Australian police appeal for calm after teen shootings

Australian police Monday renewed calls for calm after two Aboriginal teenagers were shot in Sydney's red-light district, saying footage of the incident was shocking but had to be judged in context.

Graphic mobile phone footage appears to show a police officer viciously punching one of the teenagers after he had been shot. The youth, heavily bleeding, is then pinned face down on the ground.

"It's important to keep calm about this -- what we've seen in the media over the weekend hasn't done anyone any favours, I don't think," New South Wales Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch told ABC radio.

"We need to judge this matter very much in context."

The video was taken as the suspects were arrested after the stolen car they were in mounted the pavement in Kings Cross early Saturday, hitting one woman and dragging her beneath the vehicle, prompting the police to fire.

Of the six indigenous youths in the car, two were hit by bullets -- the 14-year-old driver in the chest and arm and his 18-year-old passenger in the neck.

The footage shows at least one of those taken from the car and rushed away on a stretcher but it also shows another being dragged along the ground, repeatedly punched and handcuffed as he bleeds.

The punched boy's father told Australian media he was shocked.

"My son is no angel... but I just can't believe the brutality factor of what happened to him... there was no threat to police," Peter Taylor told the Seven Network.

The injured teenagers remain in a serious condition.

Police have launched an internal investigation but Murdoch rejected the idea that officers should have shot at the car's tyres.

"Police don't shoot at tyres -- if we are going to draw our firearm, that is an absolute last resort," he said.

All those in the car, including a man aged 24 and three youths aged 13, 14 and 16 are from the impoverished Aboriginal suburb of Redfern and there were fears of a repeat of 2004 riots triggered by the death of a teenager.

"The incident over the weekend clearly has not done our relationship with the Redfern community any good," Murdoch said. "But our relationship with the Redfern community is fantastic, I would suggest the best it's ever been."

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Lenten procession more than just a spectacle VERA Files - The Inbox

    Text and photos by Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena, VERA Files Baliuag, Bulacan--This town is hosting what could be the country’s biggest Lenten procession consisting of more than 100 religious statues riding on carriages or carrozas. But concerns are being raised that … Continue reading → …

  • Holy Week in Mt Banahaw: Mysticism meets Catholicism VERA Files - The Inbox

    Text and photos by Patricia Isabel Gloria, VERA Files Dolores, Quezon—Around this time each year, hundreds of devotees flock to Barangay Sta. Lucia in Dolores, Quezon on the slopes of Mount Banahaw to celebrate Holy Week. Here, mysticism meets Catholicism, … Continue reading → …

  • Simbang lakad for Lolo Uweng VERA Files - The Inbox
    Simbang lakad for Lolo Uweng

    By April Anne Benjamin, VERA Files San Pedro, Laguna--For 14 Maundy Thursdays now, Inding Amoranto has prayed the rosary while walking the eight-kilometer distance from her house to the Shrine of Jesus in the Holy Sepulcher in the village of … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options