Video footage showing the NSW Police firing a taser on a handcuffed and injured 17 year old raises considerable concern about the use of excessive force by the police when arresting young people.
The footage shows Einpwy Amom, who was 17 at the time, being restrained by six police officers after falling down the stairs at Blacktown Train Station. He was then tasered while handcuffed and lying on the ground,’ said Michelle Cohen, Senior Solicitor at PIAC.
‘Anyone viewing this footage would be worried about the police using excessive force against a person who was under 18 and who had sustained an injury to his head minutes before.
Next month, PIAC plans to launch a test case on Einpwy’s behalf.
Einpwy came to Australia as a refugee from Sudan in 2003. He lived with his mother and brothers in western Sydney, attended local schools, and completed his HSC.
Einpwy was charged with five offences in relation to theincident at Blacktown Station: refusing or failing to comply with police direction, offensive language, five charges of resist or hinder a police officer in execution of duty and three counts of assaulting a?police officer.
Einpwy’s criminal case was heard in November. After viewing CCTV, mobile phone and taser cam vision, the magistrate dismissed all the charges against Einpwy, except refusing or failing to comply with police direction, which Einpwy pleaded guilty to. The magistrate ruled that all six police officers acted outside the lawful execution of their duties when placing him under arrest.
Einpwy’s case raises serious questions about how police are using tasers as well as the use of force by police, and the proportionality of their response to threats.
Einpwy is not alone. Currently, we are talking with 30 young people about similar issues. This is why PIAC is representing Einpwy.
Only by raising this matter formally, as a test case, will we be able to improve the way the police relate to vulnerable young people. We hope you agree it is essential that justice be served in this case. We need your help to undertake the patient work that PIAC is renowned for so we can address some of the systemic problems that contribute to the spiral of mistrust and crime among young people. Please donate today.
Watch the ABC 7.30 story.