Outrage at NSW police shooting

June 3, 1998

SYDNEY — On May 26, the NSW police force's latest victim was killed outside his grandmother's house. The Coalition Opposing Police Shootings (COPS) has called on the NSW police commissioner to immediately adopt English-style, unarmed beat policing.

In the past 11 years, 19 people have been shot dead by NSW police. The latest, Paul Klein, was killed by police while in an agitated state.

"Following community outrage over the police killing of Roni Levi, and the coroner's decision to refer his case to the Director of Public Prosecutions, the shooting of Klein shows that no lessons have been learnt by NSW police", said COPS spokesperson Brett Collins.

Levi, who was armed with a kitchen knife, was killed on Bondi beach last June by two police officers who shot him four times during an acute psychotic episode. The NSW coroner recommended that the DPP investigate laying criminal charges against the two officers, whose account of the shooting did not match that of bystanders.

"In many situations the mere presence of a gun on the hip of a police officer acts to provoke violence in people who are in an alarmed and agitated state", said another COPS spokesperson, Kilty O'Gorman.

COPS believes the new Glock 15-shot, semi-automatic pistol which NSW police are to be armed with at a cost of $11 million, will lead to more fatal police shootings.

COPS will support the bereaved families and friends in suing Commissioner Peter Ryan and the NSW Police Service for "lack of duty of care". COPS are calling on Ryan to introduce non-violent and non-lethal ways to disarm people.

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