Perth police terrorise actors

Wednesday, September 11, 1991

Perth police terrorise actors

By Leon Harrison

PERTH — Police rampages like the one that led to the killing of David Gundy in Sydney last year are nothing unusual in WA.

The latest victims of WA Tactical Response Group and Division 79 terrorism were Rhonda Collard and Frank Nannup, two Aboriginal performers in the Richard Walley play Munjong.

Collard's car was intercepted in Lord Street, East Perth, by armed police early in the morning of Friday, September 6, as Collard and Nannup were returning home from the play.

They were made to get out of the Collard's car and forced to lie spread-eagled on the ground with spotlights and guns trained on them. by the police.

The police action has outraged Collard and her husband Gerry, a sergeant with 21 years experience in the police force. "They were all around us like a pack of feeding sharks", Rhonda Collard said. "They ordered us to lie on the ground. They were shouting at us. It was really scary."

Collard also said when she tried to look at Frank Nannup, an officer swore at her and another trained a pump-action shotgun at her.

The terror ended after police discovered Collard was the wife of a police sergeant.

However, senior police have defended the actions of the officers involved. The assistant commissioner for police operations said the TRG's action was a "proper and responsible" approach to a report from a member of the public that someone in the car might be armed.

Richard Walley said the incident was typical of the attitudes of certain sections of the police force toward Aboriginal people.

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