A New South Wales Police officer has been charged with assaulting an 18-year-old Indigenous man in custody after police camera footage recorded the incident.
The footage, recorded on multiple surveillance cameras and bodycams, confirms the assault which occurred January 12, 2019.
It shows 38-year-old Senior Constable Jeames Iain Murray grab the 18-year-old from behind and shove his head into a wall before shoving him at a cell door.
Murray appeared at Goulburn Local Court last Tuesday where he was found guilty of two counts of common assault. He was fined $3,500 and had his conviction recorded.
The 18-year-old, identified as Patrick Little, was taken into custody after fighting with a family member outside a club in Goulburn. Murray and another officer took him into custody and charged him with affray.
Little’s arrival at the station was recorded and shown in court.
Murray pleaded not guilty to both charges, claiming the footage did not accurately portray Little’s resistance.
Murray’s lawyers pushed that a conviction should not be recorded.
“It’s the elephant in the room that he’s going to be looking for a new career,” they said.
Magistrate Susan McGowan ruled otherwise.
“He was the adult and unfortunately he reacted in a way that was not appropriate, as I’ve found,” she said.
“There’s no circumstance where this was warranted.”
It was revealed by ABC’s 7.30 that Murray was charged in October 2019 after an internal police investigation prompted by a complaint. Murray remained a serving officer at Goulburn Police Station on ‘restricted duties.’
Murray is still serving on restricted duties with his status now under review by NSW Police.
Many have since taken to social media to voice their concerns, with one Twitter user bringing into question Murray’s relationship with Goulburn Police Academy as a Senior Constable.
“…it’s outrageous. What does this say about accountability for police misconduct?”@ALS_NSWACT said cases like this were the tip of the iceberg, and that they further undermined trust and confidence between the police and the public.#BlackLivesMatterhttps://t.co/Cg4h8RmJTa
— Aboriginal Legal Service (@ALS_NSWACT) October 21, 2020
Also, being a snr Constable in Goulburn probably means he interacts with recruits training at the police academy there…
— Keeks (@keeks_1996) October 21, 2020
Police violence needs to end and police must be held accountable.
“7.30 can also reveal that Murray has continued to serve at Goulburn Police Station on “restricted duties” since he was charged more than a year ago.”
This is a culture of impunityhttps://t.co/ZeS3YZZj4Y
— Roxy Moore (@Roxy_Moore_) October 22, 2020
By Rachael Knowles