A disabled man named “John” was beaten, pepper sprayed and soaked with a garden hose by Victoria Police officers in Melbourne, Australia, in October 2017.
The humiliating and painful episode was filmed by security cameras at John’s home, notes ABC News (Australia).
The police were supposedly doing a welfare check when they assaulted the disabled man who simply wanted to be left alone.
John was withdrawing from pain medication prescribed for his back surgery. Some medical personnel called the cops because they were concerned about his mental state.
Police were warned that John might confront the cops and attempt to provoke them into shooting him.
Instead, John told the cops that he wanted to be left alone, but police threatened to break down his door.
Police claimed that the John answered the door with two fists, but the video shows his hands were open.
Police then pepper-sprayed John and dragged him out on his front yard where a pile-on and the beating commenced.
The police were supposedly washing off the pepper spray as they sprayed John with his own garden hose in the middle of his yard. One cop smiled as he filmed the spectacle with his cell phone.
John said the cops sprayed the hose at his face at full pressure:
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].
I couldn’t breathe. I really, literally, thought I was going to drown. You can feel the mace and the water together in your lungs.
It was like a game for them. They wanted to get their rocks off, you know. It’s wrong.
John has filed a complaint with the state’s Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC), and is filing a lawsuit.
Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius , the acting head of Professional Standards Command at Victoria Police, said he was “very concerned” by the video:
The conduct displayed on the CCTV demanded examination and explanation. The members involved clearly needed to be called to account for their conduct.
Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews tried to defend the brutality of the Victoria Police:
I am not diminishing any individual incident or the merit of any individual complaint, but in a broader sense I think Victorians can have confidence in Victoria Police.
However if there are complaints to make, then people can come forward and make them and they will be investigated properly.
Lawyers for Australian human rights groups have called for the cops to be terminated, and said similar incidents are happening across Victoria every day, reports The Guardian.