There's no need for an independent investigation into the
arrest of a young man at the Sydney Mardi Gras, Police
Minister Mike Gallacher says.
A video has emerged of an 18-year-old man with a head wound
being thrown to the ground by police while handcuffed during
the festival celebrations on Saturday.
At least six officers were involved in his arrest.
The NSW Greens and a City of Sydney councillor have called
for an independent inquiry into the matter, saying the
investigation shouldn't be left to police.
Mr Gallacher says the NSW Ombudsman will review the incident
and an additional investigation is not necessary.
"For anyone to suggest that the ombudsman is not independent,
they're being very, very unfair," he told reporters in Sydney
"I'm satisfied the ombudsman is independent, is truly
independent of the NSW Police Force.
Mr Gallacher added that he had not received any complaints
about excessive use of force or brutality by police at Mardi
As the area is "saturated" with CCTV cameras, there will be
plenty of footage available to review and any judgment on
police actions should wait until the investigation is
complete, he said.
NSW Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch says the video
only captures part of the incident and more will be revealed
during an internal investigation.
"We have seen but one small part of what is clearly a much
larger incident," Mr Murdoch told reporters in Sydney.
"What actually happened, the full circumstances, will be
disclosed in time once our internal investigations and our
criminal investigations in relation to both matters have run
Mr Murdoch says another incident occurred within 30 minutes
of the one captured on video.
"While we haven't received a complaint from either of the two
people in the incidents there is a procedure for us to
initiate our own inquiries, and we have done so," he said.
The officers involved remain on front line duties at their
local area commands.
Mr Murdoch says the public does have a right to film events
in a public area and comments heard from an officer in the
footage suggesting otherwise are contrary to police policy.
"He will be taken aside and the policy will be reinforced to
him," he said.
Premier Barry O'Farrell said the incident had put a damper on
the event but he wasn't going to jump to conclusions without
seeing what happened before the video began.
"We haven't seen what has preceded it," he told reporters in
"I have been assured that the matter is being fully
investigated by police ... and police have more oversight
than any other organisation in NSW so I am confident that we
will get to the bottom of what went on.
"Let's not pre-judge what we see."
Mr O'Farrell said Mardi Gras organisers had been happy with
police involvement, overall.
"This incident, the allegations around it, obviously cast a
pall over that but let's not pre-judge that, we haven't seen
what led up to it."
"This inquiry must be public. It cannot happen behind closed
doors," GetUp director Sam Mclean said in a statement today.
"If people are to have any faith in the police, justice must
be seen to be done."
Just after midday (local time) today, 5208 people from across
Australia had signed the petition, GetUp spokesman Rowan Wenn