Saturday, December 12, 2015
Cop accused of using excessive force loses court battle over forced station transfer
A Surfers Paradise police officer with 28 complaints against him who has been stood down over allegations of excessive force has lost a court battle over being forcibly transferred. Senior Constable Nathan Irwin has been the subject of 28 complaints and 68 allegations over the past nine years, many relating to the use of excessive force.
In March, Sen-Constable Irwin was told he was being “temporarily redeployed” to Coomera and was not to attend the Surfers Paradise Police Station unless under senior supervision. Acting Assistant Commissioner Stephen Hollands wrote to Sen-Constable Irwin again in April asking him if he would prefer to be transferred to Southport or Nerang.
Sen-Constable Irwin objected to being moved from Surfers Paradise and with backing from the Queensland Police Union, took the case to the Supreme Court.
Court documents show Assistant Commissioner Hollands wrote that since 2007 there had been an “adverse pattern of behaviour” involving Sen-Constable Irwin. He said there had been 28 complaints and 68 allegations since 2007, “most notable with respect to matters involving assaults/excessive force”.
“Irrespective of the possible causes, the preceding allegations are indications that your level of professionalism is below that expected of a Senior Constable of Police in the Queensland Police Service. “Removing you from your current workplace will enable you to work in an environment where the frequency of confrontation with members of the public is less likely.”
Barrister Peter Davis QC argued the court should rule the transfer was invalid because it would be for the purpose of disciplining him for misconduct.
This week Justice Philip McMurdo dismissed Sen-Constable Irwin’s application and found the purpose of the transfer was “one of risk management”.
“The factual preconditions for the exercise of disciplinary powers do not exist because there has not yet been a conclusion of misconduct,” Justice McMurdo said. “He (the Acting Commissioner) has not sought or indicated that he will seek any disciplinary sanction.”
Sen-Constable Irwin has been the arresting officer in a number of high-profile cases of alleged police brutality, including that of youth worker Ray Currier, who suffered brain damage after his arrest.
The QPU said the transfer was based on complaints that had not been proven.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Cop accused of leaking Surfers Paradise police station bash footage facing charges
Justice campaigner Renee Eaves with the honest cop
A GOLD Coast police officer accused of leaking video footage showing his colleagues brutally bashing a young dad in a police station basement is facing criminal charges.
Gold Coast chef Noa Begic was repeatedly punched and ground in to the concrete floor of the station’s basement with his hands cuffed behind his back in January 2012.
While two officers responsible for the attack were given a slap over the wrist, the officer who allegedly leaked video footage to The Courier-Mail is now facing charges including misconduct and abuse of public office and fraud.
Rick Flori was a sergeant at Surfers Paradise police station at the time of the incident and his house was raided by officers from the Ethical Standards Command weeks later. He was ‘reassigned’ and has been fighting to clear his name ever since.
Sgt Flori was formally notified of the charges yesterday but vowed to fight them. “I intend on fighting the charges to the full extent of the law,” he said in a statement.
Of the four officers involved in the attack, only two ever faced disciplinary action and one of those – a sergeant seen washing away blood with a bucket of water – retired from the service before any findings were made. The officer caught throwing punches was stood down, but has since been reinstated without demotion.
Charges of public nuisance and obstruct police against Mr Begic were eventually dropped.
Mr Begic, who settled out of court in his own action against the QPS, is now prevented from speaking about the incident, but at the time he paid tribute to those who ensured the video footage came to light.
White knight Renee Eaves, who has helped both men in their battles against the QPS, said the charges against Sgt Flori were a disgrace. “There are many good police within the organisation without a voice and intimidated by these types of actions,” she said. “They are too scared to report misconduct for fear of workplace harassment or intimidation.”
Monday, May 18, 2015
Queensland police misconduct doubles with allegations over drugs, assault and drink-driving
IS Queensland returning to the days of the Moonlight State?
Police in Queensland have been misbehaving in record numbers, being stood down or suspended over serious allegations of domestic violence, drugs, drink-driving and assault, according to the The Courier-Mail.
One police employee was taken off duty every fortnight for alleged misconduct in the state in 2014-15, with 10 removed in the past six weeks.
A 39-year-old male senior constable was stood down this week ahead of an investigation into accusations related to the use of excessive force, wilful damage of a service vehicle and falsifying training records.
The number removed from a position with the service has almost doubled in the past two years from 14 to 27, The Courier-Mail reported.
Police confirmed 12 officers and staff were stood down and 15 suspended this year over serious allegations including drug use, stealing and assault, but refused to confirm how many were sacked or faced disciplinary action, according to The Courier-Mail
Four members of staff were removed from the service on disciplinary grounds in the past month alone, police reports show.
On April 30, a 36-year-old male constable from Brisbane was charged with drink-driving offences while off duty. The officer had not been stood down from his position.
A day earlier, a 27-year-old female constable was stood down pending a disciplinary investigation into the submission of false and misleading information, and being untruthful to an officer investigating a disciplinary matter.
On April 27, a 40-year-old male senior constable was arrested and charged with a number of offences including possession of unlicensed weapons.
And on April 23, a police liaison officer, aged 27, was dismissed ahead of a disciplinary proceeding relating to an allegation of dangerous driving.
Two officers were stood down in the past year for allegations of domestic violence, including a first-year Brisbane constable in August. Both are subject to investigation.
Brisbane senior constable Nicholas Sheahan was fined $750 after pleading guilty to a range of charges including possession of illicit drugs. He resigned from the force shortly after the drugs were found at his home in June last year.
The officer was once labelled a “hero” after saving a life on the state capital’s Story Bridge
The actions of officers who have faced court are examined by Queensland Police Service’s Ethical Standards Command.