WATCH: Witnesses Allege Police Brutality At Sydney Mardi Gras

While hundreds of thousands of revelers had a grand old time at the Sydney Mardi Gras this weekend, there have also been reports of police brutality and excessive force.

In the video above, a man is detained by authorities, while witnesses try to get the name and badge number of the police and find out what he was being charged with. One officer appears to grab the man by his neck and slammed his head against the concrete—after he had already been handcuffed. “It sounded like a bowling ball hitting the ground,” said one onlooker.

Sydney Mardi Gras is the largest annual event in Australia and, while generally peaceful, sees an additional 1,000 officers stationed in the area to maintain the peace.

Other reports claim attendees at the Mardi Gras after-party were made to undergo strip searches by authorities. According to SameSame, some 200 people were searched and close to 100 people were charged with drug possession.

Bryn Hutchinson of the Australian marriage-equality group Community Action Against Homophobia, says he he was assaulted by a group of police officers on Oxford Street, some time after 11pm.

Bryn-Hutchinson“I had begun crossing the road and was just about at the middle when a police officer approached me and told me not to cross the road.“Usually Oxford Street is open to foot traffic at that stage of the Parade. There was no signage or barriers, no marking tape.”

…Hutchinson, who stands at 169cm [5’5″] and weighs only 65 kgs [143lbs], said after a brief conversation with the police officer during which he said he was simply crossing the road he decided to continue to the other side.

“I can’t remember if he said anything more, but basically it was a verbal interchange and there was no physical contact. Then I was grabbed from behind by several police officers and then thrown onto the ground on my back. Then another police officer was leaning over me and threatening to charge me. I don’t know what he wanted to charge me with. I just kept saying I wanted to simply cross the road.

“They then turned me onto my front and pressed my face into the road, held me tightly by putting my arms behind my back and then folded my legs up. That’s when a number of police officers kicked me. There was approximately three. I couldn’t see them all but witnesses have told me since that there was up to five of them.

“I was hogtied and then they pushed my face into the concrete,” he adds.

“They were applying weight onto my back and I couldn’t breathe properly. I said I can’t breathe properly, and one of the officers said, ‘If you can talk, you can breathe’. I wasn’t resisting any sort of police intervention but I was really struggling to breathe. They didn’t stop applying the pressure and they had also kicked me.”

“I was still face down on the road when they handcuffed me,” he continues. “They put the cuffs on too tight, and have caused my wrists and hands to swell up and bruise. I screamed out, ‘You have the cuffs on too hard’. I also shouted very loudly, ‘What are you charging me with?’ Basically to get attention from the crowd as I was being beaten up by police.”

Hutchinson was then taken to a police station and charged with assaulting a police officer. He was told he put his leg around an officer in the back of the paddy wagon but has no recollection of it: “If they are charging me with assault police I find it bizarre they didn’t charge me with failure to comply with police directions or resisting arrest,” he told SameSame. “I think they decided to charge me as they realised they had taken things too far by kicking me and are maybe trying to intimidate me.”

Some witnesses are confirming the authorities used excessive force against Hutchinson. “This didn’t seem like a gay bashing, but it was because the guy wasn’t cooperating with police they used force—and then it was out of control,” said onlooker Tim Mayer. “I definitely 100% saw the kick and stomp. Everyone sort of gasped.”

Another said Hutchinson appeared intoxicated, though he admits to only having “a few drinks.”

“I thought he was drunk, but I was making an assumption as it appeared that his weight was being held by the two officers on each of his arms. I looked away and when I looked back I saw four to five cops seemingly pinning him down on the road. I just assumed he had started hitting them but still thought that it was a bit excessive to have that many cops for one guy,” the witness said.

“Then I saw the man had his leg wrapped around one of the cop’s legs and wouldn’t let go so the cop hit or punched the guy’s leg a couple times before stomping his own foot on the ground in an attempt to get the guy to let go. Then one of the other cops did something that made the guy let go. Then all I could see was this huddle of cops around or over the guy who was still on the ground. They still seemed to be pinning him down.”

Sydney Independent MP Alex Greenwich says he has been informed of the incidents and is investigating any possible police misconduct.

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  • Charles175

    The foxes are guarding the hen house. In this saying, who is guarding the guardians?

  • Justin

    Notice that towards the end of the film, the man yells “Hug me, hug me” and the young girl with him does. He’s obviously intoxicated and while the police officer could have used a bit of restraint, the man is drunk and resisting arrest. The fact that they charged him with assaulting an officer is a bit much, I don’t see this going anywhere and the charges will probably be dropped.

  • WayDifferent

    Never mind that:

    A) We weren’t there.
    B) Don’t know the whole story.
    C) Didn’t see the entire film (if any).
    D) He’s being a public nuisance.
    E) He’s obviously drunk.
    F) He’s most likely hopped up on some drugs too.
    G) He’s being combative and resisting arrest.

    He’s gay therefore he’s right. Right?

  • Chevelter

    @WayDifferent: We don’t know the whole story, but there is no scenario I can think of that would justify this police brutality. Reportedly, he tried to cross the street and was told by a police officer to stop and go back, but kept moving forward. He was grabbed and thrown to the ground and handcuffed. Witnesses, including those in this very video, saw the whole thing and were shocked by the brutality which was all out of proportion to the crime of jaywalking.

    He may be drunk, but he’s not obviously drunk – he’s scared s***less. We don’t see him being a public nuisance, we see him being brutalized. We don’t know he’s on drugs. Nothing in this video shows him being combative or resisting arrest.

  • Raquel Santiago

    Doesnt matter, even the bystander said it was excessive force, and I would have to agree, my organization in the US has sent a direct email to Sydney police as well as Geneva requesting an investigation, proper training and removal if necessary of officers involved. Even if he was overly intoxicated this was clearly excessive force.

  • BlokeToys

    People who saw how the Sydney police handled the Occupy protests will not be surprised by this. Sadly, these things happen all the time, all around the world, where thugs are given uniforms and their actions protected by their superiors and the state.

    In most cases where an officer has actually been held to account, it is a lengthy and arduous process, not publicised, ignored by the media.

    But, it is so rare that an officer is actually held to account for their own actions. It certainly seems that 99% of the time police are protected and their criminality ignored by their superiors.

    This is a scandal. No matter what happened before this video was taken, that officer used excessive force and violence against a member of the public. NO OFFICER is able to be a judge, they are in their job to police the public, not assert guilt, and certainly not to meter out punishment.

    If the Sydney police and government has any sense, they will conduct a hasty review while this officer and his silent colleagues are investigated, and then they will fire him, and discipline all those other officers who failed to uphold the law and allowed their colleague to carry out a criminal act.

    This should be a warning to all – not all police are on your side, some of them are indeed violent thugs who should not be in their position, and most other officers are protective of them and allow this violence to happen.

  • Hermes


    No, in fact I doubt he is gay.


  • Chevelter

    Witnesses say the violence at the hands of the police was “traumatizing,” and that the victim didn’t do anything to provoke the incident.

    Bottom line: Always do what an officer says, and take your dispute up later.

  • Hansolo

    That was brutal and not called for ….I just wish the little twink could man up and not ask for a hug and take his abuse like a man.

  • BlokeToys

    @ WayDifferent

    A) We weren’t there.

    No, but thankfully we have video evidence to show that the officer did indeed use excessive force. Agree or not, this is evidence of police brutality.

    B) Don’t know the whole story.

    We don’t need to know the whole story. It is clear from the video evidence that the officer used excessive force and violence against a handcuffed and already detained citizen.

    C) Didn’t see the entire film (if any).

    Again, it doesn’t matter. A police officer is not a judge. You are innocent until PROVEN GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW.

    D) He’s being a public nuisance.

    So because you think someone is a nuisance, violence is okay? I think you need to move to Zimbabwe, or Iran, or North Korea, where governments think that your right to an opinion or the fact that you are gay is also a nuisance.

    E) He’s obviously drunk.

    Makes no difference. Being drunk is not a criminal offence.

    F) He’s most likely hopped up on some drugs too.

    Conjecture. You have no evidence for that, and you have no reason to suspect that. In fact, even if he were, the police do not know that, and even if they did, it does not permit them to use violence!

    G) He’s being combative and resisting arrest.

    He’s in handcuffs, exactly how can he “resist arrest” when he’s already been arrested?

    You’re an apologist, making completely irrational excuses for clear and blatant abuse of power and position. The officer has clearly been witnessed on video slamming a young man to the ground, while he is in handcuffs.

    I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that you defend this abuse, or the fact that you don’t seem to understand what the job of a police officer is. You seem to think that the police should be a vigilante mob following their own rules and attacking people based on personal moral beliefs.
    You suggest that the fact that he’s drink is an excuse, you suggest that police should be judges, and that they can make up the rules as they go along, attacking anyone they don’t like.

    You really need to educate yourself and learn the difference between a fascist state and a democracy where the police operate by permission of the public.

  • jackpapa

    He’s not drunk. He’s going into shock.

  • BlokeToys

    Oh, and when a piggy tells you to stop filming, get as many cameras on them as possible. They have no right to prevent you from filming them, this is public accountability. The moment people put their cameras away after being threatened by police, that’s when you comply to living under fascist rule.

  • longpastdue

    @BlokeToys: Frankly your comments are completely without any information on the training, education, or tactics of any police force. You most definitely can resist arrest in handcuffs, I’ve seen it too many times to count. I’m sorry but I security for clubs in an area that looks very similar to this and am in close contact with the police force. When people are drunk or intoxicated there is NO logic, No reason, and no predicting their behavior. I have seen officers seriously injured, suspects lost, and other bystanders injured because I or an officer failed to use the necessary force to restrain and subdue them. I have no sympathy for the kid, he took on the responsibility of whatever might happen to him that night when he took his first sip, and frankly he is alive which I have to say is far more likely in police hands than the hands of the idiots who let him get drunk in public in the first place. The police follow VERY specific rules on escalation of force and as far as I can see he did not violate it, once the subject was subdued he stopped the attack every time. Frankly when any person at any time can and often does have a knife in their pocket or mace on their keychain every movement must be interpreted as possibly threatening and reacted to accordingly. There are simple rules that we all follow and one is, if you are arrested just don’t move it’s very simple just don’t make any sudden movements you’re not told to and nothing bad will happen to you. Let me see YOU put your life on the line everyday and see what “brutal,” tactics you would end up using to defend it once you learned the way things really work.

  • enfilmigult

    @Chevelter: @Justin: @WayDifferent: For crying out loud you guys, the man in the story and the man in the video are NOT THE SAME PERSON. Two different incidents here. Even I could follow that.

  • BlokeToys


    I worked security management supervising a team of more than 50, on patrol, and static officers. I know what reasonable force is, and I know that this is police brutality.
    I have completed training covering detention, restraint, citizens arrest, the use of force… I am more clued-up than most when it comes to what is excessive and what is justified force.

    This was clearly unjustified, it was extremely excessive, and anyone with a modicum of intelligence can see that the force used against this man by that officer was not intended in a professional way to subdue him or prevent him from causing harm to himself or others, it was deliberate and emotive retaliation.

  • 2eo

    @BlokeToys: I think you’re hitting a brick wall. Longastdue and WayDifferent are the same poster.

    There have been an influx of these faux smart anti-gay critics lately, HanSolo, Avenger, Chad Hunt and a few others. Don’t take their posts seriously as they’re just worthless conservative puppets.

  • tidalpool

    have managed to survive a few mardi gras in Sydney. The drug and alcohol abuse is astonishing. The police had a thankless task of dealing with drunks, people who are drug f**cked. I did not see what caused the initial arrest, nor why he was handcuffed. I assumed from looking and listening to the video, he was under the influence of something. I have been in large crowds where people who are messed up on something made me fear for my safety. I ‘d rather give the police the benefit of the doubt, considering how Sydney benefits from Mardi gras, and how many police assigned to Mardi gras are gay themselves. Police can be stupid, but rarely are they that dumb, in front of a crowd, with hundreds passing this by this incident. The colorful woman sure made her point clear, and those of like mind quickly surrounded her and quickly began hurling the same words at the police. loud, repetitive, but not always the truth.

  • murphy0071

    Police are as ignorant as most American evangelicals. Thank God Australia, while a bastion of masculinity and homophobia among law enforcement and sports, is not filled with evangelical nut cases like the U.S. The looking for drugs, while in most cases there was likely no legitimate search related to seeing anything, is just like the police in Mississippi. Probably planted most of the dope themselves. I bet there will never be a thorough accounting of where the drugs came from or where they are going.

  • niles

    We have here a drunk and disorderly drama queen resisting arrest after failing to follow the direct order of the police and defiantly proceeding about his business. That was not a good plan on his part.

  • balehead

    He was high and that legal?…

  • Samuel

    I wonder how the aboriginal and asian hating aussie gay community is going to react to this.

  • Michaelmouse1

    The bottom line, regardless of whether this young kid is high or not, is throwing someone to the ground resulting with contact of a person’s head to concrete can be lethal. There have been several deaths in Sydney just in the past year of people dying through such actions, mostly due to attacks from citizens on others.This police officer seems to have over-stepped the mark and unfortunately shames his fellow officers, most of whom actually enjoy the night and are most tolerant of some ,sometimes, rather, cheeky behaviour towards them. Being drunk and disorderly in public is an offence, if a minor one, under Australian law, but it’s odd this kid doesn’t seem to have been charged with this. I imagine because any court would throw such a charge out on a night of such public celebration, as defining ‘disorderly’ would be difficult. Refusing to obey a police order is like waving a red flag to a bull but the consequences should not be police brutality and thuggery. Cops no doubt have a difficult job but if they can’t control their anger they shouldn’t be a cop. These two party goers seem to have been so drunk they were beyond reason and this would be a challenge for any police , but their job is full of challenges and public safety, including that of drunken citizens, should be paramount. Let’s hope the publicity surrounding this will provide lessons for all concerned. The cop is lucky he didn’t crack that kid’s skull though- and that’s the point.

  • earthsconflict

    OMG the police have gone beyond a joke the officers need to be charged with assault and stod down from there jobs….this was way to far, maybe the NSW police have gone back to their old ways and start harassing gay people like they did at Mardi Gras 78, Id like to see the officer that stomped on his head and grabed him by the throat done the same too ill be the first to stomp on the idiots head….


    @WayDifferent: And you’re stupid so YOU must be right.

  • Rock Star

    It’s so nice to see another so called free country has its power hungry sick cops that enjoy throwing around a man already in handcuffs. You have made your mother proud.

  • nimbusthegreat

    @WayDifferent: so let me guess. women who are raped are asking for it by wearing provocative clothing too?

  • Allen D.

    @longpastdue: 100% AGREE!!! You nailed it.

    I also love how everyone acts like police should have cameras shoved in their face the entire time they’re on duty. And the cameraman in this video gets in the damn way, going off about “I’m media!” Please.

    Drunk moron. And I love the “maybe I wrapped my leg around the officer – I don’t remember”.

    People are so quick to scream “homophobia!!!” But how do you know the arresting officer wasn’t gay himself??? People don’t seem to grasp that concept.

  • Michaelmouse1

    @Allen D.: you just don’t get it do you ? Who gives a dam if this 18 year old was drunk or even abusive- NOTHING could justify grabbing a kid in a choke hold and slamming him onto concrete, head first, which may well have killed him. End of story.

  • Billysees

    @BlokeToys: 10

    You’ve presented a good response with this comment at # 10.

    And your other comments are also pretty good and reasonable.

  • Allen D.

    @Michaelmouse1: So the kid can be abusive to the cops, and that’s just a-ok?! No. There’s a lot being made of something that was never documented.

    Have you ever slammed someone down to the concrete? I’m guessing not. It’s hard to explain via text. But, you don’t just THROW them down. You soften the blow by not using full force, you take out a good deal of the momentum out via muscle control.

  • Michaelmouse1

    @Allen D.: clearly you’ve been thrown on your head a few too many times. I’m a doctor and can tell you that even a small blow to the head can cause bleeding within the cranium. You are speaking nonsense. I’m not interested in what this very young man may have said or done. My concern is that a supposedly trained professional law enforcement officer clearly lost his cool, behaved appallingly and put this young mans life in danger by throwing him onto concrete. Even a lay and view of this video would dismiss your ridiculous assertion that mere ” muscle control” ( whatever the hell that is) would ” soften the blow.” Are you insane? I can assure you this young man could easily have died if his head impacted in the just the wrong way with the concrete footpath. The bigger concern here is why your sympathies are with a thug with a badge and not with some sillly kid so effected by either alcohol or drugs that he is vulnerable and open to abuse. I can’t believe you are justifying this policeman’s disgraceful actions.

  • Chevelter

    Another video has surfaced which shows the earlier part of the dispute. Video quality is quite poor, but it appears to show the officers roughing the kid up and as he struggles with them he pushes and squirms and tries to get is balance he takes a weak swing at one of the officers. This will probably be used to justify the subsequent police brutality, but in my opinion once the little guy is handcuffed there was no need to throw his head to the pavement and kick him and put a boot on the back of his head.

  • Akod69

    No matter what, so sorry for the people who’d been bashed… :'(
    Call me a coward, but that’s why I never go to overly crowded places as such…

  • Chevelter

    New video surfaced: It looks as though he’s through a weak punch at an offer, but he could just be trying to get his balance. Whatever the case, it does not excuse the police brutality which followed.

  • phil_syd

    As someone who was part of the crowd and witnessed this incident in person – I can truly say that this kid was a victim of violent excessive force used by a law enforcement officer.

    Essentially this small teen became a punching bag to someone bigger, stronger and abusing his position of authority. The officers were capable of managing and controlling the situation much better without it escalating to where it did.

    The kid was clearly frightened and did not understand why it was happening. At no point did any officer attempt to make him understand.

    Without a doubt, the kid was intoxicated… Was he under the influence of drugs? It is quite possible. However, these are no reasons that can justify the unnecessary force used that you’d expect for a violent, solid 6ft4′ maniac who is a danger to the public.

    The officer has a job to do, however how he handled the situation was excessively violent and aggressive. He deserves to be reprimanded for his actions and will benefit on further appropriate training in his profession.

    The crowd was in genuine fear that the teen’s health and safety.

  • phil_syd

    As someone who was part of the crowd and witnessed this incident in person – I can truly say that this kid was a victim of violent excessive force used by a law enforcement officer.

    Essentially this small teen became a punching bag to someone bigger, stronger and abusing his position of authority. The officers were capable of managing and controlling the situation much better without it escalating to where it did.

    The kid was clearly frightened and did not understand why it was happening. At no point did any officer attempt to make him understand.

    Without a doubt, the kid was intoxicated… Was he under the influence of drugs? It is quite possible. However, these are no reasons that can justify the unnecessary force used that you’d expect for a violent, solid 6ft4′ maniac who is a danger to the public.

    The officer has a job to do, however how he handled the situation was excessively violent and aggressive. He deserves to be reprimanded for his actions and will benefit on further appropriate training in his profession.

    The crowd was in genuine fear of the teen’s health and safety.

  • WayDifferent

    @Chevelter: “He may be drunk, but he’s not obviously drunk”. Huh?

    O.K., assuming you’re correct LOL (REALLY), he’s a punk…..and indicative of why gays under 40 around the world don’t seem to be getting the respect they feel they deserve.

  • WayDifferent

    @Akod69: Don’t go to Chicago’s “pride” parade. There about 14 of these incidences per “celebration” but they just don’t make the MSM.

  • Spike

    What is the gay connection to this post? It wasn’t a pride parade. Is Queerty stereotyping this kids appearance/behavior and assuming he is gay?

  • WayDifferent

    @2eo: Totally wrong, trouble instigating fag.

  • WayDifferent

    @Justin: Nothing only was she trying to thwart being left on the curb while he goes home with a trick, he up and does this!

  • WayDifferent

    @Spike: You’d be hard-pressed to find a straight man that cries after being hit back.

  • David

    Police use of excessive force, corruption and other misconduct hurts everyone – including the police — in terms of lost cooperation, support and trust – which, in turn, diminishes their effectiveness. And remember: policing in a democracy is best accomplished by those who are carefully selected, well-trained and led, controlled in their use of force, honest, courteous to every person, and closely in touch with the communities they serve. For more, follow one police reformer’s blog at and my new book on how to improve police.

  • Samuel

    @Chevelter: Thank you for posting this. Another piece of evidence in this shoddy drama played out by the professional gay WHITE men media on how they are victims… Earlier the so called victim, gave an interview confessing to his crimes of sexual impropriety towards a woman. YIKES.
    “Mr Jackson remembers tickling a girl on her back after which the police approached him accusing him of assault.”- Sydney Gay in Mardi grass brutality video confesses
    This confession along with him in the video, showing an attempted punch at the Officer shows why the officer used the kind of force they did in an effort to get control of the situation.

    It’s amazing how the gay western media will go out of the way to potray white men who happen to be gay as victims even though there are so many other Crimes going on in that paticular society. Australia is notorious for its high murder rate of indian immigrants who are NOT illegal immigrants as well as its appalling levels of discrimination and ill treatment of aboroginals! The gay australian community is no better in its treatment of asians or aboriginals who are both treated with hateful approaches of unwelcomingness or invisibility. but instead of addressing any of these evils in australian society the gay white media goes out of the way to concort this story of how white men are victims….

  • Hansolo

    @2eo: @2eo…how is my comment conservative and anti-gay? I agreed that it was brutal…conservative? I think he should of kept his mouth shut and not whine…anti-gay?

  • Samuel

    @phil_syd: he was on drugs, he was drunk, but the officer should not have done anything to stop it?
    Why do you have such compassion for this kid? Would your judgements be the same if an indian immigrant to australia was being attacked or killed or an aboringal kid was being attacked by the australian police.

    It is shocking at how even today white folks think that white criminals need to be treated above the law simply because they are white! Well, I have some news for you, the “white-only” policy of australia is over and gay western men need to get used to it and realize that their days of media propoganda about how they are victims inspite is no longer going to work as the truth can no longer be hidden.

  • phil_syd

    @Samuel: My argument is that the way this teen and situation was handled was extreme and unnecessarily aggressive. The method and force used to control the situation was far too extreme for the what went on.

    You may have noticed that I have not challenged the motive off the police at any time, as I’m sure they had good reason to feel it is necessary to arrest the kid. Based on the risk of the kid’s behaviour and actions at the time (under the influence or not), the sheer aggression used to take control was far too violent.

    I show compassion where it’s due to all humans. Caucasians and other ethnics like myself.

    This is a case of police brutality shown in a situation that did not require the force used. Sexual orientation is a factor media has brought into it based on the event this incident occurred. Race is a factor you’re bringing into it.

  • Hansolo

    @Samuel….forget get it…this is a white establishment the quicker you realize the easier your life will be. Just look at the photos that they post…never have I seen a black or dare I say the darker of the human races pictured. I bet I will be called a conservative for this comment 2eo….truth is I am just bored at work.

  • Michaelmouse1

    @WayDifferent: so it’s ok to bash some sense into them is it? What a ridiculous comment you have made.

  • Michaelmouse1

    @Hansolo: you see what you want to see.

Comments are closed.