The importance to activists in Qld of FOI in unearthing police misconduct


Any activist serious about their role in attempting to change the system is bound to come into contact with the cops sometime in their journey. Often this will be a life changing event opening your eyes to the reality of the way cops see themselves and those that dare to question them and their actions.
As a citizen engaged in social and environmental activism since 1997 in Townsville and North Queensland I have had many such encounters.
I have been arrested many times since then, during the protests against the Port Hinchinbrook development to start with , however, most of those took place in the Flinders st Pedestrian mall during the free speech campaign against the Townsville City Council. I have actually been locked up for petitioning, for speaking and for handing out leaflets I have lost count of the times I have been on trial in the Magistrates Court. Some of those I lost but many I have won. Many times the courts have had cause to remind the cops that they had no power to arrest or I had a right to resist.
I have brought 4 civil actions myself in the supreme court and have won 3 of those. I have won appeals in the District court, and have also lost a few. I have won leave to appeal in the court of appeal myself and have knocked off an unconstitutional law that stood for 70 years. I have been to the high court 3 times , losing 1 , winning leave to appeal myself once winning 1, and overturning another in the United Nations Human Rights Committee myself .
I have been in the courts for 10 years of my life and have had cause to attempt to use the mechanisms set up to keep the cops and the system accountable. I began with the naive belief that if you use the processes set up then justice will follow swiftly. The more I attempted it, the more disillusioned and cynical I became.
I had read the fine words of state labor politicians in their speeches to parliament how they rid this state of the police corruption and oppression in 1992, and actually believed for a time that that these people may actually have principles and would uphold them. But again the hypocrisy displayed by the Qld Labor government astounded me.
I have had to dig deep and conduct my own investigations about the interaction between the cops and their superiors, the so called “Ethical Standards Command”, the former Criminal Justice Commission and the Crime and Misconduct Commission and how the state labor government dealt with matters concerning police misconduct.
Freedom of information searches and discovery during civil proceedings turned up thousands of pages of documents, and enough evidence for me to conclude that the state does not treat criminal offences by cops the same way as it does everyday citizens.
To put it simply , if you have been brought to court for resisting arrest , and the court must determine whether it was you or the cops that acted unlawfully , someone will have committed an assault which is said to be a criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Qld . Someone will have also have been guilty of the criminal offence of deprivation of liberty if an arrest is unlawful. The elements of that offence are set out in the code. At common law, in civil proceedings for assault and false imprisonment, the elements are exactly the same as that in the code.
This means that if I have proved my claims in those civil proceedings, I have actually proved criminal conduct on the part of the cops .
What I have found out over the years is that the state and its so called accountability mechanisms are not interested in pursuing cops for assault, deprivation of liberty, perverting the course of justice, fabrication of evidence and perjury . The CMC Act sets out that criminal offences by police are supposed to be regarded as “Misconduct” and “Serious Misconduct”. Complaints against cops are sent back to the cops to investigate themselves , thereby putting the foxes in charge of the henhouse. Though there is a power to audit investigations there appears to be no wish to engage in oversight.
To set the scene I would point out that the system is supposed to think in the following manner:
“Perjury offences are serious offences which strike at the heart of the criminal justice system and are difficult to detect . Considerations of deterrence are important and offenders normally deserve custodial sentences “. (R v Morgan (1995) 82 ACRIMR 518” Extracted from Carters Criminal Law of Qld, 16th Edition , Authors ; MJ Shanahan Qld District Court Judge , P E Smith Barrister Qld ,S Ryan Barrister Qld , Reed International Book Trading as LexisNexis Butterworths Australia, 2007 , Printed Malaysia , p233 par [s124.15].
Some magistrates and judges as well as the cops, the CMC and the Qld government actually know this but know the unearthing of offences by the state STRIKE AT THE HEART OF THE LEGITIMACY OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE IN IT. Some appear to my mind , to see it as their duty , as apposed to treating all equally before the law, to thwart the impact it may have on the public mind. Things would have to change if it were otherwise.
What I will do here to prove what I am saying, is take you direct to the most damning of the documents (Scanned in PDF) , Audio recordings (Copied to MP3) , Court decisions and transcripts. I will provide the sections of the Criminal Code and the CMC Act I am relying on with links to the online legislation as well. As for the interpretation I will quote direct from the latest version of the “Carters Criminal Law of Qld” which is one of the most respected legal publications in Qld. Why I will quote from this is that just about every Solicitor, Barrister, Magistrate and Judge in Qld has one. I will attempt to use the plainest language and avoid legalese.
Whilst I have thousands of pages of documents I will use the example of 4 case studies of 4 sets of events to show you some of the cops “tricks of the trade” and as evidence that there is a problem. The evidence evinces a pattern of behaviour that that clearly may deny justice to a complainant in an action or prosecution against police.
For the benefit of any journalist, if I am looking at the law as it is stated, if I am applying to the facts as they appear then obviously I don’t believe what I am saying to be untrue.
It is no use for anyone to say to me – “If you have evidence of illegality then why don’t you go to the cops, CMC, Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee, or the Minister or Premier?” , obviously I don’t have confidence that it will get anywhere with them . The reason it has taken so long is that I have been caught up in the courts.
The purpose of these case studies is to show you what I have encountered and learnt from, and what people should lookout for and what documents people should search for.
Police Powers and Responsibilities Act and Regulation, Police Service Administration Act and Regulations:

Crime and Misconduct Act 2001 and Regulation 2005

14 Definitions for div 2
In this division—
“conduct” means—
(a) for a person, regardless of whether the person holds an
appointment—conduct, or a conspiracy or attempt to engage in
conduct, of or by the person that adversely affects, or could
adversely affect, directly or indirectly, the honest and impartial
performance of functions or exercise of powers of—
(i) a unit of public administration; or
(ii) any person holding an appointment; or
(b) for a person who holds or held an appointment—conduct, or a
conspiracy or attempt to engage in conduct, of or by the person
that is or involves—
(i) the performance of the person’s functions or the exercise of
the person’s powers, as the holder of the appointment, in a
way that is not honest or is not impartial; or
(ii) a breach of the trust placed in the person as the holder of the
appointment; or
(iii) a misuse of information or material acquired in or in
connection with the performance of the person’s functions
as the holder of the appointment, whether the misuse is for
the person’s benefit or the benefit of someone else.
“hold an appointment” means hold an appointment in a unit of public

15 Meaning of “official misconduct”
“Official misconduct” is conduct that could, if proved, be—
(a) a criminal offence; or
(b) a disciplinary breach providing reasonable grounds for
terminating the person’s services, if the person is or was the
holder of an appointment.

16 Conduct happening over time, or at any time, may be official
(1) Conduct may be official misconduct even though—
(a) it happened before the commencement of this Act; or
(b) some or all of the effects or elements necessary to constitute
official misconduct happened before the commencement of this
Act; or
(c) a person involved in the conduct is no longer the holder of an
(2) Conduct engaged in by, or in relation to, a person at a time when the
person is not the holder of an appointment may be official misconduct, if
the person becomes the holder of an appointment.

210 Obstruction or delay of commission procedures
A person who, with intent to obstruct or delay the performance of a
function by the commission or the exercise of a power by a commission
(a) fabricates any relevant record or thing; or
(b) destroys or alters any relevant record or thing; or
(c) sends any relevant record or thing out of the State;
commits a misdemeanour.
Maximum penalty—255 penalty units or 3 years imprisonment.

Carters Criminal Law of Qld 16th Ed on Perverting the course of justice and fabricating evidence.

Page 231, Par [123.30].....The prosecution merely has to show that in the judicial proceeding in which the accused was a witness he or she wilfully (deliberately and not inadvertently or by mistake) made on oath a statement which he or she knew to be false or did not believe to be true .....R v Milward [1985] 1 QB 519; 1985 1 All ER 859 ; (1985) 80 Cr App R 280....
Page 235 Par [s126.20] Meaning of section The word “fabricates” is not necessarily used in the pejorative sense. The word may only mean “make up” or “get together” without any dishonest connotation. See R v Love (1983) 9 ACRIMR 1. The offence is complete even though the tribunal never sits; R v Vreones [1891] 1 QB 360 .
Page 241, Par [s132.25] ....The course of justice is perverted or obstructed by impairing the capacity of a court to do justice. An act which has the tendency to effect this impairment is the actus reus of attempting to pervert the course of justice......
Par [s132.30].... “It is well established at common law and under cognate statutory provisions that the offence of attempting or conspiring to pervert the course of justice can be committed when there are no curial proceedings on foot, see R v Murphy (1985) 158 CLR 596; 61 ALR 139; 59ALJR 682 ; 16 ACRIMR 2003 . It is enough that an act has a tendency to frustrate or deflect a prosecution which the accused contemplates may possibly be instituted even though the possibility has not been considered by police. See R v Rogerson (1992) 174 CLR 268 ; 107 ALR 225 ; 66 ALJR 500 , 60 ACRIMR 429 .......An act which has a tendency to deflect the police from prosecuting a criminal offence or instituting disciplinary proceedings before a judicial tribunal , or from adducing evidence of the true facts , is an act tending to pervert the course of justice , and if done with the intent to achieve that result , constitutes an attempt to pervert the course of justice ......
Page 247 , Par [s140.20] ......... “To prove this charge there has to be evidence that the accused has done enough for there to be a risk without further action by him that an injustice would occur, see R v Murray [1982] WLR 475 ; [1982] All ER 225; (1982) 75 Cr App R 58 .....It is sufficient if the evidence discloses a risk or possibility that injustice might result. See Foord v Whiddett (1985) 60 ALR 269; 16 ACRIMR 464.

Criminal Code Act 1899 Qld
10 Accessories after the fact
A person who receives or assists another who is, to the person’s
knowledge, guilty of an offence, in order to enable the person to escape
punishment, is said to become an accessory after the fact to the offence.

92 Abuse of office
(1) Any person who, being employed in the public service, does or
directs to be done, in abuse of the authority of the person’s office, any
arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights of another is guilty of a
misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for 2 years.
(2) If the act is done or directed to be done for purposes of gain, the
person is liable to imprisonment for 3 years.

123 Perjury
(1) Any person who in any judicial proceeding, or for the purpose of
instituting any judicial proceeding, knowingly gives false testimony
touching any matter which is material to any question then depending in
that proceeding, or intended to be raised in that proceeding, is guilty of a
crime, which is called “perjury”.
(2) It is immaterial whether the testimony is given on oath or under any
other sanction authorised by law.
(3) The forms and ceremonies used in administering the oath or in
otherwise binding the person giving the testimony to speak the truth are
immaterial, if the person assents to the forms and ceremonies actually used.
(4) It is immaterial whether the false testimony is given orally or in
(5) It is immaterial whether the court or tribunal is properly constituted,
or is held in the proper place, or not, if it actually acts as a court or tribunal
in the proceeding in which the testimony is given.
(6) It is immaterial whether the person who gives the testimony is a
competent witness or not, or whether the testimony is admissible in the
proceeding or not.
(7) The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.
123A Perjury—contradictory statements
If, on the trial of a person for perjury, the jury is satisfied that—
(a) the accused has made 2 statements on oath or under another
sanction authorised by law, 1 of which is irreconcilably in
conflict with the other; and
(b) the accused made 1 of the statements knowing it to be false; but the jury is unable to say which statement was falsely made, the jury may make a special finding to that effect and find the accused guilty of perjury.
124 Punishment of perjury
(1) Any person who commits perjury is liable to imprisonment for
14 years.
(2) If the offender commits the crime in order to procure the conviction
of another person for a crime punishable with imprisonment for life, the
offender is liable to imprisonment for life.
125 Evidence on charge of perjury
A person cannot be convicted of committing perjury or of counselling or
procuring the commission of perjury upon the uncorroborated testimony
of 1 witness.

126 Fabricating evidence
(1) Any person who, with intent to mislead any tribunal in any judicial
(a) fabricates evidence by any means other than perjury or
counselling or procuring the commission of perjury; or
(b) knowingly makes use of such fabricated evidence;
is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.
(2) The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.
129 Destroying evidence
Any person who, knowing that any book, document, or other thing of
any kind, is or may be required in evidence in a judicial proceeding,
wilfully destroys it or renders it illegible or undecipherable or incapable of
identification, with intent thereby to prevent it from being used in evidence,
is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for 3 years.
140 Attempting to pervert justice
A person who attempts to obstruct, prevent, pervert, or defeat the course
of justice is guilty of a crime.
Maximum penalty—7 years imprisonment.
245 Definition of “assault”
(1) A person who strikes, touches, or moves, or otherwise applies force
of any kind to, the person of another, either directly or indirectly, without
the other person’s consent, or with the other person’s consent if the consent
is obtained by fraud, or who by any bodily act or gesture attempts or
threatens to apply force of any kind to the person of another without the
other person’s consent, under such circumstances that the person making
the attempt or threat has actually or apparently a present ability to effect the
person’s purpose, is said to assault that other person, and the act is called
an “assault”.
(2) In this section—
“applies force” includes the case of applying heat, light, electrical force,
gas, odour, or any other substance or thing whatever if applied in such
a degree as to cause injury or personal discomfort.
246 Assaults unlawful
(1) An assault is unlawful and constitutes an offence unless it is
authorised or justified or excused by law.
(2) The application of force by one person to the person of another may
be unlawful, although it is done with the consent of that other person.
283 Excessive force
In any case in which the use of force by one person to another is lawful
the use of more force than is justified by law under the circumstances is

The environmental dispute at Cardwell North Qld was a classic example of what is described as an “environmental conflict”. Residents of the Town and region were so split by the claims of economic benefits and whipped up by pro development media and the promises of developer Keith Williams and right wing politicians – they turned on opponents.
Threats of violence and actual violence occurred. It is clear development supporters felt at liberty to engage in this activity but that it could have been brought under control.
On September 14 1997 a protest took place where conservationists, environmentalists and other concerned citizens walked along the marine park foreshore which was public land, and were set upon by development employees and development supporters. Protesters were punched and kicked including women, people had their faces pushed into the mud, mud pushed down their throats, were grabbed by the throat in full view of the police.
Complaints were later made to the then Criminal Justice Commission of Qld police inaction where they were clearly seen to have witnessed such assaults on people who were lawfully and peacefully exercising their right to free speech.
The CJC interviewed people who made such complaints, the police involved, and some development staff. The process was a recorded interview, from which a summary and memorandum was made drawing conclusions. I have here the reply I personally got from the CJC dated 22/12/97 from Mr MA Barnes Chief officer of the Complaints Section Misconduct Division, and the Memorandum or synopsis/summary of the interviews was done by Det INS M Palmer 5/12/ 97. (FOI copy)
(link ).
I ask that both be read carefully, the CJC deleted names of other complainants from the copy given to me. To my knowledge the police video has never been released.
Given the downgrading by police of what they themselves witnessed to pushing and shoving , the statements that no one witnessed the assault of David Haigh , the photo on the front page of the Townsville Bulletin showing one such assault, with police clearly seen by the palm trees in the background looking on that the truth was not told . Given the expression of the law from the Carters above, and it was the same then, the statutory provisions relating to obstructing investigations , it should have raised eyebrows in the CJC that they were not getting the full story from police .
If there is a difference between the interviews, the summary, and the findings that shows that the truth was not told, and had it been, proceedings MIGHT HAVE RESULTED, then prima facie someone has “deflected” or “obstructed” that result.
Ask yourselves this, if there were multiple police giving evidence against a person they have arrested of punching and kicking, and there were no independent witnesses, would a court have accepted that evidence?
Ask yourselves also about what impact it would have had , given the doctrine that ignorance of the law is no excuse that the CJC KNEW that the protesters were all UNLAWFULLY assaulted -on public confidence in the police .

Link to online copies of the documents:
This case study concerns the investigations of 3 arrests of myself by the then Const Bradley Michael Greenland 7157 Qld that took place on the 12/11/98, 8/12 /98 and 22/1/99 in the Flinders Pedestrian Mall. In each of the first 2 cases I was peacefully petitioning against the Nelly Bay development and letters to the Townsville City Council to recognise Free Speech, and on the 3rd I stood outside the Flinders Mall Police Beat with a red flag and a placard on my front and back with the words “YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH IN THIS TOWN, AND THEN THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT”. I successfully got the second matter dropped and won the 3rd in the magistrates court. The first one I lost on hearsay evidence and appealed to the district court but lost before Judge Clive Wall on hearsay evidence.
Complaints were made to the then CJC about the matters soon after they occurred. The CJC referred them back to police. Officers of the CJC were highly critical of the QPS in the way they “investigated” the complaints and made some recommendations about “Managerial guidance” of Greenland and watch house staff . Whilst the CJC thought it unreasonable that my petitions were not returned to me, their only concern was whether procedural requirements for arrest had been complied with, not whether a person has a right not to be arrested. Both the CJC and the QPS wanted me to informally resolve my complaints, which I refused to do as they were still trying to convict me at the time.
In my complaints I had said in part that Greenland had told me I was barred from the mall, I had also gave evidence that in relation to the 1st (Former, belly laugh) Mayor Mooney came through the mall ,and I had asked him if he wanted to sign my petition against the Nelly Bay development, that I was arrested soon after in a great hurry by Greenland. The documents appear to show that the police were taking orders from Mooney. That I was variously a “well known political activist” and a “known political radical”. It became clear also that the fact I had previously has cause to complain about police was an issue.
Greenland was interviewed about the complaints Det Sgt Kirkpatrick of the Innisfail CIB and a tape was made of that interview. A synopsis was done of that interview in which Greenland is heard to say words to the effect I was a trouble maker during the (1998) wharf confrontation, that I “was a nothing – a nobody, not even a street offender”, further that I was neither a threat to him nor anybody else.
(Link the recording is of very poor quality: ).
Greenland said that he knew I had previously complained about police conduct in Cardwell.
None of that appears in the synopsis. However, the good detective stated that a simple peek at Greenlands note book would evince the truth. Alas it does not. A peek shows a false version of events, a fabrication of a statement , this was repeated in an unsworn statement . A look at the unsworn statements shows a bit of confusion on the part of the civilian witness of who she actually was at best and who actually wrote it at worst.
FOI did not turn up any record of any interview or synopsis or reference to any of the Cop Donaldson.
During the 3rd arrest bystanders attempted to intervene but were prevented from giving their names or appearing as independent witnesses .
The watch house records show that the pen was ripped from my hands as I was trying to write that I was not allowed to record injuries , and in the health comments it is stated that I refused to sign.
Greenland attempted in the second civil proceeding against him to maintain his made up reason for arrest. His note book entry was admitted into evidence and he attempted to make use of the fabrications contained in it and where he wrote it .
(see par [75] of the judgement: ).
I did make a complaint to the CMC about his conduct during the civil trial that he committed perjury, perverted the course of justice and fabricated evidence. However, the CMC said that “Due to the age of the conduct and the nature of the critical comments” of the judge they would not do it. The Palm Island stuff was also happening at that time, and the QPS, CMC and the government were under a lot of pressure. I had told them I would not allow it to be referred back to the police and they knew I had copies of the FOI documents about the previous complaints. (Although it took anther attempt to get the tape of Greenland and Kirkpatrick.)
All they had to do was get a copy of the transcripts.
It is clear the QPS attempted to obstruct a just outcome of the matter
To summarise :
• Greenland made up grounds of arrest , a proper investigation and cross examination by investigating officers should have determined that- that constitutes perverting the course of justice and or fabrication of evidence;
• Greenland fabricated entries in his police notebook and should be taken to have known this may have been used in evidence. This should have been obvious, as above for perverting and fabrication
• Greenland intentionally deprived independent witnesses from assisting, as above for perverting or obstructing justice.
• An unlawful arrest is an assault, and this is a crime.
• The ESC clearly did not give all of its documents to the then CJC and clearly obstructed them, this unjustly dragged the matters out.
All this constitutes serious misconduct, and it was seriously possible this could have been determined from the outset. But this goes further. The documents provided show that the police minister and premier became involved when I tested the waters with an application for an ex gratia payment for the unlawful 8/12/98 arrest. When this failed and I brought the 3 actions against the state also, a chance presented itself with government having all the info that they could have done the right thing and charge him, and in so doing change the culture of the QPS .


On the 26th of January 2002 I was arrested after burning the Australian Flag at Townsville’s Australia Day ceremony, in protest against the Howard government’s refugee policy of locking innocent people up in the desert until they go mad. And I maintain still that that arrest was unlawful- I was denied independent witnesses, and though the prosecutor admitted he had not made out their case -was found guilty anyway. I strongly resisted that arrest.
However, once in the Townsville watch house the police refused to remove the cuffs for hours, I could not sit because of the position of my arms and the tightness of the cuffs and nearly passed out. I had to pace the cell to keep awake. I ended up with my feet splayed leaning against the glass wall of the cell to remain upright, until finally the pain overcame me and I vomited. It was after seeing that that the cuffs were removed by cops.
I was during this time not allowed to make a call in case bail would be denied and let someone know what happened in case it got worse.
I was told I would be bailed .They refused/ignored medication for the pain. I was released late that night
I was angry as hell at my treatment and made it clear that I wanted the cuffs off. It felt like my arms were broken. I kicked the holding cell door and swore at them.
A complaint was lodged with the CMC who referred it back to the QPS through the ESC to investigate.
(link: )
Myself and all officers bar one (whom I could not indentify were interviewed).
I made it clear from the outset that I would seek compensation but this complaint was about what occurred at the watch house and who I made the complaint against. It was made clear from the outset by the CMC that if my allegations were proved it would be misconduct. So too the ESC. It was an investigation into possible criminal offences by police. And would have led to civil action by myself as well. It was known that court proceedings WOULD FOLLOW.
I made clear during my interview with Snr Sgt Last the consequences if such a culture were allowed to continue.
Last obtained the watch house records including the video, he taped the interviews with all officers and myself. He did a synopsis of the interviews and made transcripts of myself and only 3 officers.
On June 24 2002 an Assistant Commissioner Williams wrote to me that based on denials by the Watch house Sergeant, independent medical or other evidence from me the matter was determined to be unsubstantiated and finalised.
I still was being placed on trial and had to deal with that and other issues on foot which are obvious from the other cases on my website as well as university. However I conducted an FOI search of the documents relating to this matter and it took a long time. It took 2 goes to get one of the officers interview tapes.
It became clear, again, that the synopsis did not match what occurred in the interviews .It is said there was no evidence that I vomited (this frightening police into taking to cuffs of and to the civil standard -evidence of knowledge of the interference with the rights of a person). One cop even going so far as to say I was banging my head against the wall.
The FOI documents turned up evidence that the watch house video tape was placed back in the watch house on the 3rd of April 2002 to be taped over . A month before the decision “finalising it”.
As the synopsis went up the chain it was clear that they regarded lack of evidence that I had vomited as the key upon which the complaint would be dealt with.
I had all the tapes through FOI, it became clear that the investigation was neither audited by the ESC nor the CMC and no transcripts of interviews with other officers nor the tapes were called in.
One tape turned up a version that corroborated mine. A tape of a police officer in the watch house at the time who witnessed what I said happened about vomiting, and then being released from the cuffs ,and being bailed -Interview of Const Mundt .
(Link to very poor quality recording: ) .
His version of events was contrary to that of all other officers. And it was clear that if that had been made known ,then what was stated by the others would be untrue. And proceedings would follow. More than that it would have shown both the ESC and the CMC that they could have no confidence in those officers.
The interview tapes and transcripts also provided a differing account to that given on oath at the trial for the flag burning (which at the time was working its way up the courts, and I have the transcripts so don’t try me !).
• It is clear that at the time of writing his synopsis, Last knew proceedings were in the offing and that he deflected an outcome that would have led to those proceedings.
• It is also clear he knew it at the time that he placed the video back in the watch house.
• It is clear he knew at the time he was reporting to an entity that reports to the CMC.
• He has to be taken to have known at the time of being informed of the outcome of the complaint that if he stayed quiet it would result in an unjust result.
• He must be taken to have known that he was covering for police who lied to him, the ESC and the CMC.
• The police at the watch house who lied must be taken to have known that that constitutes an offence.
• It is clear through the previous 2 case studies that it must be known that neither transcripts nor tapes will be called for before finalising complaints, and this evidences a systemic or wide spread problem.
• It is clear from these 3 cases that it constitutes a culture of cover up and “solidarity” with other police.
• It is clear evidence was destroyed , it is clear the investigation was obstructed , deflected , that justice was perverted and led to the unjust result that a judicial proceeding in either the criminal or civil jurisdiction was defeated.
Before leading into the next case study , I find it necessary to explain some elements of police culture by referring to the literature . The terms I will refer to are “Contempt of a cop” , “Solidarity” and “backstage Punishment” .
Sometimes people could find it hard to fathom why a person could face violence on the part of police, they may think that a person deserved it or was probably doing something wrong.
However, An activist is likely to come into contact with the cops many times in their journey and see things that are quite unnerving and deserving of investigation . It is the case in many instances where protest is resorted to that it is against government . And these government are attempting to assert their authority in the face of a loss of legitimacy or public confidence . Police who are ordered to uphold this authority in many cases may feel they have a free hand , and I think I have in the most part proved this point but will go further in the next case. It can be seen though, that where police target people for no other reason than that of offending the legitimacy of the state or the political situation , it is then clear they are acting to uphold the social order and not public order.
I find a book called “Violence and Police Culture” Tony Coady et al , Melbourne University Press 2000 very enlightening . In Particular but not limited to ch 4 by Janet Chan “ Backstage Punishment”. And refer the reader to some extracts from it based on studies of police behaviour over many years :
“Punishment by the police is almost Durkheimian in quality: it is propelled by moral sentiments , it forms and symbolises moral judgements , and its effects are primarily to reaffirm the moral order. The morality of this moral order is widely believed and strongly defended. For example , the personal authority of an officer vested with a quality of sacredness . The sacredness of police authority is partly related to the officers ‘sense of mission’ and ‘their sense of themselves as the thin blue line’, performing an essential role in safeguarding the social order , which would lead to disastrous consequences if their authority is threatened. Those who defy or challenge police authority are punished for failing the attitude test and committing the worst crime of all – ‘contempt of cop’. In a Durkheimian sense , the use of violence against the offender strengthens the solidarity of the officers and reinforces the conscience collective of this occupational group” (at p94)
And : “ Supervision of police work is often based on a high degree of mutual dependence and reciprocity between officers and their sergeants, where sergeants depended on officers to do their work while officers depended on sergeants to cover their mistakes. Since officers mostly work out of their supervisor’s sight , there is an emphasis on results , for example arrests and charges. The lack of meaningful supervision , together with wide discretionary powers and the pressure for productivity , all contribute to the development and reinforcement of cynicism , secrecy , solidarity , and incentives to secure arrests.......” (at p 100) .
It is also helpful to refer the reader to the 1997 CJC Report “Reducing Police Civilian Conflict” at p 44-47 link:
Thus, the scene is set for case study 4.

I will be sparse with the full factual detail as it is adequately set out in the documents and audio I have posted on my site at :

I went to watch the parliament as a political science student , and was denied entry on the basis that I “was a potential breach of the peace” . I challenged police and ended up engaged in an argument with Snr Sgt Last and a senior officer named Stolz. The terms of that argument are set out in my statement of claim and can be listened to on the audio mp3.
Last can be heard to say in part : “ know what you’ve’ve had your day in court and that’s why your dirty.............. based on your previous behaviour we have denied you entry”.
When one looks to the documentary evidence of police consistently referring to complaints against police , Lasts own actions in the previous case study and this one , it appears he was trying to demonstrate his solidarity and reinforce the “moral or social order” and the “sacredness of police authority” .
After the confrontation with him -it was then left for me to exercise my right of entry and for the minions to do the dirty work. I got arrested, unceremoniously dumped in a caged van and put on trial. I won the trial. However during the trial the officers stated that they- the cops - had” intelligence” I would disrupt the parliament. None of the senior officers they referred to as having told them that had enough guts to give evidence and go under oath. They left the minions to carry the can.
To say this somewhat aroused my curiosity would be an understatement of the greatest magnitude. Determined that nothing should stand in the way of a clean hit in the coming civil trial I FOI’d “police intelligence and turned up some censored documents . I appealed to the FOI Commissioner and found more . However certain sections and words were blanked out . I found most of those during discovery for the trial.
A selection of those are linked here:

It turns out that my complaints about what occurred in the first case study featured heavily on their minds. Together with the nature of the security threat, civil disobedience. False info also appeared that I had been a member of the Jabiluka Action group. I had organised an anti uranium protest against John Howard in 98 that took the cops by complete surprise . I got to within an inch of little Johnnies face to let him know I thought he was a fascist and got arrested “waving his car goodbye” with a placard . I was never a member of the named group.
They also said I was believed to have been a former member of the MUA because I backed them at the Townsville picket lines. Not so.
One document said that due to turning up to a community cabinet in 98 or 99 and talking to all the ministers and later talking to Beattie about the first case study , that I might travel all the way to Charters Towers to “disrupt” that one .
One of the things the “Security Intelligence Branch QPS” and the FOI Commissioner thought too sensitive was the following “Coleman is well known to Townsville Police for acts of civil disobedience and for having A CALOUS DISREGARD FOR LAWFULL AUTHORITY” .
They talk of trespass and stealing, those were overturned. They related to the Hinchinbrook campaign. We were accused by Keith Williams of cutting down the mangroves in front of his development when it was his people or his supporters. So we cut down Bamboo Poles near the railway to make and put up tripods there to catch him or his mates at it while we took photos . Needless to say we ended up being charged.
And despite a clear statement that I had not resorted to violent force in self defence (which the courts have said is a right) before the end of 99 , not only were my details referred to ASIO in December 99 , but “Military Intelligence” . Yes I was a former soldier but military intelligence seems a bit steep . Maybe it had something to do with this heinous crime –
Coleman v Australia Communication 1157/2003 United Nations Human Rights Committee (that resulted from this)

I have blanked out the name of the ASIO officer to avoid prosecution for such disclosure . The initials are mine.

But they also blanked out what type of file it was “Protective security risk”. This would have also gone out to the protective security services guarding the courts and judges , so maybe the intent was to taint their views before a case.
That FOI must be considered as an important part of any activists arsenal during any campaign. You are bound to come into contact with the cops and maybe multiple times. The more the interactions the more chance they will keep a file on you and draft a profile. If you have complained about their conduct you can expect special treatment if you continue your challenge .
If you believe your rights have been unlawfully interfered with , you cant rely on the CMC or ESC to pounce on police misconduct , you have to investigate the matter your selves.
Senior police will cover for the “Service” to uphold its moral authority. So too the ESC and CMC and any government of whatever creed as they need them to do their bidding.
If you have cause to sue them you will be treated differently than any other citizen because you exercise your rights, not once but often and it is the duty of an activist to attract attention to any given cause or situation that needs attention.
So far my opinion is despite the evidence the courts are not willing to use “exemplary damages” to punish either the cops or the state and teach them that the culture must change . This is the purpose of such civil remedies. The documents you find may assist you also to add malicious prosecution to your action though the courts could use this to minimise you win by awarding costs for proof if they are agin you .
That the process of getting a remedy for infringements of ones rights and obtaining the info to do so is frustratingly slow , and by the time you get it, the CMC may tell you to bugger off.
So , that being so , I publish this in the hope that others can learn from these case studies and know what to look for and how to find it . Whether or not anything happens here is not the point, there will be others and a case for change can be built upon comparison and research. Its time for citizens to do the states job again .
In Qld , if it is YOU who has had the encounter then what relates to it concerns your personal affairs. As such they are matters which fall under the FOI regulation “Personal affairs”
The Right To Information Act and Regulation can be found at
Below is a starter checklist of what to look for if you have had a bad encounter with the cops to the ministers office in writing with proof of your signature :
To establish date time and place :
• CAD reports , computer dispatch reports naming the vehicles and officers involved ;
• Any audio recording by the officers concerned or video
• Any police note book entries concerning the incident
• Any police communications recordings relating to the incident
• Any media taken by the police as evidence
• “Crisp” or crime reports or indexes
• The procedures established for police conduct on the day if it was a planned event
IF you have been arrested :
• Watch house custody and inspection records
• Watch house video
• Any recordings made by officers including notebooks
• All bail records
• Brief of evidence together with prosecutors check list
If you make a complaint, wait for the interviews and the decision , and get an adjournment till you get the outcome . You may get the complaint audited before your hearing or afterwards but you will have evidence you can compare. Then FOI the cops, ESC, CMC and the ministers office for all info regarding that complaint including:
• All recordings of all witnesses
• All transcripts of those recordings
• Any synopsis’s of those interviews
• All correspondence by police and ESC regarding the complaints
• All correspondence and internal CMC documents relating to investigating that complaint and any ministerial documents relating to it
• After any audit , FOI the CMC and ESC and Cops and ministers office for info regarding that .
If you have won your trial or have the matter dropped you will be entitled to sue:
• Get certificates of dismissal pursuant to s149 of the Justices Act 1886 and s700 of the criminal code to make sure they (The judges) have no leg to stand on . Compare the Power suit with that of Watson .
• If the charge is dropped or you have won you will be entitled to discovery of more documents you don’t have. And you will find they all lied and held back despite it being a crime under the FOI Act .
• After you have won pursue them for lying and FOI everybody’s responses to your new complaint and see how stupid you can make them look in the end .

Pat Coleman





This article was ritten and submitted by me Pat Coleman
2/53 Ford st Hermit Park 4812

Hi Pat,
I just read your document again.

I had a complaint against the QPS found to be "unsubstantiated" a little while back.

I didn't pursue it as far as you did.
I detailed each breach the officer made of the operational procedures manual, and made my complaint. There were lots of orders breached, it really demonstrated a course of conduct from this officer.. I secretly recorded the 4 hour interview I gave to the officer who was meant to be investigating the complaint.

Yeah, what a joke.

The QPS is not ethical. The complaints process is a joke.

The only good thing about the complaints process is it costs the QPS time, and educates the complainant.

Anyway, good document.