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Police protest planned for Friday
Gay rights advocates want “justice” over allegations of excessive force by NSW Police at Sydney Mardi Gras celebrations and plan to march in protest from Taylor Square to Surry Hills Police Station on Friday night .
Organisers want people to meet at Taylor Square from 6pm and are demanding an apology for the alleged abuse of Jamie Jackson and Bryn Hutchinson.
Today, NSW Police said they would investigate two separate allegations of excessive force after footage of a young man being roughly handled by a police officer went viral over night.
Former Community Action Against Homophobia co-convenor and march co-organiser Cat Rose told the Star Observer they were taking the lead against the allegations.
“We have a history protesting for queer rights more generally and somebody has to take the lead on this,” she said.
“It’s pretty clear the community is outraged.”
Rose said she could not predict how many people would join their march, but the protest, organised on Facebook, already has more than 500 people signing up in the past two hours since being posted.
She said she had not spoken with Surry Hills Police Station about the protest.
“We are calling for everyone to meet at Taylor Square on Friday night to march to the Surry Hills Police Station to demand justice,” the Facebook page says.
“We demand an end to police violence against the LGBTI community and a full apology to Jamie Jackson and Bryn Hutchinson, and all victims of brutality at Mardi Gras 2013.”
Several men came forward this week to complain of excessive force and dishonest practises by NSW Police during Sydney Mardi Gras celebrations on Saturday.
In amateur footage, Jamie Jackson was seen in handcuffs being thrown to the ground and stepped on by an officer while a woman filming is told to stop recording. NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch admitted in a press conference this morning that it was “naive” of the officer to request the woman stop filming. It is not illegal to use a recording device in a public space.
The 18-year-old man in the video was issued with a field court notice for the offences of assaulting police, resisting arrest and using offensive language.
See today’s responses from NSW independent MP Alex Greenwich, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras here.