PARTY CRASHERS

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.”