COMMON SENSE PREVAILS AS RALLY IS CALLED OFF (For Now, Anyway)
Yesterday’s Parramatta Park rally, planned to protest the disgraceful treatment of two Muslim women by the police force earlier in the year, was cancelled after it was decided that hot weather and hot tempers are not a good mix.
Video footage of the two hijab-wearing Afghani ladies being bullied and intimidated by two Sydney police officers back in April has gone viral on social media since being aired on the TV news last Thursday night.
An independent oversight body determined on Thursday that the the two policemen had acted inappropriately, prompting the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) to release the video footage for public viewing.
The two officers decided to follow the ladies’ vehicle as they believed one of the pair was not wearing her seat belt.
Upon pulling their car over, one of the officers was particularly aggressive, labelling the driver “stupid” and threatening to send the older woman “back to gaol” after learning that she had only recently arrived in Australia.
Both women were accused of “telling fibs”, “taking advantage of the system” and of “having drugs in the car”, among other threatening and outrageous comments.
At one stage, the older woman was warned: “don’t argue with me or you will be going in the back of the paddy wagon as an accessory to bloody murder!”
The LECC report indicated that the main officer had used “intimidating and abusive language” towards the women and that he had deliberately “bullied and frightened them” during the traffic stop.
Most of the public outrage on social media since Thursday has been directed at the so-called “main officer”, Senior Constable Andrew Murphy, who it seems has made a habit of upsetting members of the the Muslim community in recent years.
However, the outcry over the past three or four days has been from a much wider cross-section of the community, concerned that the man who labels himself “Raptor 13” has well and truly overstepped the mark this time.
State Opposition Leader Jodi McKay has been vocal in her criticism of Murphy over the past 48 hours, while Dr Rateb Jneid, President of the Australian Federation of Imam Councils, said that the incident “severely undermines public faith in the police service.
“Muslim women already face significant intimidation and harassment in the community and for them to face similar actions from the police is extremely disappointing,” Dr Jneid said.
This article isn’t meant to be a slight on NSW police, which has many fine men and women within its ranks.
Indeed, I am proud to know some absolutely wonderful current and past serving officers from our own community who have done and continue to do an amazing job.
I am proud to know some absolutely wonderful current and past serving officers from our own community who have done and continue to do an amazing job.
They not only keep us safe, but are involved in some fantastic and worthwhile initiatives, such as youth guidance and development, a cause very close to my own heart.
Prior to the past week, I was already aware of Senior Constable Murphy’s dubious reputation, but I must admit that even I was shocked when I saw the video footage currently doing the rounds.
Together with the very popular Lebo Memes Facebook page, I became one of the driving forces behind the proposed rally, promoting it heavily on Snapchat in recent days.
We are of the view that Murphy’s zealous behaviour, not only on this occasion but in several other incidents also victimising good Muslim men and women, should cost him his job.
But while the LECC recommends disciplinary action against Murphy and his fellow officer, NSW Police have declined to comment on the current employment status of the pair.
This lack of action prompted the idea for a peaceful protest to publicly rally for Murphy’s sacking, but given Saturday’s stifling temperature well over the the 30 degree mark, we decided that the circumstances weren’t quite right.
After all, hot weather and hot tempers are not a good mix, and people sometimes do things in the heat of the moment that are not a good look and that they later regret.
So we decided to err on the side of caution and postpone any protest or rally, for now anyway.
However, you can rest assured that we are certainly “WATCHING THIS SPACE” for an announcement as to how NSW Police plans to respond to the LECC’s withering criticism of Sydney least popular cop.
If you feel strongly enough about Andrew Murphy’s actions that you believe they should cost him his job, you can lodge a complaint online by clicking the link below.
Lodge the complaint here: https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/online_services/providing_feedback/lodge_a_complaint