Violent arrest of Aboriginal boy leads to racial tension in Australia

Sydney, Australia, Jun 2 (efe-epa).- A video posted on social media which showed a police officer pinning down an aboriginal teenager in Sydney led to heightened tension in Australia over the treatment of indigenous communities in the country amid solidarity protests about African-American George Floyd’s death in the United States.

The New South Wales police on Tuesday said in a statement that the officer implicated in the incident has been put on restricted duties until the investigations were underway. Meanwhile they would contact the aboriginal leaders of the area to keep them informed of the process.

The 16-year-old boy was detained in central Sydney after allegedly threatening an officer of breaking his jaw. According to the mobile phone video, the officer goes to him and takes him facedown to later handcuff him.

The person recording the video said, “You just slammed him on his face!”

The boy was taken to a hospital, “with bruised shoulder, cuts & grazing to knee, face & elbow & chipped teeth,” CEO Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation Justin O’Brian tweeted.

“Ah yes, that internal investigation should do the trick,” actress Michelle Law tweeted.

The incident led to a context of uneasiness in Australia, where protests have been held over the death of Floyd, who complained that he could not breathe while he was placed facedown by the police.

The same words were spoken by David Dungay Jr, a 26-year-old aboriginal man who died in Sydney prison in 2015 as five officers pinned him down.

The detention of the 16-year-old in Sydney, comes amid the National Reconciliation Week – which is commemorated between May 27 and June 3 – by the Australian aboriginals, who make up 3 percent of the 24 million strong population.

Despite being a minority, the indigenous people represent 29 percent of the country’s adult population and 48 percent of the younger population.

Australia is working towards the gap with the aboriginals who arrived in the country 50,000 years ago and have suffered constant abuses, have been robbed of their lands, and faced systematic discrimination since the British colonized the region in the 18th century.

One of the deepest wounds of the time were from the 20th century practice of taking away their children who would be put under the care of white institutions and families, termed as the “stolen generation” which had affected some 100,000 aboriginal minors in the years between 1910 and 1970. EFE-EPA


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