Two teenagers in Australia have been charged by police after a video was posted on social media that appears to show a prolonged racist attack on a train guard.
The five minutes of footage has been roundly condemned, and even drew comments from the prime minister, Tony Abbott, who said it showed behaviour that was “un-Australian”.
The video begins with an apparently drunk young man shouting and swearing at a guard who has asked him to take his feet off a seat.
When he is then told to get off the train he refuses, and launches into a lengthy rant in which he calls the guard a “black dog”, “c***”, “n*****” and asks if he “even has citizenship”.
The video shows two other guards trying to intervene, who the young man also insults, and when they say they have called the police the man says he doesn’t care because they are “swine”.
After a while a number of frustrated passengers also try to get the man to leave the train – while the original guard maintains his calm and stands between them. The episode is filmed by another man, apparently the perpetrator’s friend, who can be heard laughing behind the camera throughout.
Warning: Footage contains foul, racist and abusive language
Police said they had been aware of the incident at Indooroopilly station in Queensland on 2 October, but that the “severity of the matter” had only become apparent since the video was shared tens of thousands of times online.
In a statement, Queensland Police said a 17-year-old man from Brisbane has now been charged with assault occasioning bodily harm, creating a nuisance on a railway, threatening violence and common assault. An 18-year-old man has been charged with one count of creating a nuisance on a railway.
Both men are due to appear at Brisbane Magistrates Court tomorrow.
Speaking in Brisbane on Sunday, Mr Abbott said the footage was “deplorable”, the Guardian reported.
“I think it’s un-Australian to abuse people in a public place just because you don’t like the way they look, or you don’t like the way they dress, or you make assumptions about what they believe,” he said.
Campbell Newman, the premier of Queensland, named the guard at the centre of the attack as “Joe”, and praised his “dignity and aplomb” while showing “admirable restraint”.
Queensland Police assistant commissioner Alistair Dawson told the Brisbane Times that officers wanted to speak to the other passengers seen in the video, adding that their behaviour supporting the guard was something of which “all Queenslanders could be proud”.