New footage of an Australian police officer dragging a 16-year-old girl by the neck during an arrest has sparked a legal challenge by the girl’s mother.
Melissa Dunn was chased by police and arrested on a night out in January 2012 after striking a police van.
During Ms Dunn’s trial a magistrate found that police had used an “inordinate amount of force” during the course of the girl’s arrest.
But three days after the trial the young woman, who is of Aboriginal heritage, committed suicide. There is no evidence to suggest her death was related to her trial.
The new tape, released by ABC’s ‘7.30’ news programme, shows the arrest occurring in a forceful manner.
She is tackled to the ground by police officers, and can then be seen being dragged by the neck in a headlock to a police van.
Before she is loaded into the police van she appears to go limp and fall to the floor.
She had been celebrating her friend’s birthday on the evening of her arrest.
The magistrate said Ms Dunn had been, at worst, a nuisance to police officers.
Ms Dunn’s mother, Judy Timbery, said she was disgusted at the actions of the arresting officers.
"I was appalled, I couldn't believe it. Seeing how he handled my daughter, we're supposed to trust the police, and when you see something like that, who can you trust?" she told ABC.
A police investigation found that the arrest was unnecessary but lawful; the police officer involved was given counselling and retrained in restraint techniques – but did not lose his job.
"NSW Police conducted an investigation into the officer's actions in 2012," New South Wales Police said in a statement.
"A coronial inquest into the teenager's death resulted in no adverse findings against police."Reuse content