Victoria Police has launched a search for men who assaulted two police officers over the weekend in what have been described as a ‘sickening attack’.
CCTV footage of the incident shows an apparently drunken group setting upon the officers, repeatedly lifting and throwing one of the officers into the pavement.
The incident occurred in St Kilda, where two uniformed officers quickly became outnumbered after confronting a drunken cohort, and were subsequently set upon.
A nearby taxi driver nearby captured the incident on camera, saying he feared the officer was going to be killed.
When passers-by tried to assist the officers, the incident turned into a brawl, involving both men and women.
The disturbing footage shows that despite having his head struck on the pavement repeatedly, the officer manages to free himself, before being chased and pinned to the ground.
As police back-up finally arrives, the man who dealt the blows to one of the officers flees the scene, abandoning his friends who are sprayed and handcuffed.
One man has been arrested and detectives are now looking for other assailants.
One of the officers has had surgery on his arm, while the officer whose head was smashed to the ground has been released from hospital after sustaining cuts and bruises to his face.
The tables turned
In recent times, it has been police officers caught on camera assaulting civilians.
And Victorian police have one of the worst reputations when it comes to using brutal force, having recently had to defend their actions over the assault of a disability pensioner caught on camera, the disgusting treatment of a woman being held in the Ballarat police station for drunkenness, hurling an Indigenous teenager at a fence before wrongfully arresting him, and fresh allegations made by a local Doctor who says she was assaulted while trying to help a man Police were in the process of arresting.
In 2017, a damning report into the Victorian Police Force described several instances of serious misconduct including assaults, harassment, stalking and predatory sexual misconduct. In one case, a senior constable restrained a child and led him away before punching him without provocation.
Other cases involved officers using police databases to assist them in stalking members of the public. In another case, an officer was found to have pursued drunk and vulnerable women with a view to procuring them to engage in sexual conduct.
But Victoria is not alone. In NSW in recent months police officers have been under fire for their forceful arrest of a 16-year old naked teenager. It is yet to be determined whether any of the officers involved will face charges.
And, in fact, Videos from all over Australia showing police officers committing horrendous acts of brutality are being uploaded to social media at an increasing rate.
It’s understood an internal police investigation is currently underway into the events in St Kilda over the weekend. While the video footage speaks for itself, there are still questions surrounding the assault and exactly how officers became involved in the situation that currently remain unanswered.
Police versus the community
However, what is becoming alarmingly clear, is that the current culture of Australian policing tends to favour the enforcement of law and order with an emphasis on ‘force’.
The divide between police and the community members they are employed to protect is widening. This has engendered a lack of respect on both sides, and in many cases, an element of ‘fear’.
As a result, violence seems to becoming the norm in clashes between police and members of the general public under most circumstances.