation. "I am also advised that the male person pleaded guilty to a charge of public nuisance and at that time, a second charge of obstruct(ing) police was withdrawn by agreement between police and his legal adviser."

The man's mother said he could not remember the incident. "My son has been to jail before. He's not a saint. He's stolen a car, he's been in a couple of fights," she said from her Gold Coast home. After her son's court case was finalised, she posted the footage on YouTube with a message saying: "This could be your child."


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Qld. police version of an "apology"

The police brass "were happy with the actions the police took" (!!) Some apology

QUEENSLAND police have apologised to an 18-year-old man who was handcuffed after officers thought his steering wheel lock was a gun. While Chad Hastings accepted the apology yesterday, he expressed disappointment it did not come directly from the officers involved. The Zillmere teen said he received a phone call about 4pm yesterday from a senior constable in charge of the officers who handcuffed him. "He was apologising on behalf of the police commissioner," he said.

"He said they were happy with the actions the police took but they apologised for the way they handled it in the end.

"Sorry on the spot would have healed things better, instead of going through all this. I think the only reason they said sorry is because the media got involved." Mr Hastings said he would have preferred a visit from the officers involved. "It was just a phone call and not even from the people who did it, so I'm not really happy," he said. "But it's not the end of the world, I'll get over it."

Earlier in the day, Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson had promised to apologise to Mr Hastings if an investigation found the officers were in the wrong.

Mr Hastings was stopped for a routine random breath test on Milton Rd on his way to work about 5am on Thursday. While one officer breath-tested him, another checked his Nissan Skyline. Mr Hastings was then ordered to get out of the car and sit on the footpath while the officer demanded to know why there was a gun in the vehicle. Mr Hastings explained that he had no gun in his vehicle and police eventually realised what they thought was a weapon was Mr Hasting's partially-obscured steering wheel lock.

Police late yesterday said the officer involved had acted with caution by removing Mr Hastings from the car and calling for assistance. Mr Atkinson said after reviewing the incident it would be determined if additional training or policy issues needed to be addressed. [A directive to "open your eyes" might do it]


Monday, April 13, 2009

Queensland's police goons are THICK -- and rude

A YOUNG driver has demanded an apology from police after being arrested and handcuffed because an officer believed his steering wheel lock was a gun. Chad Hastings, 18, of Zillmere on Brisbane's northside, was on his way to work early on Thursday morning when he was pulled over by police on Milton Rd in the innercity. While a female officer breath-tested Mr Hastings, another officer checked his Nissan Skyline with a torch.

He was then ordered to get out of the car and sit on the footpath while the officer demanded to know why there was a gun in the vehicle. "I said, 'What the hell? I have no idea what you're talking about'," Mr Hastings said. The policeman repeated the question before handcuffing the teenager and telling him he was under arrest.

Mr Hastings tried to explain he had only recently moved to Brisbane from Coffs Harbour to play for the Redcliffe Dolphins' Colts rugby league team. "I said 'maybe someone put a gun in my car. It's an easy car to get into and I often don't lock it up and I stayed at a friend's place last night'," he said. Mr Hastings said the policeman then called for backup while he sat shaking on the footpath, wondering how a gun could be in his car.

When two senior police arrived in an unmarked vehicle the situation was quickly resolved and the handcuffs removed from Mr Hastings. "As the officer walked away he said 'get a new steering wheel lock, it looks like a bloody gun'," he said. "I was absolutely gobsmacked. I said 'are you serious? All that for a steering lock?'," he said. Mr Hastings said the officer then replied he was "a lucky boy". "He told me 'any other cop would have had you at gunpoint'."

The part-time labourer said he was shaken and dazed by the incident but he had no plans to get a new steering wheel lock. "If they'd opened the car and examined it more closely this whole thing could've been avoided," he said. "An apology would've been nice. He could've said 'sorry mate but we have to take extreme precautions'. It doesn't leave you with a very good impression."

Police yesterday released a brief statement to The Courier-Mail about the incident. "A police officer has the power to detain a person suspected of being involved in illegal activities until the necessary inquiries are made to ascertain the situation and ensure the safety of the community and police," the statement read. "This includes situations where there is suspicion a person is in possession of a firearm."

The Queensland Police Union declined to comment.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Another Queensland police goon

Court told police officer bashed tourist, shoved hose in his mouth. Lucky the guy survived. Mulrunji Doomadgee didn't

A FORMER Queensland police officer allegedly bashed and kicked a handcuffed tourist unconscious before nearly drowning him by jamming a fire hose into his mouth. Former senior constable Benjamin Thomas Price, 32, yesterday faced Proserpine Court for committal on six counts of assault on three victims.

Police whistleblower Constable Bree Sonter broke down in tears as video of the alleged attack outside Airlie Beach police station was shown to the court, The Courier-Mail reports.

The emotional father of the alleged victim stunned the court as he stood and yelled: "You're a brave man Price, I hope you get a fire hose jammed up your arse in jail."

Timothy Steele, 24, a plasterer from NSW, suffered a broken nose, black eyes, a head wound, hearing problems, memory loss and lack of sensation in his arms and hands after his arrest in the popular Whitsundays tourist town on May 24 last year. He told the court he was trying to break-up a fight between two mates when he was capsicum sprayed by Sonter. It is alleged Price led the handcuffed Steele to a police car before saying "watch your head" and smashing his face into the vehicle, knocking him unconscious.

Price allegedly dragged Steele from the car outside Airlie Beach watchhouse, repeatedly punched him and "kicked him with his boots" in the face, breaking his nose.

CCTV video footage from the police station shows a dazed, heavily bleeding Steele being dragged into an alley beside the watchhouse. It shows the handcuffed man being punched in the head before having a fire hose jammed into his mouth, where it was held for up to 90 seconds as another officer watches.

Steele screams and groans in agony and blood can be seen sheeting down the concrete path as the policeman stands on the handcuffs, pressing his hand into the back of the man's neck, forcing his head into his lap in a brutal spine lock.

"I felt like I was going to drown," Steele told the court. "He jammed the hose into my mouth. I couldn't breathe. I was coughing and spluttering blood. It was pretty scary. It went on for a long time. "I called him a pussy. He knocked me about. I was pretty dazed, I'd had a boot to my face, my nose was broken. I was choking on my own blood, I felt like I was drowning."

Constable Sonter, now based at Sandgate, broke down as she told how she could hear Steele screaming for help. "I could hear Price yelling 'You like that?' and then a smack sound, it sounded like a punch, and Steele went quiet," she told the court.

The strongly built former officer, who now works as a tree-cutter, also allegedly repeatedly punched another man in the face during an argument about urinating in public. He also is accused of assaulting tourist Renee Tomms. Price, who has not yet entered a plea, is represented by Queensland Police Union barrister Steve Zillman.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another cop gets away with it

A cop drinks three 15 oz. glasses of beer in an hour -- which would put him well over the .05 limit -- and it is the guy who told of that who gets punished! The fact that the cop's friends in the force declared him under the limit would convince no-one. In Queensland, a "schooner" is three quarters of a pint

A QUEENSLAND barman has lost his job after he dobbed in a police officer for downing three heavy beers in an hour then driving home with his three children in the car. Craig Tomsett of Gladstone was sacked by his boss at the Gladstone Golf Club when the police officer in question made a written complaint about his behaviour on February 13.

In the letter, the police officer admitted to drinking three schooners of Toohey's Extra Dry in an hour then driving home with his children. He said when he was breath-tested at home by police he was "well under 0.05" despite having consumed the equivalent of 4.5 standard drinks.

"If Tomsett alleges I was intoxicated to such an extent that he was concerned about me driving a motor vehicle, the question begs asking as to why he continued serving me alcohol which is in clear breach of the Liquor Act 1992 and Liquor Regulations 2002," the officer wrote in the letter sent from Gladstone Police Station. "An offence which, if proved to be accurate, would lead to a substantial monetary fine for the Gladstone Golf Club."

He also claimed Mr Tomsett, 39, had a personal vendetta against him as a police officer and suggested the single father would be "well advised to look after his own back yard".

Mr Tomsett was sacked the day after his employer received the letter, which he has passed on to the Crime and Misconduct Commission. Police this week confirmed the Ethical Standards Command was investigating Mr Tomsett's complaint with the CMC overviewing.

Mr Tomsett admitted he and the police officer were former neighbours who had a falling out last year over the officer's dogs but he denied the drink-driving allegation was a payback. "I have an obligation of care to notify police. His statement in itself is evident that he was drink-driving," Mr Tomsett said.

Since making the complaint to the CMC, Mr Tomsett said he had been followed by the police officer in question and on Thursday his house was raided by police and the dog squad. Gladstone police said the raid was related to a separate matter but Mr Tomsett claimed he was the victim of intimidation. "I had an officer intimidate me and threaten to put my four-year-old son into child services. It just beggars belief. They found nothing," Mr Tomsett, who has previously been fined for possessing a small amount of marijuana, said.

Gladstone Golf Club manager Ivan Carr said Mr Tomsett was sacked because of his "inappropriate behaviour" towards the police officer but declined to comment further.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Queensland police goons again

A disabled woman with a bandaged hand told how she was bullied and evicted from a train by police who did not believe that she had trouble operating an automatic ticket machine. Stricken with kidney disease and a broken hand, Rosemary Carey, 54, a disability pensioner, struggled up the steep stairs at Brisbane's Indooroopilly station on Saturday night and tried to work the machine with her left hand. When her train to Oxley arrived, she jumped aboard without a ticket.

She said two plain-clothes officers in their 30s threatened to arrest her if did not get off at the next stop, Sherwood. She said the officers were menacing and told her she would have to pay a $200 fine. "I was outraged," she said. "There is nothing threatening about me. ''I'm a frail female in my 50s, five foot two, 45kg wringing wet and suffer from a chronic kidney condition which leaves me with little energy. "Managing the steps at the station, then the steep flight of stairs at the cinema (the lift was out of order) is pretty much mountain climbing for me."

The mother of two said she went to the cinema near Indooroopilly station to see the new Clint Eastwood film, Gran Torino. Because she had broken her hand the previous week, she decided to go by train instead of taking her car. She said the movie finished about 8.45pm. "I'm normally in bed by eight and I was exhausted, " she said. "I get to the unfamiliar ticket machine and as quickly as I can with my left hand, begin to follow the prompts.

"In the midst of this a train pulls in. The next train could be in an hour, I have no idea of the timetable, so I board the train. "I remember a time when a conductor could sell a ticket on the train, or you could give your name and address and pay the fare later. Not now." She said she wept when she was ejected.

"I felt utterly humiliated being put off the train like some criminal or violent hooligan," Ms Carey said. "To make things worse, it was scary sitting at a deserted railway station late on Saturday night, so despite my very limited income, I spent $15 to take a cab home. Now I'm angry that innocent people can be treated like this. "Why can QR afford to pay for plain-clothes police to act as ticket inspectors, yet can't pay the presumably much lower wages of a conductor? "What happens if it's the last train of the night? Who would be responsible if I'd been attacked while waiting on a lonely station? Can't they understand that most of us aren't trying to evade the fare?"

Police Minister Judy Spence has ordered an investigation.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

'Don't call Qld cops in a hurry'

I know from my own experience that they quite often just don't come at all in response to calls

A NSW triple-zero [emergency] operator has accused his Queensland colleagues of providing a 'shocking' service after an attack victim's call went unanswered. The NSW operator recently received a call diverted from Queensland, where a woman said she was being assaulted.

In an email to the Queensland opposition, tabled in the Queensland parliament on Thursday, the operator said he listened to the panicked call for more than three minutes before it dropped out. He said he called the Queensland Police emergency call centre in Brisbane, but the phone rang for more than eight minutes without answer. "It is the running joke in our call centre that you wouldn't call Qld Police if you needed them in a hurry," he wrote. "This delay is also causing inconvenience for the rest of the nation when they call triple-zero as we are unable to answer their calls due to being on hold waiting for Qld Police to answer." He described the Queensland Police operators' service as "shocking" given that calls were supposed to be answered within four seconds.

Queensland Police Minister Judy Spence said the complaint would be investigated. "I have not had feedback from the police that there are particular problems with our triple-zero system. If they are feeling that then I encourage them to come and talk to me about it," Ms Spence told parliament.