• The violent arrest of a young Aboriginal man by South Australian police. (Susie Goldsmith/Facebook)Source: Susie Goldsmith/Facebook
UPDATE: South Australian Police have confirmed that video of the arrest of a 28-year-old Aboriginal man appears to show an officer striking the man while he was on the ground and say an internal investigation has commenced.
By
Royce Kurmelovs

Source:
NITV News
16 Jun 2020 - 10:22 AM  UPDATED 16 Jun 2020 - 1:13 PM

Twenty-eight-year-old, Henry Noel, has reportedly left the Port Adelaide Police Station by the backdoor 45 minutes ago after four advocates against Deaths in Custody attended the station and demanded to see him.

One of those advocates included Latoya Rule, whose brother Wayne Fella Morrison died in custody 26 September 2016.

"I heard he had really bad injuries to his face, his arms, his legs and he wasn't that well. He didn't have any medical assistance. They told him he would be seeing a nurse last night. He didn't," Rule said.

"I called an ambulance to the police station, but when they showed up, Henry ended up being taken out the backdoor by police and driven home.

"He was charged with resisting arrest only. He didn't have any charge to be arrested in the first place -- not for the bike light or helment, or anything. There was literally no reason for them to have a resisting arrest charge laid.

"He is with a doctor now and still in shock."

The violent arrest of Mr Noel by South Australian Police emerged in a distressing video  posted to social media overnight.

Doris Kropinyeri, a witness to the alleged incident, told NITV News on Tuesday that it occurred on Albert Street, Kilburn after 28-year-old Aboriginal man Noel Henry was stopped by police for riding a bike with no helmet and no light after leaving a friend’s flat.

“It was no more than a few minutes after he left the house,” Ms Kropinyeri said.

“Two of us ran out there, that’s when they had him pinned on the ground. [The other woman] has run towards them and the officer turned around and pepper sprayed her at very close range.”

What led to the arrest remains unclear, but footage recorded by witnesses shows three officers pinning the man to the ground with his head pressed into a raised concrete foundation of a fence. 

In one video, an officer can be heard telling the man to “get on the f***ing ground” before striking him in the face. Another shows an officer striking the man twice.

Ms Kropinyeri said she and another woman called an ambulance twice but none arrived.

“Nothing happened. No one came. The police said they have a nurse at the police station that will check him over.”

“At one point we think he was unconscious because he wasn’t moving.

In a written statement, SAPOL said officers attended a Kilburn address early on Monday night for a domestic violence matter involving a woman being taken to hospital and the offender being unidentified at the time.

"As police approached the address they saw a man leaving the area of the house on a bicycle," said the statement.

"Police at this time advised the man that they had suspicions concerning him being in possession of illicit drugs. He was asked to place his hands on his head while a search of his person was undertaken."

SAPOL said the man began to resist the arrest "after a short time" and a struggle ensued between officers and the man "went to the ground as police attempted to restrain and handcuff him."

The statement said one officer's body camera was destroyed during the scuffle and that "agitated" nearby residents soon "confronted" the officers, who in turn "called for urgent assistance" before deploying pepper spray.

The police statement confirmed that video of the incident shot from the rear appeared to show a police officer striking the man on the ground and said an internal investigation was underway.

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Cheryl Axleby, CEO of Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement (ALRM), the organisation which runs the South Australian equivalent of the Custody Notification Scheme, said her organisation made repeated attempts to speak with the man while he was in custody.

Ms Axleby told NITV News on Guesday morning that she personally called SAPOL in relation to the man's welfare in custody and was only informed that the man would appear in court on Tuesday at an undetermined time.

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