Jackson and his legal team are now set to sue NSW Police after Magistrate Michael Barko made the findings while dismissing the police case at a court hearing at the Downing Local Court Centre on Thursday, February 6.
As revealed first by the Star Observer last month, police decided to withdraw all charges against Jackson, including assaulting police, almost a year after the incident on March 2, 2013.
In court this week, Magistrate Barko suggested the case was dropped by police partly due to community outrage over Jackson’s treatment, which saw him slammed head-first to the ground while handcuffed on Oxford St by Fairfield police officer, Constable Leon Mixios. A video taken by a bystander of the incident has now had almost two million views on YouTube.
“What should I infer?” Barko said.
“That the Commissioner wants no further bad publicity?”
The court also heard evidence that Mixios was already under investigation by the Police Integrity Commission last year, after a separate incident involving excessive force during an arrest at a Sydney wedding in December 2012.
In a statement to the Star Observer, a police spokesperson said that Mixios remained on office duties pending the conclusion of internal investigations.
Following the court’s decision, lawyer Chris Murphy, who had represented Jackson pro-bono, told reporters that while his client was still coming to terms with the ensuing publicity surrounding last year’s incident he was now planning to march in this year’s Mardi Gras parade.
“He is quiet, but will next be seen on a float at the Mardi Gras,” Murphy said.
“He’s been under a lot of stress. He’s been totally exonerated today.”
In a social media post following the court decision, Jackson said he wanted to “say a massive thank you” to his family, friends and supporters who stood by him over the past year.
“Coming out as gay to my extended family was hard enough let alone endure hate and abuse from strangers,” Jackson posted on Facebook.
“I have grown so much from this experience and have learned so many lessons at such a young age.
“Now that I can put this behind me I am excited for what my future holds and couldn’t be happier.”
Sydney state independent MP Alex Greenwich told the Star Observer the community will now be closely watching whether senior police hold officers accountable who are found to have engaged in violence and mistreatment against the public at last year’s Mardi Gras.
“It is clear that the LGBTI community will never again accept abuse and discrimination,” Greenwich said.
“More work needs to be done, and the outcome of this case proves the need for an independent police complaints body.
“It is heartening that local police and LGBTI organisations have made positive changes to prevent problems at this year’s Mardi Gras.”
Image: Jamie Jackson (Supplied: Facebook)
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