Pun­ish­ment bid over cop ar­rest ‘force’

The West Australian - - NEWS - Gabrielle Knowles Chief Crime Re­porter

‘The ap­pli­ca­tion of force to the head was in no way jus­ti­fied to over­come any re­sis­tance.’

A Perth man has launched a last­ditch bid to have a po­lice­man held to ac­count for al­legedly us­ing ex­ces­sive force on him dur­ing an ar­rest and ex­ag­ger­at­ing ev­i­dence in court.

Brandt Cross­well, 31, said he could not be­lieve the of­fi­cer had not been pun­ished, de­spite a mag­is­trate say­ing his ac­tions ap­peared to have been “un­jus­ti­fied” and po­ten­tially “un­law­ful”.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred in 2012 when the of­fi­cer and his part­ner were try­ing to ar­rest Mr Cross­well af­ter he made a rude hand ges­ture at them out­side a Perth pub.

Se­cu­rity cam­era vi­sion of the in­ci­dent showed Sen. Const. Philip Daw­son push a hand­cuffed Mr Cross­well to the ground, which he claimed he had done be­cause he feared Mr Cross­well might as­sault him or try to es­cape.

The vi­sion showed the same of­fi­cer slam­ming Mr Cross­well’s head on the foot­path when he raised his head as he lay on his stom­ach. Mr Cross­well re­acted to the use of force by lash­ing out at the of­fi­cers and was charged with as­sault.

But a mag­is­trate found in 2015 that Mr Cross­well had no case to an­swer be­cause Sen. Const. Daw­son had crossed the line.

“That (the se­nior con­sta­ble) de­nied that he pushed the ac­cused’s head . . . beg­gars be­lief,” Mag­is­trate An­drew Maughan said Mag­is­trate when dis­miss­ing the charge. “The ap­pli­ca­tion of force to the head was in no way jus­ti­fied to over­come any re­sis­tance be­ing of­fered by the ac­cused.

“In any event, un­law­ful­ness is prop­erly raised with re­spect to the phys­i­cal treat­ment of the ac­cused.”

De­spite Mr Maughan’s crit­i­cism, an in­ter­nal po­lice in­quiry cleared Sen. Const. Daw­son and his part­ner Const. Djordje Kandic.

WA Po­lice told Mr Cross­well in Fe­bru­ary there was in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to sus­tain the al­le­ga­tion that Sen. Const. Daw­son as­saulted him and the sug­ges­tion of­fi­cers ex­ag­ger­ated their ev­i­dence in court was also “un­founded”.

The Cor­rup­tion and Crime Com­mis­sion in­formed Mr Cross­well that it en­dorsed the find­ings.

Mr Cross­well’s lawyer has now writ­ten to the Po­lice Min­is­ter and the Par­lia­men­tary In­spec­tor of the CCC to ask them to re­view the case.

Mr Cross­well ad­mit­ted the saga had been fi­nan­cially and emo­tion­ally drain­ing but wanted to pur­sue it in the hope the pair would face some dis­ci­plinary ac­tion.

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