Police arrest youths at Lismore Shopping Square.
Police arrest youths at Lismore Shopping Square. Facebook

Family say 'unnecessary force' used in teen arrests

UPDATE 4.35pm: FAMILY members of a group of teens arrested in chaotic scenes outside Lismore Shopping Square on Wednesday afternoon believe police used "unnecessary force" in the operation.

Following inquiries after a break-in in Casino last month, plainclothes officers attempted to arrest a 16-year-old youth at a bus interchange on Brewster Street.

What started out as a straightforward operation went from "zero to 100", according to one witness, when police became "heavy handed" with another boy for no apparent reason.

He was arrested and as the situation become more chaotic a 14-year-old girl was arrested.

Multiple paddy wagons and highway patrol cars converged on the scene as the initial police called for backup.

The incident was captured on multiple devices and has since gone viral on Facebook.

Police arrest youths at Lismore Shopping Square.
Police arrest youths at Lismore Shopping Square. Facebook

Some of the footage shows three or four police officers holding the distressed teen girl's head down over a row of shopping trolleys.

The mother of one of the boys, who can't be named for legal reasons, said she believed police handled the situation poorly.

"I got a fright when I got there, they had my son in handcuffs and my niece on the ground with four coppers on top of her," she said.

"He was fully in tears, the handcuffs were that tight."

"I just kept asking the police officer why is my son under arrest and he wouldn't explain... he said 'get back' and they sprayed capsicum spray at everyone."

"When they got her off the ground they had her by the hair, dragged her all the way to the paddy wagon and then threw her into the back."

"Everyone was really upset about how they were treating the kids on the ground."

"They could have explained the situation."

"They could have handled it a bit better."

"If I didn't move away they were going to pepper spray me."

Another family member asked why an Aboriginal Liason Officer was not present for the operation.

"When they saw it was starting to get out of hand, why didn't they call for them to come in and try to defuse the situation?

"They turned it into something that it didn't need to be."

She said she believed the situation had breached trust between police and the Aboriginal community.

"They could have told (the boy) that he wasn't allowed nearby. They just go and grab him and slam him into the ground."

She said the situation escalated when the cousin of the first boy arrested helped him put a cigarette in his mouth because he was handcuffed.

She said the second boy was then "attacked" by police.

"They could have explained the situation, at that point, not just walk up to him and chuck handcuffs on him."

The third teenager arrested was a 14-year-old girl who Mrs Roberts said had been asking why the arrests were taking place.

It's understood a fourth teen, who had filmed the situation, was only arrested afterwards while she was standing outside Lismore Police Station.

A witness said police seized her phone and deleted the footage.

"It's not the first time. It's just wrong and we want some kind of justice," she said.

A NSW Police statement said five people were charged after police were allegedly assaulted during the operation.

Officers from Richmond Police District were investigating after cash and other items were stolen during a break and enter on a home in Casino on Sunday September 2.

Police will allege when they tried to search the 16-year-old, several people intervened, assaulting the officers, with one officer being spat in the face.

Police will allege when the 16-year-old boy's bag was searched it contained methamphetamine in a resealable plastic bag.

He has now been charged with break enter and steal, and possess a prohibited drug. He was refused bail to appear in Lismore Children's Court today.

A 35-year-old Lismore man was subsequently charged with assaulting police. He was granted bailed to appear in Lismore Local Court on Monday November 12.

A 14-year-old boy was charged with hinder police, resist police, and fail to move on. A second boy, also aged 14, was charged with assault police.

A 14-year-old girl was charged with assault police, hinder police, and resist police, and fail to move on, while a second girl, also aged 14, has been charged with resist police, hinder police, and trespass.

These four teenagers have been granted bail to appear in a children's court on Monday 12 November 2018.

 

Original story: FOOTAGE depicting the chaotic arrest of two teenagers in Lismore has sparked fury amongst the Aboriginal community.

The arrest by plainclothes Lismore detectives outside Lismore Shopping Square yesterday afternoon was filmed on multiple devices and shared to Facebook.

Police allege officers were assaulted, including being spat in the face, during the arrest of a 16-year-old boy over an alleged break and enter, and subsequently made further arrests.

One of the videos of the arrest at the bus interchange on Brewster St has since been viewed more than 52,000 times.

Some of the footage shows three or four police officers holding a distressed teen girl's head down over a row of shopping trolleys.

The situation appears to be out of control of the arresting officers.

In another video, a distressed teenage boy shouts for officers to loosen his handcuffs. Police in the video say the boy is being arrested for a break and enter.

Brooke Bowen, a friend of the family whose daughter was arrested, said the arrest was "horrendous".

Police arrest youths at Lismore Shopping Square.
Police arrest youths at Lismore Shopping Square. Facebook

She said the girl was held for seven hours by police and then taken to the hospital.

"She had a lump on her head where she was hit on the trolleys and the ground," Ms Bowen said.

"She's got bruises all over her.

"It's unbelievable, very excessive."

Police arrest youths at Lismore Shopping Square.
Police arrest youths at Lismore Shopping Square. Facebook

Ms Bowen claimed the 14-year-old girl was only arrested because she was challenging officers why they were arersting her older cousin.

She said the father of the girl was also arrested by police after he came to the location to check on the welfare of his daughter.

One of the Facebook posts sharing the videos claimed the girl's elbow was fractured during the arrest.

There are also claims police officers confiscated their phones to delete any videos they had of the arrest.

A NSW Police statement said five people were charged after police investigating a break and enter were allegedly assaulted in Lismore.

Officers from Richmond Police District were investigating after cash and other items were stolen during a break and enter on a home in Casino on Sunday September 2.

Following inquiries, officers from the Richmond PD Target Action Group attempted to arrest a 16-year-old youth at a bus interchange on Brewster Street, Lismore, shortly after 2pm yesterday.

Police will allege when they tried to search the youth, several people intervened, assaulting the officers, with one officer being spat in the face.

Five people were arrested and taken to Lismore Police Station.

Police will allege when the 16-year-old boy's bag was searched it contained methamphetamine in a resealable plastic bag.

He has now been charged with break enter and steal, and possess a prohibited drug. He was refused bail to appear in Lismore Children's Court today.

A 35-year-old Lismore man was subsequently charged with assaulting police. He was granted bailed to appear in Lismore Local Court on Monday November 12.

A 14-year-old boy was charged with hinder police, resist police, and fail to move on. A second boy, also aged 14, was charged with assault police.

A 14-year-old girl was charged with assault police, hinder police, and resist police, and fail to move on, while a second girl, also aged 14, has been charged with resist police, hinder police, and trespass.

These four teenagers have been granted bail to appear in a children's court on Monday 12 November 2018.



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