Footage from A Current Affair of the police arrest at Lateen Lane, Byron Bay.
Footage from A Current Affair of the police arrest at Lateen Lane, Byron Bay. Contributed Channel 9

Cop showed 'complete lack of common sense': Commissioner

UPDATE: A POLICE officer who beat a naked teenager with a baton in a Byron Bay lane showed a "complete lack of common sense", a public hearing into the shocking incident has heard.

The hearing at the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission has been examining the beating handed out to the 16-year-old in the early hours of January 11, 2018, in the NSW north coast town.

In the altercation, caught on camera and later broadcast on A Current Affair, officers used OC spray, a taser, physical force and 19 baton strikes on the boy.

The beating left the teen, who had taken LSD, with extreme bruising and a fractured rib.

On Thursday, LECC Chief Commissioner Michael Adams told one of the officers involved, known as Officer E, that his actions demonstrated a "complete lack of common sense".

"Some thought, some insight about what you're doing and why you're doing it, that's what I'm searching to get," Commissioner Adams said.

"I'm finding it difficult to accept your reasoning as reasonable ... what you are doing appears to be deliberate."

The hearing heard Officer E initially struck the boy four times with his baton, before landing another 14 baton strikes in a series of separate flurries while the boy screamed for help on the ground.

It heard that Officer E continued to beat the boy, referred to in the hearing as AO, even after he was handcuffed and physically restrained by three much-larger officers, with another officer in a nearby police vehicle as backup.

"I think by that stage it's really disappointing me, the whole incident," Officer E said."It's not pleasant, I think everyone would agree with that."

Earlier, under questioning from counsel assisting, Terence Rowles, the officer conceded that at no point did he count how many times he hit the boy.

He also admitted he never told the victim why he was hitting him or asked him to "settle down" before using the baton. 

But he said there was no "malicious intent" in his actions, which he believed were needed to control the "violent and confrontational" boy.

"I felt that I had to use my baton to have him restrained," Officer E said.

He also denied saying to witnesses at the nearby Nomads Backpackers Hostel immediately after the beating: "You better not have f---ing recorded this".

"At no point did I talk to anyone like that," he said.

EARLIER: A POLICE officer has defended beating a naked teenager with a baton in a Byron Bay lane, telling a public hearing the action was needed to restrain the "violent and confrontational" boy. 

The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission is currently probing whether four police officers used excessive force during the notorious altercation, which was caught on camera in the early hours of January 11, 2018.

The officers used OC spray, a taser, physical force and 19 baton strikes on the boy, leaving him with extreme bruising and a fractured rib. 

On Thursday, one of the officers involved, referred to for legal reasons as Officer E, said he used his taser on the boy, before repeatedly beating him with his baton while the victim was on the ground.

He told the hearing he thought the victim needed to be hit several times with the baton in order for it "to have the desired effect". 

 

"I was of the opinion that it required more than one (strike)," he told the court. 

"I hit him as many times as I deemed reasonable." 

Under questioning from counsel assisting the hearing, Terence Rowles, the officer conceded he didn't count how many times he hit the boy during the altercation. 

He also agreed he never told the "aggressive" victim why he was hitting him or asked him to "settle down" before using the baton. 

"He needed to be compliant, he needed to be restrained ... he was violent, he was confrontational," Officer E said. 

Earlier, footage of the victim being tasered by Officer E was played, showing the naked and unarmed boy screaming in pain and dropping to the ground while the officers yelled "roll over" at him. 

Officer E said he was forced to use his taser on the boy after another officer sprayed the boy twice with capsicum spray, which had no effect. 

"He was coming straight towards me, I deemed him to be a threat," he said. 

The hearing continues before Chief Commissioner Michael Adams. - NewsRegional

News Corp Australia


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