A riot squad officer has publicly accused NSW Police of using COVID-19 as an excuse to infringe on the ‘basic human rights’ of anti-government protesters.
A riot squad officer has accused NSW Police of using COVID-19 as an excuse for targeting anti-government protesters, in a public rebuke of his own organisation.
In a widely-received email on Monday, Senior Constable Kevin Dawson accused the force of “double standards and blatant hypocrisy” in its handling of public health orders across different community groups.
Dawson is a member of the Public Order and Riot Squad, which has been the force’s first line of defence at protests including Black Lives Matter.
In his open letter to Commissioner Mick Fuller, Const Dawson said police had been asked to enforce “arbitrary rules” without any verifiable scientific basis “ … in the name of public health and safety, often infringing upon basic human rights in the process”.
“Excessive force is being deployed with increasing regularity, causing harm when it is apparently meant for good, and the public are losing respect, trust and faith in us.”
Police had been told to “make an example” of people protesting anything anti-government, the letter stated.https://omny.fm/shows/daily-telegraph-news-politics/playlists/podcast/embed?list=1&share=0&subscribe=0
Const Dawson questioned why his team was being sent to disperse small protest crowds near where thousands of people were travelling to watch a game or have a beer.
“Anyone can see the blatant hypocrisy in such double standards,” he wrote.
The open letter comes after highway patrol officer Alexander Cooney sent an email with a similar tone to every one of his colleagues last month.
A police spokeswoman said the letters were under internal investigation and the officers’ duties were under review.
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