Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Footage shows Qld. cop bashing handcuffed tourists

POLICE have posted disturbing video footage of a Queensland officer's thuggish assaults on alleged offenders at Airlie Beach police station, a day after he was sentenced to jail over the incidents.

The first video shows the then Senior Constable Benjamin Price throwing a slightly built, handcuffed woman to the ground then pulling her up by the hair.

Another officer walks around him while the assault is going on, and does not appear to say anything - although there is no sound in the videos.

In the second, Price is out of screen for part of the video before he drags a handcuffed offender up to a wall.

There is blood over the man’s nose and mouth and another officer then hands Price a fire hose, which he shoves in the victim’s face. The assault goes on for several minutes and is difficult to watch.

Police said the videos had been made publicly available online in recognition of the public interest in the matter. Acting Commissioner Ian Stewart said there was no place for such conduct in the Queensland Police Service.

Price was yesterday sentenced in the Townsville District Court to 27 months jail after pleading guilty to four counts of serious assault. He will be eligible for parole after nine months, in July 2011.

In sentencing, Judge Stuart Durward condemned his actions as “gratuitously violent, callous and contemptible”. “Your actions were grossly excessive. You abused your authority.”


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