Blog: When I grew up I wanted to be a Police Officer. Now I’m grown up and I am scared of who I once used to idol.

By Taylor Stott

We’ve all seen the political unrest currently taking place in the United States and the relentless protesting against police brutality. Many of my fellow citizens have watched over the US in these times, puzzled by their need to speak, grateful that we can trust our police officers here in Australia; or so their lack of inquisitiveness would have them believe.

With the internet within arms reach at all times, it is only due to our own ignorance that we too are not fighting against police brutality and misuse of power here in our country.

In early September it was revealed by the media that NSW Police spent $24 million of taxpayer money on legal settlements brought against officers in the last financial year. The figure includes settlements for battery (the unauthorised application of force against another persons body), false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and more. Imagine if these Police officers were held accountable for their actions, as a state we could invest the millions into our education and health facilities instead of overseeing these criminal acts. This outrageous waste of funds further demonstrates to present and future NSW Police recruits that their actions shall not be punished by law.

Since when did becoming a Police officer provide legal immunity? Furthermore, how can we trust the Police to protect us when they are the criminals?

Until now data on the cost of civil claims against Police Officers have been infamously hard to access as they generally include gag orders. Police have also in the past refused attempts to access the figures by justice advocacy groups and politicians. NSW Green upper house MP David Shoebridge has been the first successful to do so.

We as Australians live in a democracy in which it is crucial for questions to be asked and answered by our Government. So why is it not until now these facts have been disclosed?

If you find yourself crossing to the other side of the road to avoid Police, you are not alone. Please use your voice to end Police corruption and violence.

Here are some websites you can use to further educate yourself or show your support to ending Police corruption and brutality!

  • Sniff Off – Facebook page dedicated to ending Police Corruption
  • Other Sociologist- A website by Dr Zuleyka Zevallos in which she has created an entire page dedicated to Police Violence
  • #EnoughisEnough – This hashtag can be used on social media to spread awareness! Sydney Criminal Lawyers have also created a post discussing the matter so that you know what your legal rights are.

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