Should cops be allowed to go home after using their guns?

Wood and brass judges gavel on a law book
Wood and brass judges gavel on a law book serggn

A POLICE assistant commissioner has been quizzed about how police officers are treated after incidents where they have used their guns.

Assistant Commissioner Clem O'Regan, who oversees the Ethical Standards Command in Queensland Police Service, was asked about officers being isolated until they were interviewed.

He was giving evidence in an inquest in Brisbane that is currently investigating police shootings.

Between August 2013 and November 2014, Queensland police officers shot and killed five men as part of their duties in five separate incidents.

This included two on the Sunshine Coast, two in the Brisbane area, including one man who had stayed near Ipswich in the days before he was shot, and one on the Gold Coast.

State Coroner Terry Ryan is conducting an inquest to consider what recommendations are needed to prevent similar incidents occurring again, and is also looking into the police service's use-of-force protocols.

While being questioned by Calvin Gnech, who is representing the police union, Assistant Commissioner O'Regan said welfare issues relating to officers who were involved in critical incidents, such as shootings, were dealt with expeditiously and as best as possible.

He said it was up to the senior investigating officer to determine whether the officers involved were able to go home after a traumatising incident, or if they had to wait for investigators and be interviewed.

During previous inquests, which determined the facts in all five separate shootings, the Queensland Police Union had raised concerns about the requirement for officers to participate in an interview immediately following such an incident.

They were also concerned that two police officers were not allowed to remove blood from their hands and arms after one incident because testing was required.

Other shootings included an incident at Tewantin in November 2014.

Edward Wayne Logan was visiting his son and when police attended the house, he lunged at them with a metal pole and was shot and killed.

Anthony Young died at Nambour Hospital in August 2013 after being shot multiple times. He had killed his brother and his brother's partner and an officer shot him believing Mr Young was going to kill him.

Shaun Basil Kumeroa was killed after a four-hour siege at Inala, south of Brisbane. Days beforehand he had visited a friend at Carole Park and stayed at Camira the day before he was shot. Following the siege he pointed a replica gun at police, which they believed to be real, and he was shot.

The inquest will continue until the end of the week.


Topics:  inquest

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