A LEGAL group has called for an inquiry into the police handling of anti-Roe 8 protests after documenting what they claim are serious cases of misconduct and human rights abuses.
Beeliar Legal Support boasted 23 lawyers who worked pro bono during the campaign, and included a group of 12 lawyers, advocates and trained observers who documented issues on the front lines.
They’re currently working on a detailed report to be released next week which will claim police repeatedly breached protestor’s rights by targeting them with horses and dogs, and using handcuffs and force in violation of their procedure manuals.
While they were working on the report, member Nicola Paris said she wanted to get a broader sense of how protestors were feeling about the police presence and put out feelers on social media. After being inundated with responses she put together a survey.
“The findings are genuinely shocking,” Ms Paris told the Herald, saying they pointed to a huge loss of trust in police.
More than 200 people responded to the survey, including 62 who had been arrested.
Almost 90 per cent reported seeing horses being ridden in a way that could injure someone, while 70 per cent reported seeing police being verbally and physically aggressive.
Nearly half those arrested say they were treated roughly, though mostly courteously, while three quarters believed they witnessed police misconduct.
Ms Paris said the group was particularly disturbed by the effect the police tactics had on children, with a number of minors reportedly threatened with tasering.
Parents who responded to the survey (78) believed their children’s trust in police had almost completely evaporated.
“He hates them. He has no respect for them and no trust in them. He’s only a child,” one parent responded.
“Every time we see police now my child requires me to pick them up as he is so scared,” wrote another.
Ms Paris said the survey results will be sent to Labor MPs Simone McGurk and Peter Tinley.
“We hope they will be supporting our call for a thorough investigation into policing of the Beeliar protests,” she said. “The survey indicates a disturbing loss of trust that has been experienced by the community, and a deep level of concern regarding the violence that was witnessed and experienced.”
BLS member and Fremantle resident Christine Duckham spent a lot of time on the front lines.
“I witnessed the fear and shock that ordinary local residents showed when police officers carrying out their duties exercised their powers to control a very well-behaved group of citizens,” Ms Duckham said.
“The use of force escalated as the numbers of people who wished to protect the environment grew.”
Ms Paris said there was evidence the police presence was political, such as targeting leaders to ensure they ended up on bail and unable to visit the site.
by STEVE GRANT
What absolute rubbish.
It appears these complainants are funded by the labor party which would make them all guilty of sedition and their complaints are totally groundless,these people screamed abuse at police officers trying to allow workers to go about their duties unhindered
Here’s a complete Waste of tax payers money, to for fill these green sycophants who will say anything to gain status in this anti-Australia group.
Attacking police officer I wonder how many will slander themselves to gain their objectives
This group is just another group of anarchists who only look to disrupt general community order.
The ones who should be offered assistance is the police officers who’s duty took them to this location while they had to deal with illegal activities, violence, abuse, vile acts like booby traps for police horses, people defecating in people’s cars.
Anyone who brings children to events where it is known that extremists are protesting who are known to cause violence and will use innocent children as pawns in the activities
Just another way to draw attention and sensationalism
Perhaps social services should be checking on children and see what sort of mental trauma is being placed on the child to achieve these anarchists agendas
Disgraceful, imagine teaching your child to fear the police, what sort of so called parent does that?
Human rights violations, laughable, even a claim like this shows what agenda these extremists are running to exploit the last drop of sensationalism to further cause
Which is a shame for the real protesters who wished to express their views in a genuinely peaceful way on the issue and aren’t hell bent on anarchy in our community
The police union needs to look into civil action against anyone slandering their members
Mate, it was obvious from the get go that the majority of the residents of the surrounding region were dead against project. This isn’t some small band of renegade anarchists trying to take down society… it was by and large the single biggest issue that united society against the leading political party.
Now please don’t pretend to care about how much money is being ‘wasted’ – did you speak up when a $1-2 billion road (excluding cost to the environment) without consideration of feasible alternatives was being built?
Nicola Paris I hope you never have to call the Police to help you or a family member who is in trouble. It saddens me that people like you exist in this world. We all know how the protesters behaved down there last summer I don’t need to remind people of their insane behavior. I fully support our brave and very restrained Police officers.
“The extent of the egos inability to recognise itself and see what it is doing is staggering and unbelievable. It will do exactly what it condemns others for and not see it. When it is pointed out it will use ANGRY DENIAL, clever arguments and self-justifications to distort the facts. People do it, Corporations do it and Governments do it. When all else fails the ego will resort to shouting or even physical violence”
The survey results are hardly surprising – anymore than conducting a survey on Police views of the protesters’ behaviour ….. you cannot cite one section of of the community ( who already held strong bias) and call it credible. No pre or post event polling, no identifying views held by those surveyed (before or after events) and all held by an organisation that clearly identfies their own bias regarding police and policing.