‘Served justice’: Police drop charges against Mardi Gras reveller Jamie Jackson

‘Served justice’: Police drop charges against Mardi Gras reveller Jamie Jackson

NSW Police has dropped all charges against Jamie Jackson almost a year after he was charged with assaulting police officers during the 2013 Mardi Gras parade night.

Jackson had been charged with assaulting police, resisting arrest and using offensive language in a public place following an incident with police on the evening of Saturday, March 2.

During a court hearing last September, police had alleged Jackson was detained for kicking a female Mardi Gras-goer and maintained that the Cronulla resident had punched and kicked at several officers.

Turning to Facebook last Friday evening after the charges were officially withdrawn, Jackson said it had been a long wait for the day to come.

“It’s about time my ridiculous charges from mardigras [sic] were dropped ~served justice~,” he wrote in a post.

Jackson’s solicitor Chris Murphy told the Star Observer that his client was now exploring his options, including suing the police for damages.

“The case is still a little raw to talk about,” Murphy said.

NSW Police stated that charges were dropped as there was little chance of a guilty verdict against the openly-gay teen.

“The decision to withdraw the charges has been made on the basis that there were no reasonable prospects of conviction,” a police spokesperson said.

A video of the incident, taken by a photographer and released days later, went viral and made headlines around the world after it showed a handcuffed Jackson, then 18, being head-slammed to the ground by an officer from Fairfield police station, while surrounded by other officers who tried to prevent bystanders from filming.

A second incident on the same night and a block away saw gay activist Bryn Hutchinson also allege he was the victim of police brutality after he was detained by police on the corner of Oxford and Crown streets for trying to cross the road.

Hutchinson was also charged with a range of offences including assaulting police but those charges were all dismissed by a court late last November, with a magistrate finding that he had acted in “self-defence”.

“What has been clear throughout the process is that NSW Police are not only more than willing to mislead the community, but will also prosecute those people who have suffered as a result of their unprofessional negligence,” Hutchinson told the Star Observer this week.

NSW Police said the incidents and the behaviour of its officers during last year’s Mardi Gras were still under internal police investigation.

“The Professional Standards Command investigation will be finalised once matters before the court are concluded… Police will not be making further comment on this matter,” the spokesperson said.

Sydney state independent MP Alex Greenwich told the Star Observer the two incidents reinforced community concerns about police accountability.

“The withdrawal of this case highlights the need for an independent police complaints body, and I will continue to advocate for this reform,” he said.

“Key LGBTI organisations have developed a plan with the local police and state government to ensure instances like this don’t happen again. Our community’s response has been effective and should make sure this Mardi Gras is a safe and successful one.”

NSW Greens upper house MP David Shoebridge said the decision to drop charges against Jackson meant that the police case would avoid public scrutiny and it was now up to the Ombudsman to look at it.

The events emanating from last year’s Mardi Gras sparked widespread anger and led to a 2000-strong protest outside Surry Hills police station and a community policing forum.


‘Our strength and resilience has ensured better policing’: Sydney MP Alex Greenwich


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8 responses to “‘Served justice’: Police drop charges against Mardi Gras reveller Jamie Jackson”

  1. Absolutely gutless and inappropraiate action by the officers (plural).

    If you cant deal with a teenager half your size don’t be a cop.

    Whats worse is the other officers instead of trying to calm the situation are trying to cover up for their buddy. That is disgusting and the first step toward corruption.

    How many times has this happened but there were no cameras to record it?

    If the law is to be respected then it should apply to all. Police included. No special priveleges for anyone.

    I hope all the police involved are sacked charged and sent to jail. Their actions were criminal and they should be treated as such.

  2. In Victoria an independent body was set up in 2011, called the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC). In 2014 that body has yet to bring a prosecution against any alleged misconduct.

    Between February and June 2014, the commission received 131 “protected disclosure complaints” about government, members of Parliament, the judiciary or police. Six were being investigated by the IBAC; another 105 had been referred to another entity. (Complaints against Police normally being referred back to Police to investigate.)

    Moreover, Officers of Victoria’s anti-corruption regime may be breaking the law by carrying guns because the laws under which they are operating could be ruled as unconstitutional, according to Ombudsman George Brouwer. Therefore, any action they bring, (should they ever bring one), may well be thrown out of Court.

    So, whilst it is certainly desirable to have an independent body to investigate Police and other corruption, and it is obvious to even “blind Freddie” that Police must no longer be left the job of investigating Police, it seems equally obvious that organisations such as IBAC are nothing more than a panacea which gives the comforting, yet erroneous impression that “we’re doing something about this.”

    The matters involving Messrs Jackson and Hutchinson in New South Wales involve a far greater concern than whether or not they behaved legally or correctly on the night in question. Given that a large celebration was in progress around Sydney on that night, it is reasonable, I submit, to expect a degree of behaviour which, in the light of following days, may seem questionable to some. Mr Jackson, who was eighteen at the time, appeared on available evidence to be simply exuberant and, perhaps, a little over-excited. But this can never be an acceptable excuse for Police to exceed their power or, as it would appear from statements and video evidence, to engage in violent practices.

    Any independent investigative body must be set up based on a tribunal system, empaneling ordinary members of the community from a broad cross-section of careers, lifestyles and social groupings. It’s powers must be decided by the people and never by the Justice system. It must be answerable to public scrutiny with all investigations transparent and published with secrecy only applied to matters where officials are proven beyond doubt to be not guilty of corruption.

    IBAC would appear to provide a model of how not to set up an independent investigative body, given its propensity for handing investigations back to Police to investigate. In my view, that is certainly not an example for other States or Territories to follow.

  3. Lest we forget how Jackson tried fighting back while in handcuffs. Of course lets not mention that, that would mean Jamie would be in the wrong. None of the alteration is his fault………

  4. And where is the responsibility from Jackson for his conduct (both on the evening and his underhanded actions after it) and for violating the law?

    Lots of lip and entitled mentality from pseudoactivists who take the relationship forged between the police and the gay community over 20+ years for granted.

    • Are you for real? The NSW Police dropped all charges and he was completely exonerated, so where did you get the idea that he ‘violated the law’? What is so “underhanded” about defending yourself against a violent arrest and false charges, after the event?

  5. We have a real problem in NSW – we have a police force that has a malevolent culture deep inside it. It runs from the top to the bottom and we see the evidence every day. The lying, the abuse of their power daily, the use of expensive police lawyers to try to get their way, all at taxpayers expense. What about that Arts student whose leg was broken by Police? Police lied in that case, treated her like shit, leaving her to limp away severely injured. What will come of that, to those Officers? What about that Sgt on the Curti case who lied and helped cover up their crimes, only to get promoted to Inspector!!! I don’t see him on charges like the other 4 police. NSW needs to understand – our Police force never got cleaned up, we have a corrupt Police force where senior police openly abuse their powers and laugh as their junior officers smash up the weak and defenceless.

  6. Whilst its good to see that under the glare of publicity – and with a strongly supportive gay community -this stupid case NSW Police were pushing against Bryn and now Jamie have both collapsed – lets not forget 3 things:
    1. Usually the police get away with BS cases like this, all powerful police work the system and use their resources to bury people with trumped up charges
    2. Why did these cases against Bryn and Jamie ever get this far? This has gone on for a year now – how much time and money – both on Bryn and Jamie’s side plus NSW Police – got spent on this before NSW Police conceded the blindly obvious? – note taxpayers pick up the police tab
    3. So what’s going to come of this? We all know that the NSW Police’s internal investigation will find no wrong against police and NSW Police will try to slither away from this latest mess, with no lessons learnt and no justice.
    I am proud to say I have been busy going around my office collecting signatures for the petition to force parliament to debate setting up an independent body to investigate police – NSW Police – as an organization – as evidenced by this case and others – are incapable of exercising their duties competently and cannot be trusted – and then when they are exposed – they still can’t come clean – all they do is deny, deflect and try to BS their way out of it.