Over the weekend, Sydney police shot two Indigenous men in an attempt to stop them from stealing a car. One of the men is not a man – he is fourteen years old. The two men are in hospital in a “critical but stable condition.”
There’s also video of one of the officers dragging and punching one of the men after arresting him.Today, a few hundred people gathered in the centre of Sydney to protest the shooting.
The Indigenous Social Justice Association responded by organising the protest on Macquarie Street
Aboriginal activist Graham Merritt accused Sydney police of racism.
“It’s time to stand up all you young fellas and be counted. Don’t let this happen to you any more,” he said.
A large group of teenagers were among the 150 people protesting.
The teens cursed the police, especially the officer captured on video, until Redfern community leaders calmed the group down.
Boxer Anthony Mundine was among those in the crowd. He stood back from the main protest, but says he wanted to show his support for the group after watching video of the incident.
“I feel that it’s brutality at it’s best. Who shoots teenage kids, unarmed teenage, cornered, trapped, ready to be arrested?” he said.
“There is no justification for just to open fire like that, point blank range, and furthermore bash them, as they were shot.
“I saw the bloke and it just broke my heart to be honest. It really broke my heart. Fighting for his life you know?”
The state Premier has announced an inquiry, but Indigenous rights activists are calling for an external investigation, saying that it’s not sufficient for the police to be investigating themselves.