'Serious assault' allegations against police
A man at the centre of an episode of apparent police brutality during Mardi Gras night in Sydney will make an allegation of "serious assault" by police, despite facing charges of assaulting police himself.
Jamie Glenn Jackson Reed, 18, appeared in Downing Centre court today charged with assaulting two police officers, resisting arrest and using offensive language on March 2.
Witnesses began filming the arrest off Oxford Street after becoming concerned that Reed was being violently handled by police.
A video of the altercation showed Reed crying as he was slammed to the ground by a Fairfield policeman, who then placed his foot on his back.
The incident sparked an internal review by police into the conduct of the officers and a protest against police brutality on the steps of the Surry Hills police centre.
After the video went viral and attracted public outrage, another video emerged showing Reed punching and kicking Constable Leon Mixios and Constable Tony Johnson as they tried to contain him.
At his client's first court appearance, lawyer Chris Murphy said Reed would "vigorously defend" the charges against him.
He said Reed was the victim of an unlawful arrest because no offence was committed.
Instead, he said his client would pursue an "allegation of serious assault by police".
In the days after the arrest, the assistant commissioner Mark Murdoch said the initial charge against Reed was "offensive language" and the other charges came about as a result of attempts to arrest Reed.
The state MP and gay rights campaigner, Alex Greenwich, said it was very concerning that a large police officer "body slammed" a teenage boy simply for swearing.
Yet the head of the police association, Scott Weber, warned people against engaging in a "trial by social media" and waiting for all the evidence to come out.
Reed said that he had initially put the experience down to "the worst night ever" and was shocked to see himself splashed across every news site days later.
"I didn't deserve to be treated that way, that's for sure," he told Channel 7.
"I'm just completely in shock for the whole thing."
He did not appear in court this morning as he was not required to.
Sydney Morning Herald