New racist allegations hit police in Australia

Victoria Police is again under fire for alleged racial profiling and discrimination after 16 Africans launched compensation claim against the force and the second most populous state in Australia.According to 'The Age' report, police have been accused of bashing and racially insulting young boys of African background, who claimed the allegedly racist practices continue.
North Melbourne resident Ahmed Dini is leading the Federal Court action against six policemen, Chief Commissioner Simon Overland and the state of Victoria.

The men, who are joined in the case by a man of Afghani origin, have accused police of 58 incidents of physical and verbal abuse of boys and young men in Melbourne's north-west.

In one case, a 13-year-old's finger was allegedly broken by police as he walked home from school in Newmarket.

In 2005, police allegedly beat a 15-year-old in an unprovoked attack in Broadmeadows and racially abused him.

After a year, he was questioned in Broadmeadows and an unnamed policeman allegedly told him he would be taken back to the station "and you'll beg for mercy to stop us from **ing you and no one will listen", the daily said.

Police, then, allegedly bashed him unconscious in a garage and drove him to a park where they left him. Late last year, the youth - who has never been charged - was again allegedly racially abused in Flemington.

"Why do you come to this area, do you want to increase the numbers of black dogs around here?" a policeman allegedly told him.

The men allege several were present at Highpoint shopping centre during celebrations marking the end of Ramadan in late 2007, when a fight broke out between an African girl and a Caucasian girl.

They allege police removed people of African origin, including a young mother and her two children, and sprayed them with capsicum spray.

The applicants claim the various allegations amount to systemic racial profiling by Victoria Police officers in relation to the African community in Flemington, Kensington and North Melbourne, the report said.

The young men claim police are identifying Africans as suspects in relation to crimes due to skin colour and race rather than valid investigative reasons.

They say that unless restrained, police are likely to continue to discriminate unlawfully against them and many other members of the African community, the report said.
The court is also likely to consider whether complaints against police are adequately investigated, after 11 complaints made by the men to the Office of Police Integrity were sent to police ethical standards department.

Seven were found to have been unsubstantiated and four did not proceed.
The men are seeking compensation and orders requiring authorities and Overland to publish statements acknowledging unlawful discrimination, it said.

They want Overland to discipline alleged wrongdoers and implement new practices. Victoria Police will vigorously defend the allegations.

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