The Courier-Mail

COAST PO­LICE F ACE MORE CLAIMS OF EX­CES­SIVE FORCE

- RHIAN AN DEUTROM Police brutality · Crime · Incidents · Justice · Law · Gold Coast · Surfers Paradise

A QUEENS­LAND Gov­ern­ment youth worker and de­voted Jus­tice of the Peace is the latest vic­tim of al­leged po­lice bru­tal­ity on the Gold Coast.

The Couri­erMail has ob­tained dis­turb­ing CCTV footage from out­side a Surfers Par­adise night­club that shows 50-year-old grand­fa­ther Ray Cur­rier be­ing phys­i­cally re­strained by five po­lice of­fi­cers and se­cu­rity guards be­fore he is punched in the head and knocked out cold.

Po­lice are re­view­ing the footage but said they were “not aware of any al­le­ga­tions made in re­la­tion to this in­ci­dent”.

Mr Cur­rier, who works as a Queens­land Gov­ern­ment em­ployee for the Depart­ment of Jus­tice and At­tor­ney-Gen­eral, said he did not make a for­mal com­plaint out of fear of los­ing his job. He had been hav­ing din­ner with his col­leagues at Melbas on the Park in Jan­uary.

The footage shows one of Mr Cur­rier’s col­leagues re­fused en­try back into the club about 9pm be­fore the man­ager calls over an un­marked po­lice car.

When of­fi­cers ar­rive, the man can be seen film­ing them and ask­ing for their names and badge num­bers. He was ar­rested for ob­struct­ing po­lice and tack­led to the ground.

The footage also shows Mr Cur­rier step­ping out of the club to draw his col­leagues and their wives away from the scene.

“From my work as a sec­tion su­per­vi­sor at a youth de­ten­tion cen­tre, I know how to de-es­ca­late sit­u­a­tions, ver­bal cues and my fo­cus was just to keep mov­ing ev­ery­one out of the area,” Mr Cur­rier said.

While Mr Cur­rier ap­pears ra­tio­nal and calm, the footage shows an of­fi­cer lunge at him be­fore four more tackle him to the ground. The footage then shows an of­fi­cer de­liver a swift “rab­bit hit”, which forces his head on to the pave­ment, ren­der­ing Mr Cur­rier un­con­scious.

Another col­league suf­fered three bro­ken ribs af­ter he was tack­led to the ground.

Court doc­u­ments ob­tained by The Courier-Mail re­veal po­lice al­lege Mr Cur­rier grabbed one of the of­fi­cers on the leg “close to where his firearm and hol­ster were be­ing worn”.

The Courier-Mail showed the footage to a for­mer de­tec­tive who said the po­lice of­fi­cer would have had a “dou­ble lock” on his firearm.

“The of­fi­cer has to flick one lock and undo the hol­ster to even reach the gun,” he said. “If some­one goes for your firearm, you stop them but you don’t hit them in the head.”

Mr Cur­rier was charged with as­sault or ob­struct po­lice and is due to face a hear­ing in Fe­bru­ary next year. His lawyer Dar­ren Ma­hony said his client would plead not guilty.

Mr Cur­rier said when he re­gained con­scious­ness in the back of a po­lice van he be­gan yelling be­fore an of­fi­cer un­loaded a can of pep­per spray into his face and gen­i­talia.

“I had a lot of re­spect for the po­lice; now I can’t even look at them,” said Mr Cur­rier, who is cur­rently on stress leave.

The al­le­ga­tions come as an in­ter­nal re­view into the cul­ture and con­duct of Gold Coast po­lice be­gan last month.

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