Capsicum foam victims take their claims to court

johnboy 24 December 2010 74

The Age is running hard with the case Ken Cush & Associates have brought in the Supreme Court seeking compensation for the criminal use of capsicum foam by ACT police in the city watch-house.

The lawyer leading the class action said some people who watched footage of the incidents dubbed the city watchhouse ”Canberra’s Abu Ghraib”, in reference to the Baghdad prison where US military personnel abused Iraqi prisoners.

”These eight cases are the tip of the iceberg, and given the findings of the 2007 joint review [of watchhouse operations] by the AFP and the Ombudsman, I expect there are [more] victims of the culture that was allowed to flourish … at the city watchhouse,” Mr Barrow said.

The Commonwealth’s defence at this stage appears to be that the offences took place outside the three year limit on personal injury claims, also they’re not taking responsibility for the AFP.


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74 Responses to Capsicum foam victims take their claims to court
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vg vg 6:33 pm 30 Dec 10

Curiously ‘authorities’ on here have all the anecdotal evidence to waylay the Police in every sense imaginable, but no solutions. The reality of policing is light years from their rose coloured perception of it. Perhaps a few of the ‘powerful’ personalities should join and change this damaging culture from within.

Then again I’d expect most of these armchair experts wouldn’t have the stomach for it

Special G Special G 1:57 pm 30 Dec 10

The whole respect needs to be earned thing is right to a certain degree. Respect is also given because of the persons occupation. Police fit into this.

Respect to Police officer shows that you respect what that officer is upholding. The respect is showing that you respect the laws of Australia.

fgzk fgzk 9:06 am 30 Dec 10

Shadow boxer “Respect needs to be earned, it can’t be demanded.”

Useless cliché in this case.

With the police there is only one way ….their way. You need to respect that. Its not demanded. Its “the way it is”. It is in your self interest to give respect and to maintain it. You can try tolerance as an alternative. Contempt …………….Psssssst

Tooks Tooks 8:58 am 30 Dec 10

Well if they stop spraying handcuffed offenders in the face while others stand by and watch

Yeah that stopped about four years ago and Birch has since been convicted. Or are there more cases you need to tell us about?

stop asking for more non-lethal weapons when the guidelines for using the ones they have are totally inadequate

You know the guidelines do you? Do tell…

stop acting as a political arm of goverment and making secret payments to their victims I’m sure that respect can be slowly restored.

You’ll need to explain that one, unless you’re referring to Haneef, which has nothing to do with ACT policing.

Respect needs to be earned, it can’t be demanded.

Finally, something we can agree on 😉

vg vg 8:38 am 30 Dec 10

“They do it before the police arrive and after the police leave. “

Bullshit, who do you think gets called 1st 9 times out of 10

Spideydog Spideydog 8:25 am 30 Dec 10

shadow boxer said:

“Well if they stop spraying handcuffed offenders in the face while others stand by and watch ,stop asking for more non-lethal weapons when the guidelines for using the ones they have are totally inadequate and stop acting as a political arm of goverment and making secret payments to their victims I’m sure that respect can be slowly restored.

Respect needs to be earned, it can’t be demanded.”

Thats all well and good, but don’t tar all with a the same brush. It’s not fair and a simple minded view taken from the actions of a couple of members.

fgzk fgzk 7:49 am 30 Dec 10

matt31221 ,Oh please “Police Bashing” I did a search and doughnuts haven’t been mentioned. Here on RA and “real world”, the police look after themselves pretty well.

“I’d like to see [the criticizers] deal with a delusional psychopath high on heroin and ICE. ”
Medical staff, family and friends, deal with this every day too. They do it without tasers or capsicum spray. They do it before the police arrive and after the police leave.

I prefer to stand up as a citizen and say that senseless violence has no place in Canberra. What I can’t do is beat/spray you till you comply. ……You get how that works.

I respect the police. I don’t lye to them. Its all I’ve got to offer.

shadow boxer shadow boxer 4:52 am 30 Dec 10

Well if they stop spraying handcuffed offenders in the face while others stand by and watch ,stop asking for more non-lethal weapons when the guidelines for using the ones they have are totally inadequate and stop acting as a political arm of goverment and making secret payments to their victims I’m sure that respect can be slowly restored.

Respect needs to be earned, it can’t be demanded.

willo willo 7:59 pm 29 Dec 10

I grinded that chip off with my axe.

a pity you didnt grind everything else off your shoulders at the same time……….

vg vg 3:18 pm 29 Dec 10

“The same culture that says look the other way while the Sgt beats someone in cuffs.”

Its 2011, not 1962. All you experts would be pissed and amazed to spend a week working night shift in a busy part of Canberra and see what happens in reality. It wouldn’t help your ‘expert’ opinions though.

Having said that, give me a yell when your employ offers you the experiences of being vomited on, spat on, had urine and faeces thrown at you, kicked in the mouth so you now possess false teeth, had your house and vehicle targeted with notes telling you its because of what you do, spent more time awake than asleep at 0400 of a weekday morning, had guns and knives pointed at you……..need I go on.

The matters you bang on about were terrible but far from indicative of what goes on on a daily basis.

fgzk fgzk 1:31 pm 29 Dec 10

I grinded that chip off with my axe.

I like to include the police in my crimes. It wouldn’t be the same without them.

Tooks Tooks 11:54 am 29 Dec 10

BTW, for all the conspiracy theorists, the number of substantiated complaints against police in Canberra for 09-10 is about double the target under the relevant KPI.

Tooks Tooks 11:43 am 29 Dec 10

Tooks. Not just two cops. You know there is more.

You’re telling me what I know now, are you? It seems your rage is getting the better of you if you’re resorting to that kind of comment. Chill out a bit, it’s just a discussion, don’t take it personally.

Not just this incident. But your absolutely right, it would seem the front line police don’t have a problem with intimidation and bulling. Its just a public perception spread by dirty criminals to undermine trust in the police force.

I’m absolutely right about what? Are you putting words into my mouth? Did I say police don’t have a problem with intimidation and bulling (sic)? If so, quote when I said so.

How cool is that. Always being able to discredit the vast majority of complaints having come from dirty criminals or juveniles.

Obviously you have somewhat of a criminal past. That’s fine, plenty of decent people do. Unfortunately for you, it’s left you with a massive chip on your shoulder. If you have some experiences about ACT police bashing, bullying, intimidating you, then by all means, tell.

I actually thought police losing their temper and lashing out as being a bit juvenile/school yard. The bit that annoys me is that other police stand by and do nothing about it or deny its happening.

What exactly are you referring to? Just this case?

Tooks Tooks 11:36 am 29 Dec 10

Tooks you are defending the reputation of your organisation and fellow officers. I am sure you would do this to the bitter end.

Actually farq, you don’t know what organisation I work for or even what career I’m currently in. I am supportive of police (although I’ve never supported Birch or people like him) obviously, however I am critical when it’s warranted.

The major issue with the Birch cases is the assaults happened over a pretty long period of time and not a single fellow officer attempted to stop him. They just stood around, watched and backed him up. It took months for one of Birch’s victims to be listened to by an officer. No one in that station put Birch up on charges.

Are you absolutely certain the bystanders who didn’t report Birch weren’t disciplined? I’m not sure about your other point that it took months for one of the victims to be listened to by an officer. Do you mean he came in to report it and the officer stuck his fingers in his ears and said ‘La la la la la. Can’t hear you.’ If you can find a source for that claim, I’ll happily concede defeat on that point.

The culture needs to change. This ‘us and them’ attitude cops tend to display (you can observe examples of the behavior on this site), is unacceptable, it’s just a bad attitude to have.

Ask victims of crime about this so called ‘us and them’ attitude. I think you probably think of it as ‘us (the community) vs them (the police), rather than the other way around.

The same culture that says look the other way while the Sgt beats someone in cuffs.

Obvious troll. You were going ok until then.

farq farq 10:23 am 29 Dec 10

Tooks you are defending the reputation of your organisation and fellow officers. I am sure you would do this to the bitter end.

The major issue with the Birch cases is the assaults happened over a pretty long period of time and not a single fellow officer attempted to stop him. They just stood around, watched and backed him up. It took months for one of Birch’s victims to be listened to by an officer. No one in that station put Birch up on charges.

You guys stick together, it’s part of your culture. The same culture that says look the other way while the Sgt beats someone in cuffs.

The culture needs to change. This ‘us and them’ attitude cops tend to display (you can observe examples of the behavior on this site), is unacceptable, it’s just a bad attitude to have.

I expect the standard ‘you don’t have any experience in policing, so shut up replies’.

fgzk fgzk 9:54 am 29 Dec 10

Tooks. Not just two cops. You know there is more. Not just this incident. But your absolutely right, it would seem the front line police don’t have a problem with intimidation and bulling. Its just a public perception spread by dirty criminals to undermine trust in the police force.

How cool is that. Always being able to discredit the vast majority of complaints having come from dirty criminals or juveniles.

I actually thought police losing their temper and lashing out as being a bit juvenile/school yard. The bit that annoys me is that other police stand by and do nothing about it or deny its happening.

Tooks Tooks 8:30 am 29 Dec 10

Yay facet !!! Booooooo Tooks…

I suddenly feel like I’m in primary school.

Tooks Tooks 8:15 am 29 Dec 10

Amongst my friends there is rule about never being alone with the police. Born from experience over many years.

You’ve had many dealings with police over many years? Hopefully you’ve cleaned up your act and grown up a bit.

Canberra police used to be far and away better behaved than NSW and VIC. Maybe we are just catching up.

And you base that on behaviour from two ACT cops four (nearly five) years ago? Okaaay…

vg vg 8:09 am 29 Dec 10

“…and what would a thread like this be without police showing their contempt for members of our community.”

I think you’re confusing ‘contempt for the community’ with an inability to suffer fools.

Mystery2Me Mystery2Me 8:49 pm 28 Dec 10

Yay facet !!! Booooooo Tooks…..

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