Skip To Content
  • Black Lives Matter badge

The NSW Police Commissioner Has Said That The Officer Who Violently Arrested An Aboriginal Teen Was "Having A Bad Day"

"So, having a bad day now justifies assault? I don't think so."

Yesterday, footage of a 16-year-old Aboriginal teenager being violently arrested by a NSW policeman went viral on social media.

@saronneyyy Today in Sydney Australia. A 16 year old Aboriginal boy slammed to the ground.

The video begins with a verbal argument between the teenager and officer, taking place in Ward Park, Surry Hills. The policeman then orders the Aboriginal boy to turn around.

@MissAshlee__ / Via Twitter: @MissAshlee__

The teenager's feet are then kicked off the ground by the officer, resulting in him falling face-first onto the pavement.

@MissAshlee__ / Via Twitter: @MissAshlee__

According to NSW Police, the teenager was then briefly arrested, before being taken to a hospital for further observation. He was then released into the custody of family.

While this footage would normally be shocking, set against the backdrop of ongoing Black Lives Matter protests in the US, it's a stark reminder of Australian's own violent history of excessive police force and brutality against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

@MissAshlee__ @FrostWolfLost @saronneyyy Violence against children is never ok. This is a serious criminal offence. This guy should lose his job. He lost his cool because of a comment. How unprofessional. What this boy has done is irrelevant. The officer has a duty of care, particularly to children. Absolute disgrace.

In response to the incident, NSW Police Commissioner, Mick Fuller, has said that the officer, who has been placed on restricted duties, "had a bad day".

Brendon Thorne / Getty Images

He further added that the constable who is being questioned doesn't have a "chequered history" and has been in the police force for three and a half years.

Both the treatment of the Aboriginal teenager by the officer and these subsequent comments made by the Commissioner have outraged the Australian public.

@abcnews Had a bad day? He freaking assaulted a kid, pushed him down on his face. He should be fired and then charged with assault. Sorry officer I killed my husband because I had a bad day? FFS.

@abcnews Not acceptable. Not acceptable. Not acceptable. Not acceptable. Not acceptable.

@abcnews Yeah fair I bash teenage boys faces in when I’m stressed at work too. Doesn’t everybody?

I often had “a bad day” working in child protection- verbally abused, physically threatened, spat on etc. Can’t say I ever needed to kick a teenager onto the ground though. https://t.co/TJy2vlErVw

sucks when you're 'having a bad day' while also significantly empowered to use force by the state https://t.co/S7k0n5FGzh

@abcnews So having a bad day now justifies assault.... I DON’T THINK SO

@abcnews Having a bad day is not an acceptable excuse and should never have been used by a “police boss”. It appears there maybe some qualification issues in the NSW police, starting at the top.

This also came off the back of comments made by Police Minister David Elliot, which also drew public outcry.

Brook Mitchell / Getty Images

As reported by The Guardian, Elliot said: "I was just as disturbed about the threat from a young person to physically assault a police officer as I was with the response from the police officer."

If you're interested in showing solidarity to the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as taking a stand against the systemic racism and mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, here's some information about protests in Australia taking place this week.

BuzzFeed Daily

Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

Newsletter signup form