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Protesters rally 'for justice' call for independent investigation

Protesters rally 'for justice' call for independent investigation

Saffron Howden & Brad Walter Sydney Morning Herald
25th April 2012

Mundine: investigate officers for attempted murder

Over a hundred people rallied outside NSW parliament to protest perceived police brutality following the shooting of two indigenous teens in a stolen car.

As frustrated and angry Sydney Aborigines rallied against police brutality in drenching rain yesterday, fears for the health of a 17-year-old shot in the neck by police in Kings Cross deepened.

Boxer Anthony Mundine joined indigenous leaders and family members of the five teenagers and the man at the centre of Saturday morning's chaos in protest outside Parliament House in Macquarie Street.

"Of course people are angry," Mundine said. "Right now things are under control but things have to be done and things have to be dealt with in order to keep it that way."

"They put the public more at risk by shooting" ... Anthony Mundine joined more than 150 protestors outside Parliament House yesterday. Photo: Dallas Kilponen
Mundine said he paid a hospital visit yesterday to the 17-year-old youth who was in the front passenger seat of the stolen car when it struck two women.

"He was stable but I don't think they are going to retrieve the bullet because it is too dangerous, he said. "They are going to leave the bullet lodged in his neck. He won't be able to walk properly, he might have to have a brace on for the rest of his life. Just imagine the trauma he is going to go through."

Mundine, who also visited the 14-year-old driver this week, said the police officers who shot six times into the stolen car should be investigated for attempted murder.

"They put the public more at risk by shooting," he said. "[The driver] could have panicked and floored it and the car would have gone out of control; ricocheted bullets could have hit people.

"They should be stood down indefinitely until this case is looked at and all the questions have been answered because people are after action and heads must roll."

More than 150 people rallied yesterday, calling for an independent investigation into police conduct and for the officer depicted in mobile phone footage punching the 17-year-old passenger after he had been shot to be stood down.

"Last Saturday morning, there could have been six extra deaths in custody when these idiot police fired through the windscreen of the stolen car," rally organiser Ray Jackson said.

"As it was, two of our young people were wounded. The treatment of one of those ... was absolutely inhumanly disgraceful, a criminal act by that police officer, who must be charged."

Michael Anderson, a founder of the Aboriginal tent embassy in Canberra' attended the protest, as did Greens MPs and Gail Hickey, the mother of T.J. Hickey, who died in 2004 when he was impaled on a fence in Redfern while being chased by police, sparking a riot.

"They put the public more at risk by shooting" ... Anthony Mundine joined more than 150 protestors outside Parliament House yesterday.
(Photo: Dallas Kilponen SMH)