Victim Of Alleged Mardi Gras Police Brutality Speaks. Organizers, Cops Address Incidents

A gay man whose apparent assault by a police officer during Sydney Mardi Gras celebration was captured on video, appeared on Australian television to discuss the incident.

Speaking with Jan Grimshaw on A Current Affair, Jackson says the whole thing started when he touched a girl and was accused of assault. Another video has emerged showing Jackson taking a swing at an officer trying to subdue him.

Bryn HutchinsonElsewhere, New South Wales Police Minister Mike Gallacher met with organizers of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) and Sydney MP Alex Greenwich to discuss Jackson’s case and several other reports of excessive force—including an assault on marriage-equality activist Bryn Hutchinson (right) by a group of five police officers.

Mardi Gras co-chair Peter Urmson says Gallacher assured him both incidents are being investigated by the Police Professional Standards Command and that he was working “to determine if a culture of overreaction and unnecessary force was behind the incidents and, if so, to develop a plan to ensure policing practices better reflect the level of risk.”

Gallacher also said that reports of heavy-handed policing experienced by patrons at various Mardi Gras events were being addressed “at the highest level of the NSW Police Force.”  (Media reports claimed guests at an official Mardi Gras after-party were made to strip naked after authorities suspected drug use.)

“While we appreciate and support the job that police have to do… we think there is more work needed to ensure that all other LACs involved receive training to ensure consistent policing across Sydney Mardi Gras events,” said SGLMG co-chair Siri Kommedahl. “We’re now looking forward to working with the government, senior police and key LGBTQI community organizations to ensure that police across the board engage with members of our communities in a respectful and courteous manner in the future.”

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  • manoj

    According to reports, Jackson’s been charged with assault, resisting arrest and using offensive language. It will be interesting to see whether the alleged assault the police will be relying upon will be the tickling incident, or him “taking a swing” at an officer (having seen the footage, I wouldn’t really characterise this as him “taking a swing”- more like a frightened boy flailing his arms around).

    As an expat Aussie, I have to say that the NSW police are notorious for using heavy-handed tactics during crowd-control exercises. Sadly, very rarely is anything done to discipline the offending officers. This incident may be different because of the attention it’s received and the fact that it’s been taken up so strongly by the LGBTI community.

    P.S. It’s Tracy Grimshaw (not Jan Grimshaw), and incidentally, she’s an out and proud lesbian.

  • Fidelio

    The response from Aussie officials seems so underwhelming.

  • Eric Auerbach

    Can’t blame the police. I’d give him a good pounding if I got the chance.


    Perhaps this story is more complicated than we originally thought…

  • Gigi Gee

    We’d like to give you a good pounding too Eric. And not the euphemism kind either.

  • viveutvivas

    Why do so many people who have lived there tell me Australia is a bit of a Police State?

  • Mickie_Newton

    What I found very interesting about the footage is how big the cop,in the beard, in comparison to Jackson who is a small man. If that had been me there instead of Jackson would they have treated me the same as a small woman? I hardly think that if Jackson really had hit the cop he’d had left much of a mark!

  • kwylo

    I don’t think Tracy Grimshaw has ever come out….

  • miagoodguy

    Take a swing at cop when being arrested, then expect to get your ass beat. If you resist arrest (whether it is bogus or not), then expect to get a beat down.

  • Raquel Santiago

    Hearing back officially today from numerous departments in Australia and Geneva, they are investigating is all i can get atm. That tells me absolutely nothing and as usually are beating around the bush until the “official investigation is over.

  • Spike

    The best way to avoid being the victim of police “excessive force”, avoid the police. Pretty simple.

  • Tom

    Not only has Grimshaw not come out, she has categorically denied being a lesbian.

Comments are closed.