The Courier-Mail

COAST POLICE F ACE MORE CLAIMS OF EXCESSIVE FORCE

- RHIAN AN DEUTROM

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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