ONTD Political

Protests and outrage over police shooting of Aboriginal teens

6:11 am - 04/25/2012
APTN National News: In Australia, the shooting of two Aboriginal teenagers over the weekend has police in full damage control mode.

Six youth were in a stolen car when it was driven onto a sidewalk. The car hit a woman and dragged her for several metres. That prompted police officers to open fire on the car.

The 14 year-old driver and an 18 year-old in the front seat were shot.

The video of the incident shows one of the teens who was shot being dragged out of the car and repeatedly punched by one of the officers.

The incident has sparked outrage and Australian police are calling for peace.

The death of another teenager by police sparked riots in 2004. (- Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, National News)

A protester holds up a sign during a rally outside the New South Wales parliament in Sydney on April 24. - Bangkok Post

Angry protesters rallied outside Sydney's Parliament House on Tuesday over the shooting by police of two Aboriginal teenagers arrested in a stolen car in the city's nightclub district.">

Bangkok Post: The 14-year-old driver was shot in the chest and his front-seat passenger, 18, took a bullet in the neck when police opened fire on their car after it mounted a crowded footpath in Kings Cross early Sunday.

Police have said they had little choice after a woman was knocked over by the car and others were forced to leap from its its path.

But mobile phone footage shot by onlookers showing an officer punching and dragging one of those in the car along the ground has prompted accusations of excessive force and fed into racial tensions over the incident.

About 150 people including a number of the injured boys' friends gathered outside the New South Wales state parliament to protest their treatment, waving banners condemning racism and calling for an independent inquiry.

"You got a reason to hate the coppers, you know, when you're a young kid. But this crosses the line. (It's) straight-out racism," said 16-year-old Douglas Martin, a friend of the injured.

"I want them to get punished. Treat them the same as normal citizens. Just because they're coppers, that's just a... uniform, that's just a name."

Renowned Aboriginal boxer Anthony Mundine was among the demonstrators and described the shooting as "brutality at its best".

"There is no justification to just open fire like that, point-blank range, and furthermore bash them," said Mundine.

"There has been no ramifications, there's been no ramifications to the officers. Questions have got to be answered," he added.

Mundine said he had grown up with one of the boys' fathers and seeing the injured teens had been distressing.

"I saw the bloke and it just broke my heart to be honest. It really broke my heart. Fighting for his life you know?"

Police have repeatedly called for calm following the shooting, particularly in the impoverished inner-city Aboriginal district of Redfern, where wild rioting has taken place in the past.

One of Tuesday's rally's organisers, Ray Jackson, called for an independent inquiry into the shootings.

"We don't want police investigating themselves. That's never worked in the past, that's not going to work this time," Jackson told ABC Radio.

"We don't see any value in that. It's time the government bit the bullet and actually did something about setting up an independent investigative body."

Aborigines are Australia's most disadvantaged minority, with shorter life expectancy and much higher rates of imprisonment and disease than the broader population.

Primary Source - Bangkok Post
See also: The Ridge News
soundczech Re: TW: Vehicular violence, child fatality25th-Apr-2012 07:12 pm (UTC)
Kings Cross is a really, really busy area at that time, so without seeing the footage I'd still be pretty confident in declaring that other pedestrians were in danger. They actually hit two women, one of whom was dragged underneath the wheels of the car, which is why the cops couldn't shoot out the tyres and had to shoot directly at the vehicle instead.

The bashing is definitely excessive force (and probably racially motivated) but I think the protestors have made a tactical error in including the shooting as part of their complaints - it sucks that a 17 year old kid is seriously injured, but a lot of people are wondering wtf else the cops were supposed to do. So instead of getting people to sympathise with their very real concerns instead they've just created trollbait for racist commentators (http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/mundine-sentiment-missing-the-mark-20120425-1xlil.html)
shepaintedfire 25th-Apr-2012 06:34 pm (UTC)
Six youth were in a stolen car when it was driven onto a sidewalk. The car hit a woman and dragged her for several metres.

I'm not denying that the beating was probably racially motivated, but I don't blame the police one bit for opening fire on a fucking car driving on the goddamn sidewalk.
lurkerwisp 25th-Apr-2012 06:49 pm (UTC)
This. :| It's completely reasonable to use lethal force to stop a person from rampaging around hitting and dragging another person with a car.
lee_rowan 25th-Apr-2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah. If that were YOU under the tyres, shooting the driver to make the car stop would probably seem like a good idea. The beating was excessive.
lee_rowan 25th-Apr-2012 07:40 pm (UTC)
I suppose this is a side-question, by -- what about the woman who was hit and dragged? Did she survive?
lastrega 26th-Apr-2012 12:36 pm (UTC)
She received hospital treatment and was released.
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4eyedblonde 25th-Apr-2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
This. I would like to know what caused the driver to go up on the sidewalk to begin with. The article seems incredibly one-sided as to making the protests seem unnecessary, like you said.
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spyral_path 25th-Apr-2012 11:15 pm (UTC)
If these kids had just taken the car out for a joyrid without hurting anyone in the process, I could see being outraged by the shootings. But I have a hard time finding sympathy for anyone who mows down pedestrians and just keeps going. If you don't know how to use the brakes you have no business driving. Reading this made me angry enough to want to punch that kid in the face myself. (Not that I think the police beating was justified. I also think that if you can't control your temper you have no business getting a badge and a gun.)
spiegel11th 25th-Apr-2012 11:19 pm (UTC)
What happened to the woman they ran over?
mahsox_mahsox 26th-Apr-2012 12:26 pm (UTC)
One of the media stories I read about 24 hours ago (can't remember where) said she had chest injuries from being pinned by the car. She spent some time in hospital and then was able to go home. No word in the story on whether she needed surgery or a cast or anything like that or will face any long term issues. I guess all that will come out eventually.
ms_maree 26th-Apr-2012 12:08 am (UTC)
Here is another article if anyone is interested. The ABC is usually a little less sensationalist.

lozbabie 26th-Apr-2012 05:30 am (UTC)
This is from Anthony Mundaine. (for those who aren't Aussies he is a former NRL player and current boxer. I think he was world champ at one point)

"I feel that it's brutality at it's best. Who shoots teenage kids, unarmed teenage, cornered, trapped, ready to be arrested?" he said.

"There is no justification for just to open fire like that, point blank range, and furthermore bash them, as they were shot.

He's so wrong on this he can't see right. One woman was still being dragged. I would love to know how the police should have stopped them. They were in a vehicle.
lozbabie 26th-Apr-2012 07:49 am (UTC)
Oh I agree 100%. I've honestly never heard an Aboriginal person refer to their tribe as a nation. I'm not saying it doesn't happen but even googling it was always tribes (can be referred to as nations)

And I agree 100% with your second paragraph. People, especially my age don't realize how recent it all is. That all out parents were alive for the referendum on wether Aboruginal people were citizens. All our grandparents voted for that (and I think next time I see my maternal grandparents I'll be asking how they voted. I've never thought to ask. My paternal grandparents weren't naturalized until the 80s so wouldn't have voted) My best friend from childhood wasn't considered Australian until he was TWELVE. That's ignoring everything else. They weren't even considered citizens of this country.
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