The NSW Police officer under review for slamming a 17-year-old Indigenous boy to the ground in Surry Hills simply had a “bad day,” says Police Commissioner Mick Fuller.
Speaking on 2GB Wednesday morning, Fuller was asked about the internal investigation of the Monday incident, which saw the officer sweep the boy’s legs after a short verbal altercation.
Footage of the incident was captured by an onlooker and shared online, causing a widespread backlash against the actions of the officer.
The boy’s family claim he sustained a chip tooth during the incident.
Police say the boy was released without charge, pending further enquiries.
“You look at the video and it is concerning, there’s no doubt about that,” Fuller said.
“Certainly there were probably other ways that the officer could have dealt with that matter, no doubt,” he added.
Fuller said he was “absolutely” sorry to the boy.
#EXCLUSIVE | NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has apologised, after one of his officers tripped and pinned a teenager to the ground in Surry Hills on Monday.
He says the situation could have been handled better. pic.twitter.com/qYagHcTAjY
— Ben Fordham Live (@BenFordhamLive) June 2, 2020
But he said he was unaware of any prior blemishes on the officer’s record, saying, “I’m sure he’s sitting at home at the moment wishing that he could probably handle himself differently on that day.”
When questioned on the potential outcome of the investigation, Fuller said it was likely his actions were a blip in his “clean history”.
“You’d have to say he’s had a bad day, and I’m sure most of the community wouldn’t want to see someone who’s made a mistake sacked after making such a commitment to the community,” he said.
A bigger question which went unasked and unanswered: why it seems marginalised Australians are overwhelmingly the recipients of those ‘bad days’.
The boy’s family will speak to the media about the incident later today.Image: Dan Himbrechts / AAP Image / Facebook