Thursday, December 20, 2012

Police coverup of bungled prosecution

THE mother of a murder victim is furious Queensland police won't honour a promise to come clean about a failed investigation of the brutal 1999 killings.

Despite 12 years of police work and DNA evidence, police failed to secure convictions against two men accused of the killings of Ann-Maree Kropp and her partner Christopher Nancarrow at Springbrook on the Gold Coast.

The men were found to be not guilty, with no clear evidence of motive presented at the month-long trial in October 2011.

Police promised the Kropp family in January that the findings of an internal review into what went wrong "will be conveyed to you in due course".

But although the QPS has completed its probe, it has made no attempt to contact the family.

"We've heard nothing," Shirley Kropp, Ann-Maree's mother, said. "They've totally ignored us. It's just not good enough. I just wonder what they're trying to hide."

Mrs Kropp said she had heard through the Queensland Homicide Victim Support Group there had been errors in DNA sample collection.

It had also been a mistake to compel testimony from a forensic specialist who was experiencing psychological distress.

"They've got off blind because they stuffed up," she said.

But the QPS could not confirm the findings. It would say only that "a review of the of verdict" in the case "reinforced the Queensland Police Service's ongoing commitment to continuous improvement in terms of the investigation of serious crime".

A retired detective who initially worked the case said in 2011 that "police politics" had wrecked the investigation.

Paddy Fenely, a former Gold Coast CIB officer, said he had found promising lines of inquiry suggesting the murdered couple had been recruited by a drug ring linked to Nomads bikies planning to supply methamphetamine to truck drivers in Murwillumbah.

But the investigation was transferred to another unit.

Under changes to Queensland's double jeopardy laws last year, murder cases can be reopened if "fresh and compelling" new evidence emerges.

Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon, who took over the investigation in 2007, said last month no further arrests should be expected and no one was being sought for questioning.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Shady police officers caught on the wrong side of the law in Queensland

A POLICE officer caught smuggling drugs from New Zealand and another who molested a boy are among a dozen police officers found on the wrong side of the law in Queensland in the past year.

The Courier-Mail can reveal that nine of the officers found guilty of crimes - which also included assault, excessive force, drink-driving and inappropriate behaviour - since July 1, 2011, are still working for the Queensland Police Service.

None was sacked, but the drug smuggler, pedophile and an officer who stole weed killer from a shop all quit, while another was suspended and two others were stood down from operational duties pending internal investigations.

Documents obtained under the Right to Information Act show an additional 16 officers suspected of official misconduct resigned before investigations were complete.

Those allegations related primarily to assault and excessive force with a weapon, corruption favouritism, victimisation and harassment and inappropriate behaviour.

    Offences included:

     *  Allegedly running a side business and getting a prisoner to help move house.

     *  Using police position to intimidate a vet into providing free treatment.

     *  Arresting and cuffing a man who was then punched "repeatedly in the face" and "smashed his head into a police van and kicked him in the back".

Most resignations meant that internal investigations were dropped, but Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett said management would consider keeping them open when dismissal and demotion were a possible outcome and there weren't any criminal charges.

He said since 2010, QPS had only twice continued investigating police who had resigned - once for an officer who acted inappropriately and the other involving an officer accused of drug offences.

"In an organisation of over 10,600 officers, inevitably there are going to be issues from time to time," Deputy Commissioner Barnett said. "But I think the number of officers who come to attention for serious misconduct is very small."

He said the review into police discipline was stalled pending the outcome of the review into the Crime and Misconduct Commission.

"Everyone . . . who's in this area is keen that allegations of misconduct or criminal conduct are dealt with as soon as possible," he said.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Junior Qld. cop caught taking  drugs in undercover sting

Peter Michael

UNDERCOVER police busted a young constable using   ecstasy during a covert operation in a popular far-North party scene

In the latest scandal to embroil incoming Police Commissioner Ian Stewart, Ethical Standards Command ordered local detectives to run  an internalal affairs investigation into the junior officer.

The top-level probe came after drug squad officers identified the constable buying and taking the party drug ecstasy with friends on social outings in Cairns.

The Brisbane-based drug squad operatives had been in the tropical north as part of a series of top-secret  investigations into alleged drug  trafficking syndicates operating  from Melbourne to  the Gold   Coast to Cairns.

It is understood the police  constable, the son of a highly   respected 35-year veteran of  the Queensland Police Service,  was picked up by surveillance  interacting with priority targets in the underworld sting. The Courier-Mail understands the policeman  apologised for the shame, hurt and embarrassment he caused   to the QPS, in particular his father, and has since resigned

The above story appeared in the "Courier Mail" on Wednesday, September 5, 2012, p.7

Calls for Qld. police on drug raids to wear body-mounted video cameras to limit corruption

Failure to dob crooked colleagues will also be penalized

THERE are calls to force police on drug raids to wear body-mounted video cameras after footage surfaced of a rogue detective allegedly pocketing stolen cash.

Incoming Police Commissioner Ian Stewart vowed to sack the officer - who is currently on leave while being investigated by the Crime and Misconduct Commission - if he is found guilty.

Mr Stewart went further in warning other police would face sanctions for turning a blind eye to corruption.

The Courier-Mail can reveal today that the drug squad detective sergeant at the centre of the latest scandal had been oblivious to any secret anti-graft probe until he walked in on senior officers talking about a "rogue cop" and "a rat in the ranks" after an unauthorised leak from internal affairs and the Crime and Misconduct Commission.

The officer reportedly spontaneously vomited in front of his colleagues in a physical reaction of shock.

Shortly after, the officer contacted lawyers and took leave from the QPS. He has spent the past few weeks in Belmont Private Hospital undergoing mental health assessment.

Queensland Police Union and Civil Liberties yesterday joined calls to provide officers in top-level raids with body-worn video cameras.

In July last year, officers in Townsville and Toowoomba wore the clip-on devices in a six-month trial.

Police Union President Ian Leavers said he had been calling for them to be worn as a rule rather than by exception for two years.   "I know if these were used (by police) both the public and the police themselves would have complete faith in their actions," he said.

He said the union was assisting the officer, who had not been formally interviewed or charged, in the preliminary investigation.

Terry O'Gorman, President of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties, backed the calls for police video.

"Every time police kick in doors in top-level raids, they should be wearing these body cameras," said Mr O'Gorman, a criminal lawyer.  "Police stealing money on drug raids was a significant problem pre-Fitzgerald and one that required police to change their procedures.

Mr Stewart sounded a warning to any police who failed to blow the whistle on corruption.

"Stealing is a criminal offence. We cannot have thieves in the Queensland Police Service," he said.   "The future will show that officers not only should come forward and raise those allegations, if they don't, certainly they face very severe penalties themselves.

"Ethics is not something you can turn on and turn off. It's like being pregnant - you can't be half pregnant. You either have your ethics and credibility or you don't."

He promised a speedy investigation.  "There are some minor hold-ups and that deals with the specific case and circumstances that we find ourselves in but as soon as possible this matter will be wrapped up and dealt with," he said.

Mr Stewart will take over from outgoing Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson who retires at the end of October.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dodgy Qld. cop caught out pocketing the loot in drug raid

DRUG criminals have enlisted the state's corruption watchdog to unmask a police officer they claim stole cash during a raid.

The Courier-Mail understands CCTV footage used by the alleged criminals shows the officer pocketing wads of $50 notes during a raid on their premises.

The revelation comes as incoming police commissioner Ian Stewart, whose appointment was announced yesterday, promised to get tough on rogue cops. He could walk into the job facing a fresh scandal more at home in the pre-Fitzgerald era.

The Crime and Misconduct Commission was contacted by a lawyer acting for the accused drug traffickers, who alleged they had footage of the police raid from a surveillance system hidden inside the alleged drug house.

The Courier-Mail understands footage obtained by the CMC allegedly shows the Brisbane-based detective putting wads of folded $50 notes in his pocket after executing a search warrant in raids in the state's southeast.

The highly regarded drug squad officer is allegedly captured on video stealing about $1500 in cash from the accused drug syndicate.

It is alleged the detective can then be seen in the footage calling another colleague into the room before they formally count out the remaining money as proceeds of crime.

The veteran of numerous top-level police operations is on leave from the Queensland Police Service. He is yet to be formally interviewed or charged.

As soon as the CMC was notified of the hidden video surveillance footage showing the alleged police corruption, it ordered covert surveillance on the officer including phone taps.

The secret CMC probe has spent several weeks investigating if the alleged corrupt behaviour was widespread or systemic.

Once senior police became aware of the officer's alleged action and the reported existence of the video footage, captured on one of two surveillance systems hidden in the raided building, they also reported the matter to the CMC.  It is understood the officer found one of the systems but not the other before he allegedly pocketed the cash.

The CMC has executed search warrants on the detective's home and his police office in the Brisbane drug squad headquarters.

High-ranking police officers, aware of the CMC investigation, yesterday told The Courier-Mail the officer accused of stealing the drug money had a reputation as a "good operator" and "top-class policeman".

They said they were "shocked" and "deeply surprised" by the allegation of a "rogue" in the ranks. But they dismissed the possibility of any systemic problems within the drug squad.

Lawyers working on the case say there is "no more invasive act" than a police officer "kicking a door in, with a search warrant, and then stealing from the criminals".  "You can't be a cop and be a crook at the same time," they said.

The Queensland Police Union is aware of the CMC investigation and is known to be supporting the officer and his family.

If found guilty, the officer faces a possible jail term of up to two years.

In a statement, the QPS said the "Ethical Standards Command is investigating an allegation of improper conduct involving property.

"The investigation will be overviewed by the CMC.  "As it is an ongoing investigation, no further information can be provided at this time."


Thursday, August 30, 2012

The suspicious shooting of a Queensland petty criminal

The police story seems to be a pack of lies.  They say they were shooting to defend themselves as he pursued them.  So why did the autopsy find he was shot in the back?

The man's father writes as below:

I am writing this letter to address the concerns and inconsistencies I have with regard to the investigation of the shooting death of our son Jason Paul Protheroe by a Qld Police Officer.

1) On Tuesday 17th April 2012 two officers met with me in the street and I took them inside and they were looking for Jason. We have had police coming to our home for at least 18 years and yet on this occasion all 3 of us (Myself, my wife & our son Stuart) felt a real urgency about this visit, we were all very troubled by their behaviour. This was mentioned to the investigating officers by both my wife and son whilst we were being interviewed that afternoon.

2) Why is it that two allegedly highly experienced detectives (as was stated) entered Crystal Sinn’s home with recording devices asking to conduct a search of her premises without a warrant, and did not turn them on. One would think police protocol would call for these searches to be recorded otherwise the search surely would be declared illegal if any evidence was found. I find it extremely convenient that no recording device was turned on until after our son was shot, this in itself raises alarm bells. Not to mention that a warning had been issued that there was at least 1 gun in the house. Why did these 2 highly experienced officers not use their recording devices when they were at a house with female & 2 children?

3) Why is it that the shooting officer asked Crystal Sinn to call 000 when he was on the phone to his boss with one hand and trying to perform CPR with the other? Crystal actually asked if the ambulance had been called. Yet as far as we are aware the other officer was on the footpath also on his mobile. One would reasonably think that 000 should have been the first person called if a life could have been saved.

4) Our son Stephen was already at the scene before my wife and I arrived, he had been told that Jason was alive by officers then Crystal Sinn was brought out in a police car with her children, she screamed at the officers to stop and she spoke with Stephen, she told him that Jason was dead. Stephen asked if he had a weapon, Crystal in her grief stricken state couldn’t speak but answered by beating her hand on her chest and nodding no. Stephen then asked the officer driving the vehicle if it was true that his brother was dead, the officer verified it to be true. This left our son to be the one who had to tell my wife & I and his brothers that Jason was dead.

5) We arrived at the scene of the shooting and were badly treated by the police officers on the scene, in fact they even threatened to Tazer and lock us up if we didn’t shut up and F---off. We were a family in grief that needed answers and instead we were treated like we were criminals.

6) Meanwhile the news camera’s had arrived on the scene and news was being broadcast regarding our son’s death. Ian Leavers from Qld Police Union stated several facts that were untrue including Jason being in possession of a fully loaded semi automatic pistol aiming and hunting 2 police officers down giving them no choice but to shoot or be shot. He also stated that Jason was shot twice once in the chest and once in the abdomen. For 3 days following this news broadcast we believed what Mr Leavers was correct in his alleged facts and yet when we attended the John Tong Centre we found out that our son had in fact been shot in the back and the back of the left shoulder. We have never believed our son had a weapon and the fact that the only eye witness on the scene had stated that our son did not have a weapon of any form, and we had never known Jason to have a weapons charge of any form against him or ever have a weapon. We were so upset by these allegations and then to learn once again that the gun our son allegedly had was a toy replica just shattered us again. No finger prints were found on the replica pistol at all which confirms our belief that our son had no weapon at all.

7) On the 6pm news they released our son’s name and photograph (Mug shot), this was prior to either of his 2 children being notified by the Qld Police. They did not visit Caleb’s house until around 8pm and Brianna’s house until around 10pm. The Qld Police should never have allowed Jason’s name to be released prior to his children being officially advised.

8) Witness statements were taken but yet it appears that no questions were asked. For example, I spoke with a witness in Ivor street who said that she gave a statement to the police that she had seen a police officer walk out of the gate and stand on the foot path and make a phone call and yet when I questioned her as to whether she saw the police officer walk out the gate she replied with well no I just assumed he had walked out the gate because the gate was open but I actually only saw him on the phone on the footpath. When I spoke to the ethical standards officers about this lady needing to change her statement they had advised me their superiors had said that they had already spoken with the woman and did not need to go and re-interview her.

9) Further witness statements also contradict the information given from the police, including the position of where Jason’s body initially was when he was shot. A witness stood on a 6ft high fence and could see straight into the area where Jason lay. His body was moved apparently to perform CPR but my understanding is that Jason was dead from the bullet that went through his heart. Was Jason alive when paramedics arrived on the scene?

10) The shooting officer claims that Jason and him were standing in what I would describe as a Mexican stand-off position, he said “they were standing face to face aiming guns at each other, we were both in a stationary position and he will never forget the rage in his eyes and he fired 3 times well it must have been 4 because 4 shell casings were found. We have been given the reason of tunnel vision as to why Jason was shot in the back and it doesn’t wash with me, I see no reason why my son was shot twice in the back, in fact if we are to believe this police officer’s version then why did these bullets not hit him in the front of his body. This officer is not offering this as a possible scenario he is saying this is factual as to how our son was shot. I have spoken to doctors and educated people and nobody can give me a concise or reasonable explanation as to how this could possibly happen. I want these officers suspended from duty while a thorough investigation is done. I want to know the truth no matter how ugly it may be I need to know the truth.

11) There were 4 shell casings found 3 of them together on one wall of the carport and one in the back corner of the carport the totally opposite side. I am yet to hear any witness state that they heard 4 shots even the shooter himself. The 4th bullet has never been found and I question whether there were 4 shots.

12) The toy replica pistol which is the alleged weapon involved had no fingerprints whatsoever and yet we have since the shooting discovered photos on facebook of the toy being held by 4 different people including Jason. We have handed these photos to the police as evidence. I still want to know why no fingerprints at all were found on this including the police officer who picked it up by the barrel and threw it. Also what doesn’t make sense is that the only DNA on the toy replica belonged to Jason and no other person, yet we have clearly proven at least 4 other people apart from Jason have handled this replica including the shooting officer.

13) I still have no idea where Jason’s clothes are that he was wearing on the day. I have asked police and the coroner and nobody seems to know where they are. We would like an answer to know where our son’s clothing is.

14) We also want to know why the media is not allowed to print any story from us telling the truth about where our son was shot. We have requested a public apology from Ian Leavers that he correct the allegations he made on the day of the shooting and we did not even receive the courtesy of a reply let alone a public apology correcting the information he gave which tainted the evidence right from word go.

15) We also want to know why we were told by the ethical standards that a Coronial hearing was scheduled to commence within 2 weeks and we would receive a letter from the Coroner’s Office about this. This was at least 4 weeks ago and when we questioned the Ethical Standards as to what was happening their reply was that the Coroner’s office must have changed their mind.

16) Crystal Sinn the only eye witness to the event was not originally given the opportunity to do a walkthrough of the shooting. It wasn’t until I pushed for it that it finally occurred recently. Crystal is yet to receive a copy of her statement from the Police from the 1st interview following the shooting, a copy of the DVD of the walk through or a copy of her children’s statements that were taken whilst in her care that she was not allowed to be present at.

17) Was the walk through of Crystal Sinn investigated and included in the evidence? Has the investigation been closed or is it still ongoing?

18) I was called into Police Headquarters to view some more evidence which included bits and pieces of all sorts of things including some text messages sent from Krystal Sinn’s phone threatening Jason, parts of the shooting officers walk through, parts of forensic evidence, the toy replica pistol and parts of the 000 phone call. I walked away from this meeting with the definite knowledge that they had made their mind up that she was a liar and couldn’t understand why she was lying. The belief I now have is that the Ethical Standards unit have formed a conclusion without a thorough investigation. I am not happy to sit on this, I am prepared to accept the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

19) Why is it that we have still heard nothing about the toxicology report? Have the results been received? We were told from the ethical standards that they were drawing to a close on their investigation and we would be entitled to a full brief of evidence and yet your office has stated that we will not receive this until the coronial inquest which could be 12 months away. A timely process which gives us no closure and no answers. The facts get forgotten, witnesses clarity becomes unclear and 2 qld police officers remain on full duty after possibly murdering our son.


Stephen Protheroe


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Qld. cops  deny 'setting up' honest  detective

SENIOR police have denied trying to "set up" an officer on stalking charges as a payback after he blew the whistle on alleged misconduct.

Police launched two internal investigations into former Burleigh Heads detective David Whyte, conducted covert surveillance at his home and charged him with stalking and assaulting his neighbours.  A jury took less than 30 minutes to acquit him of the charges in 2010.

Mr Whyte is now suing for compensation for psychological injuries he claims to have suffered as a result of workplace bullying and harassment. He left the police service after reporting allegations including the use of illegal search warrants at Burleigh Heads CIB.

Yesterday, in a hearing at Southport Magistrates Court, he grilled senior police about the stalking investigation.

Current Burleigh Heads CIB boss and former Ethical Standards Command officer Brian Swan, who conducted two internal investigations into Mr Whyte, denied they were triggered because the former officer had "blown the whistle" and launched a WorkCover claim.

Another former ESC officer, Inspector Stephen Dabinett, said he was directed by a superior to investigate a stalking complaint against Mr Whyte while on duty at the 2006 Schoolies Festival.

Insp Dabinett said a covert surveillance operation was launched on Mr Whyte's Kirra unit complex with the help of one of his neighbours, an alleged stalking victim.  But Mr Whyte disturbed the operation and confronted Insp Dabinett on the property.

Insp Dabinett admitted he refused to identify himself and told Mr Whyte to "f--- off".  But he said this was because Mr Whyte knew he and an ESC colleague were police officers.

Mr Whyte: "You were very rude and aggressive towards me."

Insp Dabinett: "No, I don't think I was."

Mr Whyte suggested the ESC officers were at his home for an "improper purpose ... to try and set me up".

"No," Insp Dabinett replied.

The hearing continues, with more senior police set to give evidence next week.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Former Qld. cops gives evidence on illegal warrants and bullying in police force

A PROSTITUTION taskforce was shut down after investigating a state government minister who was allegedly using Gold Coast call girls, a court has been told.

Veteran former Coast police officer Al Colefax made the claim yesterday at a hearing into allegations of bullying and harassment in the Queensland Police Service.

Former Burleigh Heads detective David Whyte is suing workers compensation body Q-Comp for psychological injuries he claims to have suffered as a result of "entrenched maladministration, workplace harassment and nepotism".

Mr Colefax, who served in the QPS for 26 years before being medically retired in 2007, backed Mr Whyte's allegations of unlawful search warrants being used at the Burleigh Heads CIB.

He told Southport Magistrates Court he did not report his concerns because of an experience in the 1990s when he notified superiors that a government minister's name had come up as a "regular client" of prostitutes.

Mr Colefax said no action was taken and the "very successful" anti-prostitution squad he headed was abruptly disbanded.

Two serving police officers also gave evidence in support of Mr Whyte's claim against Q-Comp. Former Burleigh Heads detectives John Laws and Kevin Tudor said they were forcibly transferred out of the branch office after clashing with superiors.

Senior-Constable Laws said false disciplinary charges were levelled against him and he was sent to a uniform job at Mudgeeraba after he raised allegations of bullying, favouritism and illegal search warrants.

Grilled by Q-Comp barrister John Dwyer about why he did not report his concerns, Sen-Constable Laws said he had "a career to protect" and there was "substantial risk" in speaking out.

"Put simply, you make a complaint with the QPS and you paint a target on your back," he told the court.

"The culture of the QPS is such that you would wind up ostracised and generally run out of the place."

The hearing heard that after Mr Whyte complained to the CMC in November 2006, Burleigh Heads detectives were called in by senior officers and asked what they knew.

Sen-Constable Laws said a senior officer rang him to tell him that Mr Whyte had "gone bad" and "lost the plot" and wanting to know where Whyte's service pistol was.

While service pistols were sometimes confiscated from officers who went on sick leave, Sen-Constable Laws said, he had also seen this done to "humiliate" them.

The hearing was told that the CMC had been unable to substantiate misconduct allegations raised by Mr Whyte but had identified procedural and management issues.


Why is Constable Anthony Francis still a police officer?

A POLICE officer, who epitomises the model of bad behaviour the Queensland Police Service says it wants to root out, has managed to keep his job.

One of the main culprits exposed in an investigation into officer misconduct on the Gold Coast continues to serve after an internal investigation substantiated most of the allegations against him.

The decision has prompted an appeal by the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) and comes as the Newman Government stalls reforms to the police disciplinary process to make way for another review on the eve of the appointment of a new Police Commissioner.

Constable Anthony Richard Francis was one of several officers identified during the 2009-2010 Operation Tesco and was found guilty of improper access to and disclosure of confidential police information, several conflicts of interest, failing to report misconduct by another officer and urinating on a police vehicle he was using as a "blue light taxi" after a boozy night out.

One conflict of interest involving Constable Francis came when he investigated a break and enter of his own house.

Constable Francis was also found guilty of victimisation by giving a "secret Santa" gift to a colleague a can of dog food and a dog bowl.

The term "dog" has been used in the QPS to describe someone who reports suspected misconduct by their colleagues.

An investigation found Constable Francis also colluded with another police officer who has since quit, during Tesco hearings and was the recipient of a text message from her inviting him for a "quiet snort".

But allegations they used cocaine were not substantiated.

The CMC said disciplinary action against Constable Francis, who has since been transferred to Logan uniform branch after being suspended and having his pay docked, was "inadequate and failed to achieve the objectives of the disciplinary process", according to documents lodged in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

It also objected to Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett's decision to reduce the sanction by taking into account "environmental factors of the Gold Coast District" because of Constable Francis' associations with people involved in the Gold Coast nightclub industry.

Mr Barnett, who is one of five applicants shortlisted to succeed Commissioner Bob Atkinson, said circumstances surrounding these matters "mitigate the need to impose the ultimate sanction".

Two police officers identified by the CMC during Operation Tesco have since resigned but Constable Francis was the only one to face disciplinary action.

Another three officers had matters addressed through "management action".


Offences committed by Constable Anthony Richard Francis, formerly of Burleigh Heads CIB

1. Collusion

After Francis received a text message from another police officer (who has since quit) which read: "Hey babe, Just hopping into bed now, can't sleep, wish you were here, would love to have a chat a little giggle and a quiet snort (i probably shouldn't write that in a txt should i!) Hope ur enjoying yourself stay safe sweetie xxx", the couple were overheard discussing the Operation Tesco hearings and the need to get their stories straight. In particular, Francis was heard saying: "Just make sure you snort when you laugh from now on." Allegations of drug use were not substantiated.

2. Conflict of interest

As a recipient of free drinks from a Gold Coast nightclub entrepreneur, Francis then showed favouritism towards the man when his limousine was reported stolen. Despite inquiries revealing the vehicle was the subject of a civil dispute between the man and a third party who leased it, Francis entered a crime report stating the vehicle was "stolen" and returned it.

According to QPS document filed in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT), Francis returned the vehicle to the nightclub owner "without complying with Service policy relating to disputed property". Francis was the arresting officer during a raid of a suspected offender as part of the investigation into a break and enter at his own home.

3. Victimisation of another officer

Gave an officer he believed had dobbed on him a can of dog food and dog bowl as a "secret Santa" gift.

4. Public nuisance

Urinated on the back of a police car he was using for his private use after a boozy night out.

5. Misuse of police resources

Took an unmarked police vehicle and collected a female friend and her mother from the airport.

6. Failed to report the suspected misconduct of another officer

7. Improper access to and disclosure of police information

Included checks on his girlfriend at the time, her stepfather and mother; other police officers, including one who had the foresight to have his personal information removed for fear of retribution from criminals he was investigating; a former girlfriend and her sister; and a woman he met at a nightclub after a one-night stand.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Reform need for police behaving badly

TENSIONS between the state crimefighting bodies over how to discipline wayward police are bubbling again on the eve of the appointment of a new Police Commissioner.

The Newman Government has reopened Queensland Police Service's internal disciplinary review, scrapping recommendations from the previous government despite concern not enough is being done to improve bad behaviour.

It comes as the Crime and Misconduct Commission slams a decision by one of the candidates for commissioner, Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett, for being too soft on the main culprit exposed during Operation Tesco - the investigation into criminal and improper activities involving Gold Coast police.

Other concerns have been raised by police afraid to dob in their colleagues because traditionally they're labelled "dogs", with one saying he feared for his life as a result.

CMC Assistant Commissioner Misconduct Warren Strange said progress had been made since Tesco but they were now waiting for the Government to decide how issues could be addressed.  "The new Government is now going to consider its direction on these issues," he said.

He said reform needed to be ongoing and expected the new commissioner to have a commitment to the higher standards of professional conduct, but didn't expect the two organisations to always get along.

"We are never going to agree on everything, we will have different views about issues at times, different views about particular cases and outcomes and actions that should result, but I think that's healthy," Mr Strange said.

Under the previous government reforms, QPS would be banned from investigating its own officers, investigation timeframes would be shorter and the CMC would have the power to change disciplinary decisions by the QPS if they deemed them too lenient.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said he has already had positive discussions with the Government, the CMC and the police service hierarchy about a way forward.

"Neither the police, the CMC, nor the public have faith in the current police disciplinary system," he said.  "I believe we are on the cusp of achieving a better model."

Mr Leavers said the appointment of Commissioner Bob Atkinson's successor was crucial to ensure they maintained the momentum for change.

Almost half of complaints to the CMC are about police officers and in the 2011-12 financial year, 2305 involving more than 6000 allegations were received - a 5 per cent reduction on the year before.

Police Minister Jack Dempsey said the Government wanted to find "balance" to the discipline process.


Friday, July 6, 2012

CMC recommends police consider disciplinary action against Qld. officer in Queen St Mall arrest

A SECOND police officer faces repercussions for allegedly using excessive force during the arrest of a homeless man in Brisbane's Queen Street Mall six years ago.

The Crime and Misconduct Commission has recommended disciplinary action be considered against the arresting officer, Constable Robert Kemper, as well as Constable Benjamin Arndt who was found guilty in the Brisbane Magistrate's Court last year of assaulting Bruce Rowe, then 65.

The dramatic arrest of Mr Rowe on July 9, 2006, who was kneed repeatedly by Constable Arndt while he was lying on the ground, was captured by CCTV footage and led to a landmark private prosecution of Arndt.

It was Queensland's first successful private prosecution. Arndt was fined $1000 but no conviction was recorded. The Queensland Police Union paid his fine and unsuccessfully appealed the case in the District Court last year.

Mr Rowe, who has turned his life around and is renting a flat in Ascot, said he was disgusted Constable Arndt remained in the police force.

He welcomed the recommendation of disciplinary action against Constable Kemper for allegations of unlawful arrest and excessive force but remains angry at the justice system.

"Arndt's still out there, as a police officer and the police union paid his fine, it's a joke," Mr Rowe said. Other unrelated allegations brought by Mr Rowe of misconduct by police officers were dismissed by the CMC.

Earlier this year, The Courier-Mail published CCTV footage of a 22-year-old chef, Noa Begic, allegedly being assaulted by police in the Surfers Paradise police station after being arrested for public nuisance and obstructing police.

The charges against Mr Begic have since been dropped by the police and two officers seen in the footage are being investigated by the Ethical Standards Command.

The Queensland Police Service said it was assessing the CMC's report. It said there were a range of disciplinary options available but would not list them.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Qld. cop misuses charity credit card:  Gets off free

QUEENSLAND'S criminal watchdog has lost its bid for a review of the suspended demotion of a police sergeant for misusing a citizens youth club corporate credit card to pay for personal expenses.

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, in just published four-page decision, said Sergeant Gilbert Napper pleaded guilty to a charge of official misconduct for inappropriately using a Queensland Police Citizens Youth Welfare Association's corporate credit car.

QCAT senior member Richard Oliver said QPS Assistant Commissioner Clem O'Regan on March 16 imposed a "sanction" demoting Sergeant Napper to the rank of senior constable.

However, the sanction was suspended subject to Sergeant Napper completing certain training courses.

"Sergeant Napper was charged with official misconduct because he inappropriately used ... (the) Association Corporate credit card," he said.

"The expenses charged to the card where repaid by (Sergeant Napper) but, as he knew or ought to have known at the time, this conduct was not permitted."

Mr Oliver said the Crime and Misconduct Commission lodged an application for a review of Assistant Commissioner O'Regan's decision on April 2 - more than two weeks after the commissioner published his decision.

"The application to review is out of time as it was not made with 14 days of the decision being given," he said.

"As a consequence of being out of time the (CMC) has applied to the Tribunal for time to be extended ... (but that) is opposed by Mr Napper."

Mr Oliver said it appeared the CMC, from the material it had filed, was "simply asking the Tribunal to revisit afresh" matters already placed before Assistant Commissioner O'Regan and "without any real attempt to show that a different outcome is likely."

"The result is that the (CMC's) application for an extension of time is dismissed."


Thursday, June 14, 2012

I am DEEPLY suspicious of this prosecution

If you are unlucky enough  to be in the vicinity when a murder is committed,  the Qld. cops are likely to say you did it.  The thoroughly reprehensible prosecutions  of the unfortunate Barry Mannix and Graham Stafford  are evidence enough of that.  And the crooked cops who fitted up both men have never been punished

And it's sheer laziness behind such practices.  I have twice supplied police with precise ID for people who have committed offences against me but no discernible action was taken in either case.  In one case the ID was simply thrown into the bin on the apparent grounds that car thefts are too minor to be taken seriously. 

And I don't mind naming the irresponsible police constable who "lost" the ID concerned.  It was the Virgin Turgeon of Dutton Park cop shop,  who still works there but who has since been promoted.  If she sues me for defamation,  I would be overjoyed to air the whole matter in court.  And I have the means to do so.

And the Baden-Clay case fits the laziness mould.  He was the husband of the deceased so suspicion automatically fell on him.  The fact that they could find nothing to pin on him for months and the fact that the forensic science results turned  up nothing show how weak the case is

And although he is a man of known good character with only the normal quantum of human weaknessess, that apparently did not count either. 

The chief thing that made him "suspicious" appears  to be that he appeared insufficiently emotional about his wife's death.  Those  who know anything about Australian judicial history will however recall that as being the chief charge against  Lindy Chamberlain  -- and we all know how that turned out.  Hollywood even made a movie out of it

GERARD Baden-Clay spent last night behind bars after being charged with the murder of his wife Allison.

Nearly two months after phoning police to say the woman he called his "angel" had disappeared, he was taken into police custody on Wednesday and charged with causing her death.  He was also charged with unlawfully interfering with a corpse.

The real estate agent arrived at Indooroopilly police station yesterday afternoon where he met head of homicide Detective Superintendent Brian Wilkins and the top cop in charge of the drawn-out investigation, Detective Superintendent Mark Ainsworth.

The detectives left the station at about 5.20pm, refusing to comment.

It is understood Baden-Clay was in the police station for several hours before his lawyer Darren Mahony arrived.  On his way in, Mr Mahony confirmed his client was inside. About an hour later he emerged and said his client was about to be charged.  "Police have indicated the intention to charge my client with murder," Mr Mahony said. "He's devastated."

He said Baden-Clay would "defend the charge vigorously".

Members of the public watched as media waited for Baden-Clay's departure. Shortly after, the 41-year-old was bundled, handcuffed, into a police car and driven to the Brisbane watchhouse by detectives.  Upon arrival at the watchhouse, Baden-Clay looked shocked but just stared straight ahead.

Allison Baden-Clay was reported missing by her husband at 7.30am on April 20 when he told police she had left the house the previous night and not returned.

Her disappearance sparked a massive search, with police turning up on their days off to join dozens of investigators and State Emergency Services volunteers to scour the bush around the family's Brookfield home.

Search crews checked dams and abandoned mine shafts in the densely wooded suburb, pleading with locals to conduct searches of their own properties.

Her body was found 10 days later by a kayaker on the banks of the Kholo Creek at Anstead. At the same time, homicide detectives and scientific investigators arrived at Baden-Clay's Brookfield Rd home.

Police asked The Courier-Mail to move back and blocked the driveway with their cars while investigators scoured the property with torches.

Yesterday, the couple's three daughters, aged 10, 8 and 5, were taken into police care at a separate station before being collected by Allison's parents, Geoff and Priscilla Dickie.

Baden-Clay's parents, Nigel and Elaine, made no comment to media when they arrived at their Kenmore home yesterday evening.

Allison Baden-Clay was an accomplished ballerina who travelled Australia and the UK as a girl with the Australian Youth ballet.

As an adult, she spoke six languages and rose through the ranks from a Flight Centre sales assistant to the company's national human resources manager.

It was while working at Flight Centre that she met Gerard Baden-Clay. She left her career behind to care for her family of three daughters.

Her husband's great-grandfather, Lord Baden-Powell, started the scouting movement, a fact Baden-Clay mentioned often in his online business profiles.

He was regularly quoted in media reports about the real estate market.  "In business, it's simple: never lie," he said in 2008. "For starters, it's the wrong thing to do but secondly you will always get caught out and usually when you least expect it.  "There are just too many people, too many personalities, too many trails ... and too much to lose."


Friday, June 8, 2012

Surfers Paradise police stood down over alleged bashing of Noa Begic at station

Good to see this disgraceful situation nearing a resolution.  The victim has had a struggle to get the cops this far,  despite the video.  The Gold Coast cops really are scum

TWO police officers have been officially suspended over the alleged bashing of a young chef in the basement of a Gold Coast police station.

Noa Begic was arrested in January on a charge of public nuisance before he was taken to Surfers Paradise police station.  CCTV footage obtained exclusively by The Courier-Mail showed the 21-year-old, with his hands cuffed behind his back, on the receiving end of a flurry of punches as he was restrained by a group of officers.

The Ethical Standards Command launched an investigation in to the incident in February and police this afternoon confirmed a 35-year-old senior constable and a 53-year-old senior sergeant have now been stood down from official duty.

The senior constable is under investigation for excessive use of force, while the senior sergeant, who is shown on the video footage using a bucket of water to wash away what looks like a pool of blood, is being investigated on allegations of excessive use of force and failing to supervise junior officers.

The announcement comes with charges against Mr Begic set to be dropped by police prosecutors in a court appearance tomorrow.  Mr Begic faced Southport Magistrates Court last week, where prosecutors indicated they would drop charges of public nuisance and obstructing police.

His legal team will tomorrow seek court costs from police while the young Nerang father is also considering suing the Queensland Police Service.

A Surfers Paradise officer accused of leaking footage to The Courier-Mail has been re-assigned.  [He deserves a medal!]


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Disgusting Brisbane  police behavior

Email below as received from Janelle Rich

Not that I expect anything but I was present at Hamilton Hotel on Saturday night after races to witness a large number of Qld police officers off duty acting like utter disgraces. One actually threatened a local patron and was asked to leave. Knowing he was a police officer he re entered in full knowledge he is above the law. Normal people get fines or court appearances of which cctv footage would well and truly put to rest. This disgusting thug of an off duty officer was threatening violence knowing he was above the law and committed an offence knowing he is again above the law of which one can only imagine he is used to doing.

What is it with these public servants who think they are above anyone else at any time of day or night because they sometimes wear a uniform. He actually broke a liquor licensing regulation but is unaccountable because he is a police officer and can resist eviction of a licensed premise even if he is a drunken inebriated disgrace for the sole reason he wears a uniform which represents corruption and knows it. Threatening violence after being removed is what [police are supposed to be striving for not promoting like this clown, you can only bet he is a superintendent or high ranking disgrace that knows he is unaccountable!

Townsville cops

Email below as received

Sonya Mitchell

Sonya Mitchell is is calling for artworks, stories or photographs from anyone in the Townsville area who feels that they have experienced injustice at the hands of the Queensland Police Service for an exhibition called "Injustice or Just-us?"

The exhibition comes as a result of an incident witnessed by Sonya Mitchell who saw something which prompted her to make a CMC complaint.  The QLD Police Service Officer who investigated the other QLD Police Service Officers from the same locality found that the Officers involved did nothing wrong despite the fact that a Magistrate found that the Officers unlawfully entered a property, unlawfully arrested someone and unlawfully assaulted someone. 

The QLD Police Service Officer who investigated the CMC complaint chose to paint the complainant as a liar rather than the Police.  The purpose of this exhibition is to raise community awareness about the current ethical behaviour standards of QLD Police and call for independant investigators.

If you have experienced something similar and would like to submit a piece than please email If you are concerned about retaliation, then your identity will not be disclosed. Any funds raised from the exhibition will be donated to the Innocence Project. Please copy and paste this message to share this post with your friends.

Crooked Yeppoon Detectives‏


An email below as received

I am a diagnosed Paranoid Schizophrenic.

Because of my Mental Health I am continually denied representation and Justice, in many areas including Public Health and Treatment.

Police won’t listen to me, my Doctor ignores me, and advocates won’t represent me, my Psychiatrist just wants to increase my medication.

I was the victim of a catastrophic fail, in a hernia operation 2 years ago which caused me to be more physically disabled and resulted in loss of mobility resulting in massive weight gain.

Although the Doctors were negligent, Solicitors would not represent me and all Government and non-Government bodies intended to care for me denied me Justice and denied my complaints, just let me slowly drown in my own internal bleed.

After the failed operation and being totally capacitated for 2 years, I attempted to get fit enough to work again.

I had become a recluse / hermit for that time till I joined a gym mid-January 2012 and attended regularly until February 15th 2012.

After joining the gym, I was observed by my junkie neighbour as coming and going from my flat. I was a computer tech and although the junkie did not know what was inside my flat, another neighbour who applied to be my carrer apparently told him.

I used an iPod to block out people in the gym, always on when I left the flat, talk to no one and heard no one. The iPod was stolen from my car by the junkie on the 1st February.

On the 15th of February (my birthday), he had one of his mates con me, get in my house and rob me.

I had eye witnesses, but local Police refused to charge him and said I gave him my goods for drugs, although they returned some of my stuff I allegedly gave away $5000 remained missing including my watch (used in gym) gym shoes (Asics Kayano (gift)), Mobile Phones one Huawei Sonic used for Data on my computers hotspot and a Blackberry (gift).

Why would I give away everyday essentials to train and get fit and the only gifts I got for Xmas? 

Also an iPod I got for Xmas from my only remaining friends, no family and left the world behind but was checked on several times a week by a young couple, my only outside contact last 2 years. If the Detectives allege I gave it to him, why did they bring back my computer bag but not the 5 laptops stolen?

As a disabled pensioner I will never replace the computer and tech stuff taken. My income went south when the operation failed and I had to move into a lower standard of living soon after my income was cut off (no compensation, just a cover up as usual)

Everyone has screwed me and taken my life away, over the last 2 years, denied Justice all round and copped it sweet as I was a worthless schizophrenic, a burden on society, but did work for years successfully, before the failed operation.

Why I have written to you is, I was once a Public Servant in the post Nagle Royal Commission days of NSW Prisons. 

I experienced organised crime, corruption as well as five murders and was a "whistle blower" in the Rex Jackson MP inquiry (Minister gaoled for 10 years). It was at this time I was declared insane by the Wran Government and could never toss the record.

I was confused by QLD Police Detectives refusing to even take a written statement from me or any of the eye witnesses. 

I originally thought the thief was a NARC! I investigated his life in Townsville before he robbed me. 

This led me to Hervey Bay and his friends and family from is school days. 

I have now been told his two sisters are members of the QLD Police Force. His is when I remembered the head Detective who refused to even interview me or take a statement, claimed he “knew the Miles” and he believed Clayton. Clayton has been in gaol till 10th May for a series of similar robberies to mine, but many were unloaded and discarded.

One robbery January 2012 was he stole someone else’s ID and licence as well as their Credit Card which he used to steal a Hire Car from Townsville Airport. I know thoer crimes he committed in Townsville when he ran from there as well and the people's names.

Clayton paid one month in advance on the stolen ID and Card, but Police refused to charge him, saying the Vehicle was only missing for a few days? Prior to that it was “Hired”? 

He is facing charges over this theft and several other burglaries and robberies in yeppoon, but he has been charged similarly and “impotently" so he will soon be free to rape, rob, pillage and plunder again, he stuck me with a syringe, that should be assault with a deadly weapon, I am undergoing needle stick blood tests as well. 

This was never recorded by Police, he is a junkie and shares needles? I could have aids, I am a Grandfather although my family never ever comes near me, they never ever will reconcile if I have aides.
All I can see to do to get Justice I take the matter into my own hands and forget the law, just “kill them all”! 

Then throw myself on the mercy of the Court or suicide. “I HATE CROOKED CORRUPT COPS AND FOUGHT THEM ALL THROUGH THE 70S AND 80S”. When they do crime, in my eyes they lose their rights as a Police Officer in my book, and just become “other criminals”. I let everything go, but Police Corruption and crooked Politicians caused me to be where I am today! I can’t let this go!

Can you help me artiulate a complaint?  one reads my stuff, as I am mentally disabled and cant articulate short sharp sentences. If I dont hear from you OK! you will have heads up amongst your friends when I am shot and killed or on the run.

Yours Sincerely
Ric Glass

Friday, April 20, 2012

Charming North Queensland cop

Cairns police constable guilty of stomping on prisoner's neck.  Fortunately there were some other conscientious cops around.  Note the involvement of a female officer in blowing the whistle again.  Bree Sonter was the one who dobbed total thug Benjamin Price

A POLICE officer has been found guilty of stamping on the neck of a female prisoner in far north Queensland.

Constable Alex Alexander, 52, pleaded not guilty to a charge of common assault, after it was alleged he stamped on Melanie Burgoyne's head or neck after restraining her in the Cairns watchhouse on August 30 last year.

Ms Burgoyne had been arrested on a charge of public nuisance in central Cairns.  Ms Burgoyne, who was heavily intoxicated at the time, had used her bra in an attempt to choke herself in the back of the police wagon.  As she was being brought to the watchhouse, Ms Burgoyne flicked her bra at Alexander.

He then grabbed Ms Burgoyne by the neck and right arm and threw her to the ground, placing his knee on her back to restrain her.

Watchhouse officer Mark Webb and shift supervisor Sergeant Melanie Flynn both testified to seeing Alexander strike Ms Burgoyne twice to the neck or head with his boot.  Alexander said any contact with Ms Burgoyne's head had been accidental.

In the Cairns Magistrates Court today, Alexander was found guilty.  Magistrate Jane Bentley said she accepted Officer Webb and Sgt Flynn's version of events.

She said Ms Burgoyne throwing the bra at Alexander was an assault, but said it was "fleeting", and was complete before he reacted to it.  "The throwing of the bra was not such that it would induce an ordinary person to lose control," Ms Bentley said.

Ms Bentley said Alexander had stepped outside the reasonable actions of a police officer.  "The defendant was not acting under any lawful justification," she said.  Alexander, who was stood down from duty, will be sentenced in the same court on Tuesday.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Blind eye to drunk police officer in Townsville sparks inquiry

POLICE Ethical Standards Unit is investigating why an officer allegedly found drunk, disorderly and in a state of undress was not charged after a night in Townsville's watchhouse.

The 27-year-old based in North Queensland was on his way to the Queensland Police Service Rugby League Festival at Airlie Beach late last month, but it's unclear whether he was also caught driving over the limit.

The Courier-Mail understands that his visit wasn't logged at the watchhouse, breaching police procedure. Police are also required to report misconduct involving officers to superiors.

The officer, in Townsville for an internal QPS course, was allegedly at least partially naked and acting inappropriately on Monday, March 26.  "The officer was allegedly found affected by alcohol and taken by police to the watchhouse," QPS said in a statement.

"Police regularly divert persons from formal charges for a number of reasons, including persons who are drunk in a public place ... in this case however the officer was taken to the watchhouse and was not charged at the time.  "The Service acknowledges that correct procedure was not followed in this regard."

The Courier-Mail understands the matter was only raised when the officer reported his watch had been stolen at the watchhouse, but there were no records he'd even been there.  "The officer involved advised a colleague he lost his watch, which was located and subsequently returned to him," QPS said in a statement.

Police said the investigation would focus on the officer's conduct as well as the "actions and decision-making of a number of officers aware of the incident or involved in it".

It's not the first time police have been reported behaving badly at the time of the QPS Rugby League Festival. Last year, an officer from the Cairns Special Emergency Response squad pleaded guilty to public nuisance after allegedly dancing in his underpants near the face of a fellow officer who passed out at the Kingaroy McDonald's during the 2011 country football carnival celebrations.

Constable Daniel Kennedy was fined $250 at Kingaroy Magistrate's Court.  It was revealed at the time, the action was caught on closed circuit television cameras monitoring the McDonald's restaurant.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Thug Qld. Cop loses appeal against finding that he used excessive force in arrest of boy, 15

A FORMER police officer has lost an appeal against a finding he used unauthorised and unjustified excessive force in the arrest of a 15-year-old boy almost five years ago.

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal has dismissed an appeal by former police sergeant Damien Chapman to overturn a tribunal finding that he used excessive force while arresting the teen at Clontarf, north of Brisbane, on May 18, 2007.

Chapman was initially cleared after an internal Queensland Police Service investigation by then QPS deputy commissioner Kathy Rynders. [Dear Kathy again]

However, that resulted in the matter being referred to QCAT by Queensland's criminal watchdog the Crime and Misconduct Commission. The CMC asked QCAT to review commissioner Rynders' findings and last November the tribunal overturned her decision and found that Chapman had used excessive force.

The 15-year-old, who was not responsible for the offence for which he was arrested, suffered a severely ruptured spleen, which doctors found was the result of blunt force to the area underneath his ribs.

At the original QCAT hearing, Chapman's defence argued the medical report was too inconclusive to say without doubt how the injury occurred. QCAT members James Thomas and Susan Booth disagreed, saying they were satisfied Chapman struck the boy without "authorisation, justification or excuse by law".

They were also critical of the internal police investigation, which they likened to "a relic of earlier armed service orderly room procedure".

QCAT president Alan Wilson, in a just-published 10-page decision, rejected Chapman's appeal, saying it "must be dismissed".

Justice Wilson, presiding in the tribunal's appeals jurisdiction, said the original finding was proper in all of the circumstances.

He said Chapman's appeal had focused on "numerous questions of law", but mainly argued the tribunal's decision was "contrary to, and against, the weight of evidence". "None of (Chapman's) grounds of appeal are made out," he said.

Chapman resigned in the wake of the QCAT ruling. Justice Wilson said during a follow-up hearing the tribunal found it would have ordered he be dismissed had he not already resigned.


Monday, February 20, 2012

More barefaced lies from the Qld. police

It would become them a lot better if they stopped lying and came clean but they know they are a protected class so have nothing to lose

But they must be rattled now that a newspaper has obtained a copy of the totally dishonest official charge sheet. There is obviously a decent police insider who is disgusted with them

POLICE will describe the shocking bashing of a young man in the basement of a Gold Coast police station as "a brief struggle".

CCTV footage showing officers manhandling, kneeing and punching 21-year-old chef Noa Begic at Surfers Paradise police station has gone viral since it was obtained by The Courier-Mail last week.

One of the officers involved already has been pulled from frontline duties while a joint Ethical Standards Command and Crime and Misconduct Commission investigation is under way. Police are also investigating how The Courier-Mail obtained the video.

The newspaper has obtained a copy of the official charge sheet, with the arresting officers painting a different picture of what happened in the early hours of January 29.

The police statement reports Mr Begic landed face-first on the basement floor because he slipped out of the hands of officers and fell over.

"The defendant planted his feet ... and pushed towards police in a rapid movement which caused police to lose hold of the defendant," the statement reads. "The defendant then fell to the ground."

According to police, Mr Begic then stood up and continued resisting so violently he again fell, dragging officers down with him, despite their repeated instructions to "stop resisting". "After a brief struggle the defendant was secured in a prisoner transport van," the statement continued.

There is no mention of the flurry of punches that followed once Mr Begic was placed in the back of the wagon. The court brief lists the CCTV footage as evidence to support a charge of obstructing police. Police also will call upon footage from Gold Coast City Council cameras in the area where the arrest took place.

It will be alleged Mr Begic was at the corner of Cavill Ave and Orchid Ave about 3.10am with a group of friends when he was approached by police for swearing loudly in reference to two other officers.

The police statement alleges Mr Begic refused to answer questions and laughed loudly at police "on two occasions". He was arrested on a charge of public nuisance relating to his indecent language and escorted to a nearby police car where his "abusive, indecent language and aggressive behaviour" escalated as he demanded to know why he had been arrested.

Mr Begic, who is considering a civil lawsuit against police, will face court in April charged with public nuisance and obstructing police.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Qld. cops to investigate their own toothless watchdog

QUEENSLAND police have been told to investigate the state's corruption body for failing to interview a decorated former homicide detective named in the Dangerous Liaisons report.

Dangerous Liaisons - released in July 2009 by the Crime and Misconduct Commission - detailed various allegations against 25 police officers.

Former homicide detective Darren Hall said the CMC did not interview him during its five-year investigation. No charges were laid against any of the 25 officers.

Yesterday, the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee, which oversees the CMC, informed Mr Hall the matter had been referred back to police. "The committee has resolved to ask the police service to investigate your complaints and provide a report on the matters to the committee," a letter addressed to Mr Hall said. "The committee will be in further contact with you once it has received and considered the report from the Queensland Police Service."

Mr Hall said he only wanted justice to be served properly after the report ruined his career. "I suppose hopefully it will mean it will be investigated," he told The Courier-Mail. "And that they will be brought to justice for what they haven't done during those five years - which is interview me and give me a chance to defend myself."

The order for police to investigate the CMC provides another twist to their rocky relationship which was heavily damaged during the investigation into the 2004 death of Mulrunji on Palm Island.

The latest development follows a push from Independent MP Rob Messenger for an inquiry. "This matter casts serious doubt over the integrity of the CMC both past and present," Mr Messenger said. "I have grave doubts that the Queensland police force is up to the task of investigating it and I believe the only solution is for an independent inquiry and I'd hope and demand that (LNP leader) Campbell Newman will support me with my call - and I won't waste my breath with (Anna) Bligh or Labor."

Lawyer Greg Williams, who has supported Mr Hall in his fight, said he believed it was a "world first" for a police force to investigate its own corruption body.

"Even the CMC is not immune to scrutiny - and they shouldn't be," he said. "I believe they have failed miserably by not giving Darren an opportunity to respond to allegations made in their report."

Top defender for bashing defendant

ALLEGED police bashing victim Noa Begic will be represented by the lawyer who defended wrongly accused terror suspect Mohamed Haneef.

The 21-year-old chef is facing minor charges of public nuisance and obstructing police over his arrest in the early hours of January 29 in Surfers Paradise.

But he is also considering launching a civil action against the police officers who allegedly left him bashed and bloodied in the basement of the Surfers Paradise police station - an incident made public when The Courier-Mail revealed the CCTV footage.

Peter Russo, who helped Dr Haneef beat terror charges, met Mr Begic yesterday and confirmed he would represent him in court, but was reluctant to comment further. "It's very early days," he said.

Mr Begic also has another white knight in his corner - a former model who took on the police and won after five years of harassment and intimidation.

Renee Eaves leapt to Mr Begic's defence and said she would use her experience to help the young dad if he took on the police service in court. She arranged for him to meet Mr Russo, one of Queensland's highest-profile lawyers.

"Police can use what they call 'reasonable force', but how much force is needed when someone is handcuffed and locked in the back of a wagon?" she asked. "I would say none."

Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson has stood by his comment that officers can be justified in punching aggressive offenders, but insisted his words were not in support of those involved in the bashing.

He asked Queenslanders not to lose faith in their police service after footage emerged of a handcuffed man being bashed by officers.

The incident is now subject to a joint investigation by Queensland police and the Crime and Misconduct Commission.

One officer has been removed from operational duties.

"Nothing I said on Wednesday in any way suggested I was supporting the officer who is the subject of the investigation," Mr Atkinson said.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Police lie to cover for each other, claims former homeless man who was bashed in Queen St Mall

A FORMER homeless man bashed by police in Brisbane's Queen St Mall has urged the young victim of an alleged Gold Coast police assault to fight for justice.

But Bruce Rowe, who launched Queensland's first successful private criminal prosecution against police, warns Noa Begic faces "a long, hard road ahead of him". Mr Rowe, 71, said his own lengthy - and ongoing - battle for justice was frustrated by a police "code of silence" which he believed still existed. "They will lie to protect each other," he said.

Mr Rowe, an engineering graduate who became homeless after the death of his wife of 41 years, was held down and assaulted by police in the mall in 2006 and charged with obstruction and disobeying a direction.

He launched a rare private prosecution after police cleared the five officers involved and the Court of Appeal overturned his conviction.

Last February, the officer who kneed Mr Rowe, Constable Benjamin Arndt, was found guilty of common assault and ordered to pay $3250 in a fine and legal costs. He has launched a District Court appeal. The CMC is believed to be close to completing an investigation into the officers involved.

Mr Rowe said he had seen the video footage of the Begic incident, obtained exclusively by The Courier-Mail, and it was "appalling". He said it had brought up chilling memories of his own ordeal.

"You can't see him (on the video) fighting back or doing anything yet they (the police) are getting stuck into him which is very similar to what happened in my case," he said. "I never resisted and never touched them but they got stuck into me, too.

"Even if he (Mr Begic) has sworn at them or whatever, I can't see any justification whatsoever for punching him while he is laying there in handcuffs. It's appalling."

Mr Rowe said it was fortunate there was video footage of the incident, since he won justice for his assault only by requisitioning CCTV footage from the Brisbane City Council.

"(Mr Begic) should absolutely go for it and fight for justice but I would say he has a long, hard road ahead of him," he said. "My case has been going for nearly six years and I'm still fighting."

Mr Rowe said he was "absolutely disgusted" by Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson's assertion that police could be justified in punching people in the head.

Top cop on revenge vendetta against those who reveal police misbehaviour

His priorities are arse about. What about working to see that there is no thuggery to record? He should be fired. He is unfit to lead an ethical police force. Fish rot from the head down and Atkinson has just revealed by his behaviour that the Qld. police force is again no exception. Is he another Terry Lewis?

A CULTURE of fear among police whistleblowers has emerged as Queensland's top cop vowed to hunt the source of an alleged police bashing video.

Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson has pledged a "full, thorough and exhaustive" investigation into the alleged bashing of 21-year-old chef Noa Begic in the bowels of the Surfers Paradise police station. Mr Begic had his hands cuffed behind his back when officers were seen kneeing and punching him.

But Mr Atkinson has also flagged an inquiry into how The Courier-Mail obtained the CCTV footage of Mr Begic's bashing before breaking the story on Wednesday.

The pursuit follows news that Constable Bree Sonter was asked to explain her role in blowing the whistle on former colleague Benjamin Price, who was jailed after he assaulted prisoners.

The Courier-Mail understands that Constable Sonter, labelled "heroic" by the Crime and Misconduct Commission when she was the only officer to report Price, was under investigation for why she did not allegedly alert authorities earlier about his behaviour.

The Price court case and subsequent stories in The Courier-Mail raised questions about how slowly police reacted to the initial report.

Operation Tesco, a 2010 CMC inquiry into Gold Coast police misconduct, heard how a Burleigh Heads CIB whistleblower was given a can of dog food as a "secret Santa" gift by a colleague. The present, handed out at an office Christmas party, was given after he was suspected of "dogging" a workmate over disciplinary matters.

Last November, an inspector from the Ethical Standards Command, the internal affairs division which investigates allegations of police misconduct, was stood down after he left a can of dog food on a colleague's desk allegedly to reprimand him for being a "snitch".

Mr Atkinson said he did not believe the release of the Surfers Paradise video was a "whistleblower act" as an internal investigation into the incident was already under way. "There's nothing there that is exposing or uncovering anything," he said. [You could have fooled me!]

But leading criminal lawyer Bill Potts said police would not have taken the case as seriously without the media exposure. "But for brave whistleblowers and journalists revealing these sorts of things, this type of behaviour would not be exposed in the significant way it has been," Mr Potts said.

Queensland Civil Liberties Council vice-president Terry O'Gorman said Mr Atkinson should be more concerned with the behaviour in the video than in how it went public.

"Rather than conducting a witchhunt into how a video embarrassing the QPS was leaked to the media, Mr Atkinson should be conducting his own inquiry into Gold Coast Police Command, who apparently did nothing about the video or the police involved in the alleged bashing until the video was publicly released," Mr Potts said.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Driver claims Qld. police bullying people to plead guilty over speeding fines

ONE of the 3000 motorists caught speeding in the Clem7 Tunnel last May has claimed police are "bullying" people into pleading guilty to avoid embarrassment over the controversial fines.

Peter Arnouts is among dozens challenging the fines issued in May after police started enforcing changes to variable speed signs in the tollway.

Although he wanted to plead not guilty because he believed he was in the right, Mr Arnouts said he was "cornered in a room" by two police before the hearing and told he would lose.

"They said they'd reduce the speed on my ticket from 71 to 69 to bring the cost of the fine down from $466 to $333 but only if I pleaded guilty," Mr Arnouts said.

"Then they told me if I went ahead with a not guilty plea, they'd have to bring an expert up from down south which meant I could be liable for costs of $6000. "I felt intimidated, like I was being bullied into it."

Mr Arnouts did as he was told and pleaded guilty but said he had decided to speak out so others would be prepared. "They should know what to expect," he said.

William Burnett also appeared in court this month to fight a Clem7 speeding fine and was also told police would lower the speed to reduce the fine - if he pleaded guilty.

But Mr Burnett said he felt the police prosecutor explained the situation clearly and the decision was left up to him. "She said 'no-one has got off yet and going by the letter of the law they're very unlikely to'," he said.

"She spent a bit of time and told me if I pleaded guilty the magistrate would ask if there was anything I wanted to say, which would give me a chance to say my piece."

The claims follow the release of figures showing police tore up more speeding fines issued in the Clem7 Tunnel due to technical faults, than at any other location.

Police officers sometimes justified in punching people in the head, says Qld. Commissioner Bob Atkinson

QUEENSLAND'S top cop has declared officers can be justified in punching people in the head. Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson made the comments yesterday after The Courier-Mail revealed CCTV footage from the Surfers Paradise watchhouse showing officers allegedly assaulting 21-year-old chef and father Noa Begic.

Mr Atkinson was asked if there could be any justification for police punching someone in the head, as the footage shows. He said: "Of course ... but it would depend on the circumstances as to whether that use of force - punching someone in the head - was necessary and justifiable."

His comments were backed by Police Minister Neil Roberts. "Yes, if the action was necessary and justifiable, for example as a form of self-defence or in assisting someone else given the circumstances of the situation the officer was confronted at the time," Mr Roberts said.

But Mr Atkinson admitted some officers could become "desensitised" to violence and sometimes "their judgment can be frayed". One officer was stood aside yesterday as the Crime and Misconduct Commission stepped in to oversee the police investigation into the incident.

The Commissioner pledged a "full, complete and exhaustive investigation" but also defended his officers, saying there were many more assaults on police than there were by police on the public. [Big deal!] Mr Atkinson said an average of 600 to 700 complaints of excessive force were made against police each year, but last year 2031 officers were assaulted.

However, he said he did not believe police violence was systemic and complaints about excessive force were declining. "Things haven't gone backwards and I don't believe we're at a crisis point," he said. He would not be drawn on his reaction to the video footage, saying only that it warranted thorough investigation.

Mr Atkinson said the main officer at the centre of the Begic brutality claim had been assigned to desk duties and the CMC had joined the police Ethical Standards Command in a joint investigation.

He also said there would be a separate investigation into how The Courier-Mail obtained the video footage. Mr Atkinson said the leaking of the video was "not a whistleblower act". "There's nothing there that's exposing or uncovering anything," he said.

Australian Civil Liberties Council president Terry O'Gorman said the Begic footage was "appalling" and police brutality was continuing despite the presence of CCTV cameras. "If police are doing this when the CCTV cameras are on, what are they doing away from the cameras?" he said.

Mr O'Gorman said a number of cases of police brutality had not been satisfactorily dealt with, including the bashing of three tourists at Airlie Beach police station. He said while one officer had been jailed over the assaults, others who were present and were "clearly liable" had not been punished.

Earlier, the victim of the brutal police bashing captured on CCTV at a Gold Coast police station made the chilling claims the worst of the violence took place out of the camera's view and officers taunted him that his injuries were "merely a flesh wound".

Noa Begic, 21, was arrested in the early hours of January 29 for being a public nuisance during a night out with friends. Minutes later he was taken to the basement of Surfers Paradise police station, where surveillance footage obtained by The Courier Mail shows him being beaten bloody. A senior officer even uses a bucket to wash away a pool of Mr Begic's blood.

The chef and father-of-one has only now watched the footage for the first time. "It's pretty brutal," he said. "Unfortunately there wasn't a camera around the corner because it would have shown what happened before we came in to view. "I was already bleeding from punches when they pulled me out of the squad car.

"The part just before this video starts is where I get a few really good blows to the head so I was already quite dizzy by this stage. "By the end I was pretty relieved just to make it to the wagon to get out of their grasp."

Even after he was locked in the back of a police wagon it still wasn't over. An officer returned to deliver a few more punches and the door opens again a short time later. "He leaned in and called me racist names and said 'it was only a flesh wound'," said Mr Begic.

"By the end you can actually see a pool of blood from my nose and mouth if you look close enough. "And now you can see him washing away my blood. "At least they're covering their tracks well."


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Watchdog must probe 'culture of police violence' in wake of video of handcuffed man being bashed

A 'WIDE culture of police violence' needs to be investigated by the new head of the Crime and Misconduct Commission 'as his major priority'.

Australian Council of Civil Liberties president Terry O'Gorman made the call this morning after viewing shocking video, obtained by The Courier-Mail, of an alleged prisoner bashing in the basement of the Surfers Paradise police station last month.

Mr O'Gorman said police brutality was continuing despite the presence of CCTV cameras. "If police are doing this when the CCTV cameras are on, what are they doing away from the cameras?" he said.

"They are committing what the cameras show - excessive violence, and in some cases grossly excessive violence, against people who are already restrained."

Mr O'Gorman said a number of cases of police brutality had not been satisfactorily dealt with, including the bashing of three tourists at Airlie Beach police station. He said while one officer had been jailed over the assaults, others who were present and were 'clearly liable' had not been punished.

And the Queensland Police Service, while releasing video of the incidents, had refused to release the audio showing the full brutality involved.

Mr O'Gorman said police had also escaped criminal prosecution for the bashing of homeless man Bruce Rowe in the Queen St Mall, and lawyers had to mount a civil prosecution on his behalf.

New CMC boss Ross Martin SC needed to urgently tackle police violence, Mr O'Gorman said. "In our view, the new head of the CMC has to deal with the issue of police violence both on the streets, and against people in custody, as his major priority," he said.

"The examples that we're seeing speak to a wide culture of police violence that even the Police Commissioner (Bob Atkinson) has acknowledged."

Video shows shock police bashing of young father

Most of the Gold Coast cops seem to be sheer animals. There has been great unrest about them previously

WHEN Noa Begic clocked off after another long night at work he never imagined he soon would be lying handcuffed in his own blood in the basement of a Gold Coast police station.

The 21-year-old father had just finished a long shift as a chef at a Surfers Paradise restaurant shortly before midnight on January 28 when he decided to head out with friends for a few drinks.

Less than three hours later, after "a few beers and a few shots", he left popular Irish pub Waxy's in high spirits and started singing a song from US hard rockers Rage Against the Machine, when he was approached by police officers on patrol.

"The song is called Take the Power Back," Mr Begic told The Courier-Mail. "I don't know why I was singing it, but it's not even one of their controversial songs and there was no swearing. "But these police officers came over and asked to look at my driver's licence. "Then they just cuffed me."

He said he was led to a police car and repeatedly punched on the short drive back to the Surfers Paradise police station, nestled between kebab shops and strip clubs on Orchid Avenue in the heart of the nightclub strip. When they arrived in the police station basement, Mr Begic, whose only previous encounter with the law was a drink-driving charge, knew he was in trouble.

"Even in the back of the car I got hit in the head about seven times and they were making racist comments about me and then when we ended up in that basement I knew there was more on the way," he said. "It was like those movies where you see stuff like that. "It was very intimidating so of course I was pretty worried and then they ripped in to me again."

Closed-circuit TV footage obtained by The Courier-Mail shows the officers slamming Mr Begic face-first to the ground.

He is then struck with a flurry of knees, elbows and fists before being dragged to his feet and ushered into the back of a nearby police wagon. A short time later, an officer opens the back of the wagon and delivers a series of further punches. A senior officer, present for most of the incident, then pours a bucket of water over the ground to wash away the victim's blood.

Mr Begic said the beating was brutal, the treatment grossly excessive. "It's not like I was fighting back or trying to run away," he said. "I was handcuffed and there were four of them. "I was in some serious pain and really only running on adrenalin to get me through it."

He spent the night in the Southport watchhouse and faced court on charges of public nuisance and obstructing police, to which he plead not guilty. He will face Southport Magistrates Court on April 4.

While he escaped serious physical injury, Mr Begic said he had been depressed and withdrawn since the attack.

But he was gaining courage from making a formal complaint against the police. "When I got let out of the watchhouse a couple of the officers even looked at me and went, 'whoa, did you want to make a complaint?' "And at the time I thought there was no point.

"But the more people I have spoken to about what happened to me, the more stories I have heard about it happening to other people. "It might make them think twice next time they try it with someone else."

Police yesterday said the Ethical Standards Command was investigating a complaint of excessive use of force alleged to have occurred at the Surfers Paradise police station on January 29. The investigation is continuing.

Police told AAP the Ethical Standards Command was investigating a complaint of excessive force alleged to have occurred at the Surfers Paradise police station on January 29 and no further comment would be made. Comment has been sought from Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said it would be inappropriate to comment because charges against Mr Begic were still before the courts. "However, the police union fully supports all police involved and we look forward to the chance to make public all facts of this matter in due course," he said in a statement to AAP.

Queensland Council for Civil Liberties spokesman Terry O'Gorman said the incoming chairman of the Crime and Misconduct Commission should investigate the excessive force claim and a culture of impunity in the police service.

"The first thing we will be asking him to do is review throughout the state the procedures for dealing with complaints where people say they have been bashed by police," Mr O'Gorman told the ABC. "There is a culture of impunity amongst a significant number of police who know they can assault people in custody and get away with it."