A Supreme Court judge has been urged to decide quickly if CCTV footage of an ex-policeman apparently punching and kneeing a prisoner in the head can be released to the media.

Western Australia's corruption watchdog held public hearings last week into alleged misconduct by police at the Broome watchhouse after two apparently violent arrests involving the same officer earlier this year.

During the hearings, CCTV footage was played of the officer appearing to drag one man through the station by the neck, and then punching and kneeing another inmate who was shown flying headfirst onto a concrete floor while handcuffed.

The arrests, three weeks apart, prompted the state's Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) to investigate and at the end of the hearings, Commissioner Roger Macknay ordered the footage could be released to the media.

Karen Vernon, the lawyer for the former policeman whose name has been suppressed, immediately lodged a Supreme Court injunction against the release, arguing if the footage was aired publicly it could affect any future criminal trial.

But at a hearing into whether the injunction should remain, lawyer for the CCC Patricia Cahill said the commissioner had been right to order the footage be widely shown, saying it was in the interest of the public and the police that it be seen.

Justice Andrew Beech was urged by Ms Cahill to make a decision quickly, with further written submissions to be completed by June 24.

 

Advertisement