WATCH: Dramatic footage captures cops' appalling behaviour

 

DRAMATIC footage has emerged of the moment a NSW Highway Patrol officer pulled a gun on a man during an RBT and another who slammed a female driver into her car while arresting her. 

Caught on police car dashcam, the officer is seen running up to the window of the stationary car with his service-issued Glock pistol drawn and using it to tap on the window of the car before pointing it at the face of the driver.

The officer with the gun still trained on the face of the driver opens the car door and orders the man out of the car and to lie down on the road. While he is facedown on the ground with his hands stretched out in front of him the officer handcuffs him - kneeing him in the back and punching him in the neck.

Extraordinary video shows a NSW highway patrol officer about to threaten a motorist. Picture: Supplied
Extraordinary video shows a NSW highway patrol officer about to threaten a motorist. Picture: Supplied

Described as "offensive" behaviour, a magistrate who heard the alleged drink-driving case against the driver said she was "shocked" "appalled" and "distressed" at the actions of the highway patrol officer.

The officer threatening a motorist at his car window. Picture: Supplied
The officer threatening a motorist at his car window. Picture: Supplied

"That's not something Australian police do …" ACT Special Magistrate Margaret Hunter told her court. Very rarely in fact, I was under the impression that even if they took the snap lock of the holster off they had to report it."

Yet despite video evidence of the incident, complaints to the NSW Highway Patrol for investigation were found "Not Sustained" - sparking an investigation by the police watchdog the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC).

The officer pulls out his gun and points the firearm at his face during a random breath test stop. Picture: Supplied
The officer pulls out his gun and points the firearm at his face during a random breath test stop. Picture: Supplied

The watchdog has found the "Not Sustained" findings from the internal highway patrol investigation "were not reasonably available in light of the evidence" from the in-car video. The Commission has recommended the investigation outcome be set aside and a further investigation be conducted by New South Wales Police.

It is one of two incidents caught on police in-car video revealing alleged "excessive force" by NSW Highway patrol officers.

The motorist steps out of the car and raises his hands as the gun is pointed at him. Picture: Supplied
The motorist steps out of the car and raises his hands as the gun is pointed at him. Picture: Supplied

The second incident shows an officer slamming the head of a female motorist into her car while he was arresting her.

The LECC has recently released its findings (June 26, 2019) into the two incidents which took place in 2015 and 2016.

A complaint of unreasonable force and unnecessary use of arrest powers over the incident - also referred to the NW Highway Patrol for investigation - was also found "Not Sustained".

But investigations by the LECC have found the officer arresting the woman did engage in "serious misconduct and used excessive force against the motorist".

The driver on the ground as the officer stands over them. Picture: Supplied
The driver on the ground as the officer stands over them. Picture: Supplied

The Commission found that Officer who conducted the investigation into his Highway Patrol colleague "engaged in serious misconduct in that he conducted his investigation with such reckless indifference as to the outcome that a Not Sustained finding was inevitable".

The watchdog has recommended consideration be given to the taking of action against both officers under section 173 of the Police Act 1990.

The LECC report said it has identified wider issues in the way allegations of misconduct within the HWP Command are investigated.

The incident has been described as shocking by a magistrate and sparked call for an investigation. Picture: Supplied
The incident has been described as shocking by a magistrate and sparked call for an investigation. Picture: Supplied

"In particular, the Commission noted that, where a complaint is made against an officer of the HWP, it is investigated by another officer within the same Command. Given the size and structure of the HWP Command, it is likely, if not probable, that an investigating officer will have had a past, or even an ongoing, working relationship with the officer the subject of the investigation. The Commission was concerned such an arrangement could lead to an actual or perceived bias in favour of the subject officer," the LECC report said.

"The Commission has suggested that the NSWPF should consider a number of matters regarding the HWP, including an increase in the number of Professional Standards Managers within the HWP Command and having a senior officer (Superintendent) as chair of Complaint Management Teams to reduce the risk of conflicts of interest and add a layer of further professional experience."