Violent arrest of Aboriginal boy triggers racial tension in Australia
Sydney, Australia, Jun 2 (efe-epa).- A video posted on social media showing a police officer pinning down an aboriginal teenager in Sydney has triggered heightened tension in Australia over the treatment of indigenous communities in the country.
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 incident comes amid protests in solidarity with the global response following the death of African-American George Floyd, who died in the United States allegedly after a police officer held his knee to his neck during an arrest.
The 16-year-old indigenous 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 latest case comes amid the National Reconciliation Week – which is commemorated between May 27 and June 3 – by the Australian aboriginals, who make up three percent of the 24 million strong population.
Despite being a minority, the indigenous people represent 29 percent of the country’s adult prison population and 48 percent of the juveniles.
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