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Police investigate wild arrest of ‘drunk’ motorist

Officer filmed delivering blows to driver

Footage of an officer apparently repeatedly punching a motorist in a violent confrontation has been referred to Queensland Police’s Ethical Standards Command.

It came despite the Queensland Police Commissioner defending the officer’s actions on Friday.

The video appears to show the officer on the scene of a three-vehicle accident at the intersection of Gympie and Samsonvale roads, in Strathpine, north of Brisbane, on Thursday afternoon.

The officer can been seen approaching the passenger side of a white car, as a man inside the vehicle – described by police as the “highly agitated male driver” – tries to climb out through the open window.

The officer is seen grabbing at an object the man is holding, before allegedly striking him several times. Police say the object was a wine bottle, which the man was drinking from and the officer was trying to take from him.

“Police will allege the man was drinking from a wine bottle and was under the influence of the substance. After the officer attempted to take the bottle away several times, it was allegedly thrown towards him,” Queensland Police said in a statement late on Thursday.

“After giving numerous directions for the man to remain in the car, it will be alleged he continued to attempt to leave the vehicle by kicking the door into the officer, who used physical force to contain the man in the vehicle.

“The man continued to attempt to leave the car and after several verbal warnings, a Taser was deployed by police.”

The incident occurred in front of numerous witnesses, including firefighters who were also on the scene.

“He needs to stop,” a woman is heard to say on the footage.

“Stop hitting him”

More officers then arrived, one of whom police say was spat on by the man.

The driver was taken into custody. He was taken by ambulance to a Brisbane hospital with minor injuries.

On Friday, Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said she had viewed body camera footage of the “volatile” incident.

She said “closed-hand tactics” were “confronting” but “useful”.

“From what I’ve seen, and certainly the escalation of the situation, that is one of the options that I expected that the officer should use,” she said on Friday.

Ms Carroll said it was an “effective use of force, particularly if you are on your own”.

“They were angry scenes … the officer gave very clear instructions as to what he expected, the officer was on his own in what was a situation where someone was [allegedly] affected by drugs or under the influence, involved in a road crash,” she said.

“As a result of that, I’ve escalated the situation to go to Ethical Standards immediately for an assessment.”

Queensland Police investigations into the confrontation continue.

Topics: Queensland
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