A NSW police officer has been charged over the alleged assault of an Indigenous teenager, concerning an incident that took place in the inner Sydney suburb Surry Hills last June.
iPhone footage of the altercation, that took place at Ward Park, went viral after being shared by the Facebook page Justice for Buddy, Lewis Kelly Jnr.
The footage captured a verbal altercation between the police officer and the teenager, culminating in the officer performing a “leg sweep” on the teen. The boy was then captured wailing as officers knelt on him, and put him in handcuffs.
Following the incident, the teenager was treated for minor injuries at St Vincent’s Hospital and released without charge.
The male constable was issued with a court attendance notice today for the offences of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault.
The male officer was issued with a court attendance notice for the offences of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault. NSW police confirmed his employment is currently “under review”.
The incident took place at the height of the US Black Lives Matter protests that swept across the globe. That same week, a number of Australian-wide protests took place in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, and in protest of the systemic suffering of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the hands of police.
“This [alleged] assault was caught on film, which is a big part of why this family is a step closer to justice than so many others,” Greens MP David Shoebridge wrote in a Facebook post. “The Black Lives Matter movement is the other part. Now it is up to the courts to decide the matter.
“Together we are forcing the justice system to take police violence against First Nations communities seriously.”
BREAKING: The police officer involved in the June 2020 assault of a young Aboriginal man in Surry Hills has been charged…
A spokesperson for the teenage boy and his family acknowledged that they are “happy with the way this is now proceeding, legally and fairly”.
“We as a family cry and share the grief and pain of the families who have had the lives of their young Black sons and daughters taken away from them violently by police and custodial authorities,” the statement read. “Aboriginal people across Australia have been unfairly treated, racially vilified, and systematically oppressed since 1788.
“We look forward to the law being applied with fairness and justice.”