Two bystanders suing police over
‘excessive force’ outside watch-house the night of Broadbeach
Meagan Weymes, Gold Coast Bulletin
SHOCKING allegations of police
brutality have emerged in lawsuits by two innocent bystanders
who claim police officers assaulted them on the night of the
bikie mass Broadbeach brawl.
Rachelle Boyd, 25, and Neville
Thomas Turner, 23, say they were thrown to the ground face first and
assaulted during the chaos outside the Southport Watchhouse on the
night of the melee in September, 2013.
The same night, more than 50
Bandidos were involved in a brawl outside Aura restaurant in
Broadbeach — an incident which sparked Queensland’s tough bikie
Ms Boyd has now lodged a damages
claim in the Southport District Court suing the State of Queensland
for $335,000 over personal injuries and loss she says she suffered
as a result of alleged assaults.
In a similar claim, Mr Turner is
suing for about $161,000.
The lawsuits could see taxpayers
fork out more over the Broadbeach brawl following the failed
prosecution of Bandido Peter Mauric and subsequent dismissal of a
number of riot charges.
The claims also come at a time
when solicitors across the Coast have been inundated with inquiries
from people who say they have suffered serious injuries at the hands
One law firm is handling more than
50 excessive force claims.
In court documents prepared by
Shine Lawyers the pair claim they were in Southport when they saw
several men in Bandidos insignia arrive, closely followed by about
50 police who “herded” them down the street.
Ms Boyd and Mr Turner allege that
a one officer punched a Bandidos member several times before a fight
broke out between police and the bikies.
Police allegedly threw one Bandido
up against a fence and while he was restrained, other officers
allegedly stood on him, kneed him and “rubbed his head onto the
When Ms Boyd and Mr Turner told
police they had nothing to do with the Bandidos, a police officer
allegedly threw Ms Boyd to the ground face first, and handcuffed
She says she was forced to remain
with her head pushed into the ground for about five minutes.
Police officers also allegedly
threw Mr Turner to the ground face first, kicked him in the knees
and repeatedly punched and kicked him.
He claims he was then dragged face
down through the door of the watch-house then placed in a cell.
Ms Boyd was charged with
obstructing police. The matter was later dropped.
The former administration
assistant claims she suffered post-traumatic stress and adjustment
disorder after the incident and was dismissed from two different
She’s been unemployed since
December last year.
Mr Turner says he suffered from a
major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress, facial scarring
and a lower back injury.
The labourer said he experienced
difficulties at work and took a voluntary redundancy before spending
five months unemployed.
Shine Lawyers Gold Coast branch
manager Peter Matus said by examining the behaviour in the courts
the community could uphold the high ethical standards expected from
“Actions like these are crucial in
shining a light on rogue behaviour and holding to account
individuals who truly fail to serve and protect,” he said.
Potts Lawyers director Bill Potts
said his firm received inquiries on a weekly basis from people who
have been “touched up” by the police.
“All too often we are seeing
young, often poorly supervised police officers who are entirely
ignorant of the law using excessive force which can’t be justified
under any circumstances,” Mr Potts said.
Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller said
the QPS had a rigorous process in place to investigate complaints of
excessive force through the Ethical Standards Command.
“It’s important to remember that
these instances are very rare and that by and large our police
service is made up of extremely professional and hardworking women
“As this matter is before the
court it would be inappropriate for me to comment further.”