Former Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) co-convenor and gay rights advocate Bryn Hutchinson,32, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting police and resisting arrest following his controversial treatment by NSW Police during Sydney Mardi Gras.
Flanked by family members, supporters and CAAH co-convenor Karl Hand, Hutchinson appeared before Sydney Central Local Court on Friday to answer the charges and set a date for a later hearing.
CAAH activists rallied outside the courthouse as Hutchinson arrived, calling for police to drop the charges and open an external inquiry into police conduct during the parade.
The hearing also saw the return of a subpoena ordering the owners of the Colombian Hotel to provide CCTV footage of Oxford St around the time of Hutchinson’s arrest. A subpoena served to the City of Sydney for similar footage was postponed until May 21 after being seemingly misplaced.
Hutchison’s solicitor Peter O’Brien called for any witnesses to the arrest to come forward, including anyone who may have photographed or recorded potential evidence.
“We hope there may be some footage that captures the incident – obviously there might have been people who were there who haven’t come forward either to police or to us, and we urge those people to make themselves known,” O’Brien said.
Hutchinson came forward soon after Mardi Gras alleging he was thrown to the ground and repeatedly kicked by police officers after trying to cross Oxford St with some friends after the parade finished on the night of Saturday, March 2.
Hutchinson will face court again in the Downing Centre District Court on May 21.