Punishment bid over cop arrest ‘force’
‘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.