RLC in the Media: LECC determines serious misconduct in sexual touch case

A NSW Police Officer has been found to have engaged in serious misconduct over treatment of a 15-year-old Aboriginal boy, which included flicking his exposed nipple and making a turkey noise, whilst the boy was sedated.

Poppy Morandin reports

The incident was investigated by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (‘LECC’) which produced a parliamentary report detailing the young person’s complaint named ‘Operation Kimbla’.

The young person was referred to as ‘Civilian KIM1’, with the relevant officer labelled ‘Officer KIM4’.

The incident was captured on CCTV, which was referred to throughout the report.

In evidence given before the LECC, one of the officers agreed that the actions of Officer KIM4: “were degrading and dehumanising, and further that the laughter only served to exacerbate such conduct.”

“The fact that this highly disturbing incident appears to have been seen as a bit of lark by the officers involved, reveals a potential failing with NSW Police’s internal child protection policy and raises severe concerns around internal policing culture.” commented Samantha Lee, senior solicitor with RLC’s Police Accountability practice.

Ultimately, the LECC recommended the Commissioner of Police consider taking ‘non-reviewable’ action against Officer KIM4, but not fining or dismissing him.

The situation came to light after a solicitor from the Aboriginal Legal Service submitted a complaint to the LECC on the young person’s behalf.

Redfern Legal Centre and the Aboriginal Legal Service have pushed for the involved officer to be dismissed, and for the matter to be considered for potential criminal charges.

Read the full article (Criminal Defense Lawyers Australia, 24 April 2022)