Officer allegedly put gun to man's head in front of child

POLICE behaviour has been condemned by lawyers after officers allegedly smashed windows and furniture during a series of raids on homes of accused bikies.

One policeman is alleged to have put a gun to the head of a suspect in front of his six-year-old son during the raids.

Criminal lawyer, former police prosecutor Bob Butler, said the behaviour of police from Taskforce Maxima had been disgraceful. He said Maxima officers and police on the Gold Coast had a mindset encouraged by the government that using unnecessary force was acceptable.

Mr Butler also said police were giving certain media outlets exclusive stories as part of what appeared to be a deliberate strategy to coerce the media.

FITZGERALD REPORT

Tony Fitzgerald's ground-breaking report into police and official corruption in Queensland warned that the media was "able to be used by politicians, police officers and other public officials who wish to put out propaganda to advance their own interests and harm their enemies".

"A hunger for 'leaks' and 'scoops' (which sometimes precipitate the events they predict), and some journalists' relationships with the sources who provide them with information, can make it difficult for the media to maintain its independence and a critical stance.

"Searches for motivation, and even checks for accuracy may suffer as a result," Mr Fitzgerald said.

He found that while media had played a role in exposing corruption in Queensland and contributed to the setting up of the inquiry he headed, it was "unfortunately also true that parts of the media have over the years contributed to a climate in which misconduct has flourished".

REBELS

Rebels spokesman Tony Jardine said the raids last Friday were purely for hype.

"It was an attempt to make it appear as something it wasn't,'' he said.

"We are lucky in Queensland that cases are still judged on their merits on the basis of fact.

"This has been government propaganda.

"The owner of the replica (AK-47) is not, nor has he ever been, a Rebel.

"The law is ridiculous.

"The replica is now classed as a Category R weapon and has the same penalty as a real one, but replica handguns aren't illegal.

"I was done a few months back for a mace I've owned since I was 15.

"It's been in my cupboard for 20 years and now it's an offence.''


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