Police ‘made obscene gestures towards mother’, inquiry told

As a young indigenous man sat in the dock of a north coast police station speaking to his mother, a police officer allegedly taunted him, making obscene gestures behind the woman’s back, the Police Integrity Commission has heard.
Nanjing Night Net

The commission is investigating allegations that Corey Barker, 24, was assaulted at Ballina police station on January 14, 2011, after an altercation with police, and that officers then falsely accused the young man of assaulting them, giving sworn testimony to this effect in court.

Giving evidence during the second day of the commission on Tuesday, Mr Barker said that after being placed in the station’s perspex-walled dock in a distressed state, officers stood behind his mother and sought to aggravate him further.

“I remember an officer standing behind doing the gesture, pretending to squeeze her arse,” Mr Barker said.

“They were trying to aggravate me. I said ‘Mum! Look what they’re doing behind your back … It just kept going. I kept my cool for a bit, then I just lost it – started punching the glass.

“I was treated like a piece of garbage … of course I was going to be upset.”

CCTV footage of the alleged incident, played during Tuesday’s hearing, did not show police taunting the young man. But the footage did show him seeming to react angrily to something happening off screen, and his mother turning around to look behind her.

Mr Barker repeatedly jumps to his feet and bangs the Perspex screen with his fist, while his mother appears to be attempting to calm him down.

Earlier in the hearing, Mr Barker described the circumstances of the altercation outside Tamar shopping centre that led to his initial arrest.

The 24-year-old said he and his friend, Byron Nolan, had started running towards what he thought was a domestic incident after hearing a young woman in distress, to discover that two of his friends were in a physical altercation with a number of men.

“I’ve yelled out, ‘Hey! Oi,’ but just nothing – I don’t know if they even heard what I said,” Mr Barker said.

“I got my phone out [to film them] … next minute I’m tumbling, head over heels onto the ground.”

He said that officers placed a knee in his back and an elbow into the back of his neck, as he struggled to get up.

“I just kept hearing the words ‘stop resisting, stop resisting’…”

On Monday, the commission heard allegations that a female friend of Mr Barker was slammed into a gutter during a violent arrest.

The hearing continues.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.