Victoria Police’s top cop has defended a protective services officer after she was filmed slapping a child in the face while he was being arrested on January 26.
CCTV footage obtained by The Herald Sun shows two police officers holding the boy, who is only 11 years old, by each arm at Noble Park Station in Melbourne. In the video he can be heard swearing and hurling racial slurs at the officers.
The boy then allegedly spat at the female officer, who appeared to retaliate by slapping him hard across the face. While he was already being held down.
What the actual fuck is wrong with these people?
You’d think the expected response from an adult — especially one that represents the state — dealing with a child is to de-escalate the situation, not resort to violence at the barest provocation. Like, it should literally be their job to remain composed in the face of whatever they are dealing with.
When I worked in retail I had customers yell at me, swear at me, throw things at me and threaten me. If I slapped them across the face it would be common assault, and it would be worse if that person was an 11-year-old child.
Not for this officer though.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton defended the PSO and called the slap a “redirection strike”. No, that’s not an actual thing.
“PSOs were there as a result of Metro (Trains) calling them,” Patton told 3AW Radio.
“He then spits on a PSO, that PSO reacts, I could call it a redirection strike.
“We can all interpret these things differently.
“You can call it a slap, there’s no doubt he’s been struck, it’s redirected his face, as you’ll see, away from her. It stopped any further threat, so that is that.”
Who was more under threat here? An officer with a gun at her hip and a man restraining a child with her, or said child?
I get that racial slurs are fucked and I have experienced plenty myself. But there is literally nothing an 11-year-old could say to me that would make me feel like it’s okay to hit them, inclusive of racist BS.
And that’s compounded when you’re a cop. As a police officer and adult, there is a power imbalance between this PSO and the child she was holding down. He was already facing the consequences of his racist comments and behaviour by literally being arrested.
I’d say “do your fucking job”, but that would imply that violence isn’t normal for cops.
There was no need to hit him and I’m pretty sure we should be moving away from justifying police brutality, no matter the race of the cop or how shitty a child was being.
The disgusting slap is even more upsetting when you realise that it has been reviewed and approved by Victoria Police.
“It has been looked at,” Patton said of the arrest.
“We are comfortable with what has been done with this matter.”
COMFORTABLE. With slapping a child!!!!!!!! This is the policing system, everyone.
Patton claimed the boy was being “arrested as a suspect” but no charges have been laid. There was no elaboration on what he was being arrested for.
ACAB now and forever.