Thursday, 17 February 2011

...and the coppers get it very wrong

'Poof' goes that warm and fuzzy feeling from my last post:
Quigley attacks WA police commisioner  By Josh Jerga, AAP, February 17, 2011 - 3:49PM

Western Australia's shadow attorney-general John Quigley has launched a blistering attack on the state's police commissioner for distributing what he calls "a litany of lies".

In state parliament, Mr Quigley criticised the role of Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan in "vilifying" an Aboriginal man who was tasered up to 41 times in a week by police and corrective services officers.

The behaviour of officers in arresting Kevin Spratt and his treatment at Perth lock-up was the subject of a Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) inquiry in December.

Mr Spratt's treatment came to light when a video was released last year of police tasering him 14 times while in custody at Perth Watchhouse on August 31, 2008.

Following the release of initial video, which pixellated Mr Spratt's face, WA police issued a flow chart to media outlining the events leading up his tasering and involvement with police, including charges previously brought against him.

Mr Quigley told parliament that when examined against police documents and evidence before the CCC, the flow chart was a "litany of lies".

He called on the government to get to the bottom of the creation of the document, which he said was compiled by the WA police internal affairs unit.

"What discussion (did they have) with Commissioner O'Callaghan and Deputy Commissioner (Chris) Dawson before they so willingly went out into a press conference selling these lies to the public of WA to vilify Kevin Spratt?" Mr Quigley told parliament.

"It is beyond imagination as to why they did it ... but it's got to mark them down as the worst commissioner and deputy commissioner in Australia by their conduct."

Mr Quigley told parliament Mr Spratt had complained to Mr O'Callaghan about his alleged vilification, but was told via a letter in October that police did not identify him.

He said that following the press conference in which Mr O'Callaghan released the flow chart, a Seven Network TV news crew went to the home of Mr Spratt's parents, who told them he was at work.

"The commissioner of police would want us to believe this eye-wash, that there was no communication with Channel Seven of the address or person ... that's just a lie," he said.

Mr Quigley said the flow chart stated Mr Spratt had acted violently and obstructed police at Perth lock-up before being tasered, and as a result had been charged over that behaviour.

However the CCC hearing in December was told Mr Spratt had not been violent and had been convicted on the basis of a misleading statement of facts.

"There's a day of reckoning coming," Mr Quigley said. on
Now, that's much more familiar behaviour from the coppers

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