"You like that?": CCTV of police bashing pensioner

"YOU like that? You like that? Smells good, doesn't it?"

Those are the words of a Victorian police officer as he empties a canister of capsicum spray into the face of a disability pensioner.

"Put your hands behind your f***ing back," he says, as another officer puts a police boot on the man's head to hold him down and five others grab his arms and legs. One uses a police baton to strike the man's lower leg repeatedly.

Horrific footage of the incident was published on Tuesday ahead of a shocking 7.30 report detailing how five officers tackled John on the front lawn of his home in October 2017.

John isn't a seasoned criminal. The officers were carrying out a welfare check at the request of a concerned psychologist.

"I thought I was going to die," John told 7.30.

The footage, obtained by Fairfax, was captured on John's own security cameras which he installed after a series of break-ins. It shows police approach his front door and plead with him to come outside.

 

He tells them, "F*** off, get off my f***ing property" and "I'm alright, I've just gotta get through this".

He's referring to withdrawals he's experiencing after taking himself off pain medication following back surgery. He tells officers "get the crowbar, you'll have to shoot me".

The ABC reports that John has a minor assault on his police record dating back 10 years and that the official police report details how he came at officers with two raised fists.

As the door opens, one officer sprays him directly in the face. Others grab his arms and pull him forcefully towards the ground at the front of his northern suburbs home.

"My back," John screams as police hold him down.

Later, the footage shows police spraying a high-pressure hose in the Melbourne pensioner's face. John told 7.30 there was a watering can nearby but the officer chose to use the hose instead.

"He's aiming for my nostrils and it's going into my lungs and that's when I started choking from the water and from the hot mace going into my respiratory system," he said.

As John sits on the lawn with his hands behind his back and a hose being sprayed in his face, one officer pulls out his mobile phone and starts recording.

The officer tells him, "Definitely don't shape up to me, mate". As officers grin, John tells them, "Have a laugh, I'm a disability pensioner. That is how tough youse are."

John has taken his case to the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission, the ABC reports.

Footage of six officers taking down a disability pensioner. Picture: ABC
Footage of six officers taking down a disability pensioner. Picture: ABC

The footage has led to widespread condemnation of police tactics. Today show host Karl Stefanovic launched in on Tuesday's show, saying police have "serious questions to answer over this".

"I don't think I have seen anything more brutal than that from police in a long, long time in this country," he said.

"So they were called to this man's residence and they tried to get into the door. They were called because there was some concern over this guy's mental health.

"What happened after that is shocking. It is shocking that it has happened in this country ... not just the pepper spray at close range, but then the humiliation of this hose in this guy's face and then taking photos.

"It is as bad police brutality as I have ever seen."

Victoria Police declined to comment specifically on the incident. Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius will front a press conference in Melbourne at 9.30am on Tuesday to respond to allegations of police misconduct.

More to come



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