Former police officer accuses force of failing to investigate police brutality

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Police brutality caught on CCTV

Former police officer Paul Gibbons is taking matters into his own hands after his complaints of police brutality fell on deaf ears.

Mr Gibbons was arrested and manhandled by Gold Coast Police in the lobby of an apartment building where he was staying with his wife while on holiday on the Gold Coast in June.

Aggression and unlawful arrest

Five officers arrived at the building looking for someone involved in a domestic incident. Mr Gibbons saw the officers just outside the front doors, demanding to be let in. The officers were aggressive and used profanity against Gibbons. When the former officer let them into the building, several police confronted and continued to swear at him.

Appalled and intimidated, Mr Gibbons raised his phone and began videotaping the incident, after which the officers threw him to the ground and snatched his phone.

An officer then deleted the footage. Mr Gibbons says his contacts list, photos and videos of his honeymoon were also deleted.

CCTV footage caught the incident on film, supporting Mr Gibbons’ assertions that the attack was unprovoked.

Armed with the footage, Gibbons lodged a complaint with Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) just days after the incident. But rather than investigating the case itself, the CCC handed it to the very people that allegedly assaulted Gibbons – the Queensland Police Service (QPS).

Lack of police response

Mr Gibbons says police told him not to report the matter. He disappointed and angry that it has been referred back to police, and says the incident has not been investigated.

Gibbons now lives in Germany and believes police are using this fact to ignore the incident. He believes the conduct amounts to perverting the course of justice.

Fed up with waiting for the QPS to contact him for a statement, Mr Gibbons, prepared his own at the Australian Embassy last month at a personal cost of more than $500, before releasing it to the media in an attempt to pressure the QPS to act.

The statement alleges he was in fear for his safety due to the “intensity of unprovoked aggression” perpetrated by the police officers.

“I’m going to smash your fucking face in…”

Gibbons states that upon approaching the doors to the apartment complex, police said “Just open the door fuckhead”, “When we get in there, I’m locking you up” and “open the door cunt”.

He says he was fearful for his safety during the ensuing arrest, was asphyxiated, put in a painful wrist-lock and had his genitals squeezed.

He also alleges that police threatened him by saying, “When we get you out to the truck, I’m going to smash your fucking face in cunt.”

Police did not press any charges against Mr Gibbons.

The former officers says that as well as the physical pain, the incident has exacerbated the PTSD he sustained as a result of his employment with the NSW Police Force and Australian Federal Police.

The complaint is one of many similar accusations made against Queensland Police in recent times.

The CCC has now undertaken to oversee the QPS investigation.

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Sonia Hickey

Sonia Hickey is a freelance writer, magazine journalist, and owner of 'Woman with Words'. She has a strong interest in social justice and is a member of the Sydney Criminal Lawyers® content team. Sonia is the winner of the Mondaq Thought Leadership Awards, Spring 2022.

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