CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses police violence.

A 13-year-old Indigenous boy is recovering from surgery after he was mauled by a police dog in Perth on Sunday night.

Noongar boy Jayden Abraham suffered severe injuries to his face, neck and arm and was taken to Perth Children’s Hospital. Per NITV, his family said he was lucky he didn’t lose his eye in the brutal attack.

Per WAToday, police were responding to myriad calls about break-ins and people being threatened in St James in Perth’s east when Jayden was mauled by the police dog.

According to a police statement, a 21-year-old Queens Park man was “charged with being armed in a way that may cause fear [and with] stealing”. Three youths — including Jayden — were taken into police custody.

Jayden’s family told NITV he was not involved in the incidents which the police responded to. They claimed he was handcuffed when the police dog attacked him, and that his nose was broken during a subsequent attack from the police.

According to the publication, WA Police disputed both these claims.

His grandfather Elder Abraham told the National Indigenous Times Jayden required reconstructive surgery on his arm to repair damaged tendons, as well as surgery around his eye.

“I feel terrible to see him like this. He is still in pain and in shock. He has needed quite a few stitches,” he said.

“This is the way police treat the Black kids. They do anything they want when dealing with Black children.

“We need the body-worn camera video released.”

In disgustingly cooked scenes, Deputy Police Commissioner Kylie Whiteley defended the use of the police dog. She even went as far as calling the deployment “appropriate”, which is a fucking choice.

“A police dog’s deployed for very serious offences, and particularly in this instance we’d had 10 calls and they were serious incidents,” she said in a media conference.

“In the middle of the night, in the dark, it’s unknown who you’re chasing, and so in those circumstances, a police dog may be deployed.”

She said the police didn’t know minors were at the scene when they deployed the dog.

“They were responding to vehicles being broken into, homes being broken into and members of the public being confronted, so at that point in time they had no other information other than they were looking for offenders,” Whiteley said.

Police were investigating the incident and body-worn camera footage would be released upon its completion, she added.

Ngalla Maya Aboriginal Corporation chief executive Mervyn Eades told NITV it’s not good enough.

“Enough is enough. We want answers,” he said.

“We want to see the footage. If they did no wrong as they say, the footage will show that.”

According to a 2022 report from the Corruption and Crime Commission, there is a high representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples involved in police dog deployments.

Data shows 61 per cent of all police dog deployments in the 2020-21 financial year involved Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The abhorrent attack on Jayden Abraham comes less than a month after 15-year-old Noongar boy Cassius Turvey was allegedly beaten to death with a metal pole while walking home from school.

When will the brutality and violence against Indigenous people end?

If you’re feeling affected by this content, help is available. There’s no shame in talking about it.

If you’re in distress, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat online.

You can also get in touch with Headspace Yarn Safe online.

Or you can speak with your NACCHO community health service – find your local member online.

Image: Nine News