'This incident caused great concern': Commission boss
INVESTIGATIONS are continuing into police conduct during the violent arrest of a 16-year-old in Byron Bay in January.
After attending the hearing at the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission in Sydney late last month, Tweed Byron Superintendent Wayne Starling told The Northern Star the hearing was "stressful and harrowing”.
In response, the Commission's chief executive, Amber Williams, wrote this letter to the editor:
"I REFER to your article published on 17 April 2018, "Police hearing was 'stressful, harrowing'”.
"The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission, which has responsibility for independently oversighting possible misconduct by officers of the New South Wales Police Force, is investigating conduct of officers involved in the violent apprehension of a 16-year-old male at Byron Bay in the early hours of 11 January 2018, edited vision of which was broadcast on A Current Affair.
"This incident caused great concern in the Byron Bay community.
"Part of the investigation involved private and public hearings at which the witnesses, including the involved police officers, were questioned about what happened.
"This questioning sought to obtain as full and as reliable an account of the facts as possible and to give the officers an opportunity to explain what happened from their points of view.
"Although the experience was no doubt unpleasant, police officers give evidence frequently in the Courts of this State.
"There was nothing in the questioning in LECC's hearings that was significantly different, though it was not adversarial, and the Commission took a great deal of trouble to protect the officers' privacy, which would not be the case in a trial.
"Following the hearing, the Commission will gather further evidence including liaising with experts in the use of force by police.
"A report to Parliament will ultimately be made.”