Horrific new video has shown six policemen using excessive force on the disability pensioner at his Preston home.
The police went to John’s house after his psychologist called 000 about the man’s deteriorating health.
There was, reportedly, no concern that he was violent and dangerous – the visit is what is called a “welfare check”.
This is similar to what would occur if you were to call the police to check in on an elderly neighbour or a missing family member should they fail to respond to attempts of communication.
John has a single minor assault conviction which dates back ten years. “I thought I was going to die,” John told 7.30.
In the footage, which was obtained by Fairfax, police are seen dragging John from his front door after he yelled, swore and pleaded with them to leave him alone.
John is recovering from back surgery, and was weaning himself off the pain medication. He was reportedly struggling with withdrawal, explaining to the police, “I’m alright, I’ve just gotta get through this”.
Six policemen are seen in the video – filmed on John’s own security cameras that he installed after a past robbery.
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Five of the policemen are seen wrestling him to the ground, with one hitting him in the back of the leg repeatedly with a baton.
Afterwards, they proceed to pepper spray him and one of the policemen is heard saying “you like that? You like that? Smells good, doesn’t it?”
“Put your hands behind your f***ing back. Get your f***ing hands behind your f***ing back,” the police are seen yelling at John.
“My back,” John screams as police hold him down.
Later, one of the policemen grabs John’s garden hose and begins the spray water on him. He uses the high pressure setting and points it directly at his face.
In the background, another policeman grabs his phone and begins to film the whole thing.
Eventually, John stops fighting them and just sits there as he is sprayed.
Speaking with the press this morning, Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius, who is acting head of Professional Standards Command, said that “Victoria Police has no tolerance for poor behaviour within its ranks,”
“We want people to have absolute confidence that when they make a complaint against police, it will be investigated thoroughly and with integrity.
“I acknowledge that there has been a diminution in confidence in our community in police complaint and accountability processes. It is clear to me that both Victoria Police and [Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission] need to do more to recover that confidence.”
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