An Australian constable has been put on “restricted duties” after a video emerged showing the police officer kicking an Aboriginal teenager and then pinning him to the ground during a solidarity protest in Sydney.
“This is not the United States of America,” Assistant Commissioner Michael Wiling told reporters as an investigation was launched into the incident. “We have very, very good relations with our local community. I’m concerned that people will pre-empt the results of the investigation and draw conclusions prior to that.”
The video footage appeared on social media showing the teenager being handcuffed and kicked to the ground after an argument with the police officer.
In the video, the officer can be seen telling the teenager to turn around and put his hands behind his back, before he kicks the young man’s legs out from beneath him and handcuffs him face down on the ground.
A female officer is seen holding down the teen’s legs.
The person who posted the video on Facebook said the teenager sustained cuts and grazes to his knee and a bruised shoulder, as well as chipped teeth, before being transferred to St Vincent’s Hospital.
Thousands of people protested in Sydney on Tuesday over Black American George Floyd’s death in US police custody.
SYDNEY: Australian Black Lives Matter protestors marched tonight in what was the definition of a peaceful protest. We now need to hear their message. #BlackLivesMatter #IndigenousLivesMatter @ 10NewsFirstSyd pic.twitter.com/bq29CAs5DO
– Kimberley Pratt (@ Kim_Pratt10) June 2, 2020
The protesters defied restrictions on public crowds imposed because of the coronavirus outbreak to gather at Hyde Park in Sydney’s central district, witnesses told the Reuters News Agency.
Protesters, some wearing surgical masks, marched peacefully towards government buildings, holding signs saying “I can’t breathe!” and chanting “Black lives matter” and “take a knee” while mounted police stood by.
“This is everybody’s problem,” Kira Dargin, an Aboriginal Wiradjuri woman at the protest told Reuters.
“As a black woman, I’m tired of seeing my brothers go down. As a black mother I fear for my child. Got to stop.”
African American George Floyd died last week after a white policeman pinned him down with his knee for nearly nine minutes after arresting him.
Al Jazeera and news agencies