16 February 2004

Brogden's riot response: bulldoze Redfern

NSW opposition leader John Brogden today labelled as thugs those who left up to 40 police injured in a violent riot at Redfern and said bulldozers should flatten the inner Sydney suburb.

His comments came as the NSW Premier Bob Carr announced three inquiries would be conducted into the cause of the riots and the death of teenager Thomas Hickey, said today.

Mr Carr said the coroner would investigate how the 17-year-old died after a cycling accident in nearby Waterloo on Saturday, and what police involvement there may have been in his death.

The teenager's death sparked a violent riot in Redfern as members of the community lashed out at police, who they blame for the incident.

Police have denied they were chasing the teenager when he came off his bike on Saturday and was impaled on a steel fence, suffering fatal injuries. He died early yesterday.

Mr Carr said today the police critical incident team also would conduct an inquiry into any police involvement in the incident, which would in turn be overseen by the Ombudsman.

But Mr Carr said police had his full confidence and backing in the way they handled the riots.

'I've got full confidence in the way police tackled this incident ... we have full confidence in the police and they have our full backing,' Mr Carr told reporters.

Carr and Brogden's forthcoming text How not to deal with riots should be an interesting read.

The Brogden statement (I think he means The Block, not the whole suburb of Redfern) grimly exposes the guy's inexperience and his willingness to jump anything, including the shark, for coverage, any coverage. Either that or he's suffering a severe testosterone imbalance this week.

The Carr statement is, in its way, worse. The coroner and a police department internal review will investigate the incident. Couldn't he just wait for the inquiry outcomes?

No comments: