Calls for police to be charged over Qld taser attack

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Police have not responded to a petition Taser victim Sheila Oakley handed to them a week ago. In response, a community assembly was held outside Logan police station on February 22.

Oakley was in hospital and could not attend the rally. Paul Butterworth, an Aboriginal elder who had called the assembly, told the crowd: “We will keep coming back until something’s done about this.”

He also said harassment of the local community continued, including children in Oakley’s family. Oakley’s brother expressed his thanks for the support they were receiving.

Murri campaigner Sam Watson said the petition had given the police seven days to respond, but the officer responsible for the Taser attack on Oakley was still on duty, and police were still wearing taser guns.

He said: “The officer should be charged with grievous bodily harm and suspended from duty … An independent inquiry should be set up (including an Aboriginal and a Torres Strait elder) as we have no confidence in cops investigating cops.”

Police told the media the rally last week was a result of “outside interference”. Boe Knows said: “We are not outsiders ... are we gunna keep on letting these fellas brutalise us or are will we take a stand. We need to come together as one people and put a stop to this.”

The assembly was met by Inspector Michael Dowdy who said police were considering the demands raised in the petition. He promised there would be a response from the Deputy Commissioner, which was not well received by the assembly.

In response to the request for police to remove Taser guns the inspector said they would not be removed. Paul Butterworth spoke on behalf of the group and asked that the commissioner meet with the community with a full response to the matters in the petition.

From GLW issue 999