Two bystanders suing police over ‘excessive
force’ outside watch-house the night of Broadbeach brawl
Gold Coast Bulletin
August 28, 201512:00AM
Gold Coast Bikie Brawl between the
Bandidos and Finks at Broadbeach. Photo: A Current
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
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 laws.
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
In a similar claim, Mr Turner is suing for about
Former Bandido bikie gang member Jacques
Teamo leaves the magistrates court in Brisbane on, July
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
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 of police.
One law firm is handling more than 50 excessive
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 concrete footpath”.
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 her.
A couple is suing over claims of police
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 jobs.
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
The labourer said he experienced difficulties at
work and took a voluntary redundancy before spending five months
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 police.
“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 and men.
“As this matter is before the court it would be
inappropriate for me to comment further.”