A man who was assaulted by Victorian police is outraged after police investigated their own conduct and declared it was the man’s own fault that they bashed him.
Jay Smith (not his real name) was arrested and assaulted by police at a freedom rally in May last year.
He demanded the Independent Broad Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) investigate police conduct after police dropped charges against him on the day of his trial.
However IBAC advised they did not have resources to investigate his case, and so police were given the task of investigating themselves.
After a two-month investigation of their own behaviour, police advised Smith that because he had suffered “no apparent or obvious injury” and because he had been present at an unlawful gathering, the assault was “entirely through the fault of your actions”.
Smith had attended an anti-lockdown rally in Melbourne on May 29 when police ordered the group to leave. Smith complied with the order but was set upon by officers as he walked back to his car.
Police knocked him to the ground and punched him in the face, giving him a black eye. On the day of his trial police dropped all charges against him and paid his costs.
Smith is outraged that police have been able to investigate themselves in relation to his case – a clear conflict of interest - and declare themselves faultless.
He said it was outrageous that police believed it was okay to punch him in the face since he had not suffered any obvious injury.
Moreover, he disputed how police would blame the assault on his “unlawful actions” when police themselves had dropped all charges against him and paid his court costs.
That would indicate that he had not engaged in any unlawful actions and yet had still been assaulted, he said.
Smith said all he wanted was for police to be investigated the same as anyone else who committed an unprovoked assault would be investigated.
He is demanding the police who bashed him and the officer who ordered the assault be held responsible.