Officer who slammed Indigenous teen to the ground during arrest 'had a bad day', NSW police chief says

The NSW police chief admits the forceful arrest of an Indigenous teen at a Sydney park could have been handled better, with the boy's family set to speak out.

Police restrain the teenager on the ground.

Police restrain the teenager on the ground. Source: Facebook

The sister of an Indigenous NSW teenager who had his legs kicked out from beneath him while being arrested says children shouldn't be mistreated because they're being "lippy".

Police are investigating after the 17-year-old was taken to hospital with minor injuries following his arrest on Monday at a Surry Hills park in inner Sydney.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller on Wednesday admitted there were "other ways" the officer could have dealt with the matter, rather than performing a leg sweep.

Video shows police officer slamming Indigenous teenager to the ground

He said the officer in question had worked in the force for three-and-a-half years and had no record of complaints, and likely regretted the way he arrested the teen.

"The fact that this officer doesn't have a chequered history and he has been in (the police force) for three and a half years, if the complaint is sustained against him, you would have to say he has had a bad day," Mr Fuller said.

The teenager allegedly told a male police officer "I'll crack you in the f***ing jaw, bro" before he was swept to the ground. The teen was subsequently released without charge.

The teenager was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital following the arrest.
Source: Facebook

"This is a case of two things - is it reasonable for someone to swear and threaten a police officer? And then, is the force the officer used reasonable?" Mr Fuller told 2GB radio.

"I don't know what happened before in terms of the lead-up but there was probably other ways the officer could have dealt with that matter, no doubt.

"I totally accept that officers need to show restraint."

Footage of the arrest was captured on a mobile phone and posted on social media.

After being threatened, the officer can be seen telling the teenager to turn around and put his hands behind his back. He then kicks the young man's legs out from beneath him and handcuffs him while pinning him to the ground.

A bystander can be heard yelling: "You just slammed him on his face. He's in pain."

Sore and distraught

The teenager's sister Ali Mongta-Finn told the ABC's triple j Hack program on Tuesday her brother was distraught and his teeth were chipped.

"When he came back home later that night, he was shaken up," Ms Mongta-Finn said.

"He was very sore this morning and he was distraught.

"Teenagers, they're lippy, but you don't just abuse children because they're lippy."

The teenager's parents and other relatives will speak about the incident in a press conference at NSW parliament on Wednesday alongside Greens MP David Shoebridge.

NSW Police on Tuesday said the professional standards command was investigating and the constable involved had been placed on restricted duties.

Redfern Legal Centre has also referred the matter to the independent police watchdog.

Police Minister David Elliott on Wednesday said Sydney "was not Minnesota", referencing the death of George Floyd in US police hands in Minneapolis on May 25.

"I understand (the teen) is active in the PCYC so I'd be very keen to see what professional standards come back with, and I think the important thing here is to make sure the police and the young fellow, their relationship is reinstated," Mr Elliott told reporters.

"I was just as disturbed about the threat from a young person to physically assault a police officer as I was with the response from the police officer."

Published 3 June 2020 at 9:48am, updated 3 June 2020 at 10:14am