Confronting moment Aboriginal elder is pinned face-down by two white cops during dramatic arrest in troubled Outback town dubbed ‘Doom City’– but police say there’s more to the story
- Confronting footage has emerged of an Aboriginal elder being arrested in Doomadgee, Far North Queensland
- The man was pinned face-down by the officers as a screaming crowd of local residents surrounded him
- Police allege the Indigenous man, 65, bit an officer after they responded to a domestic violence matter
- The remote Aboriginal town, dubbed ‘Doom City’, made headlines earlier this year for an all-in town brawl
The dramatic arrest of an Aboriginal elder by two white police officers has sparked fears of riots in a troubled Outback town dubbed ‘Doom City’.
Viral footage of the incident shows the man, 65, lying in the dirt as officers try to pull his hands behind his back on a main road in Doomadgee, Far North Queensland, on Thursday.
‘Give her your arm and this will stop,’ a young male officer tells the man as he leans over his back.
‘Let him up! Let him up!’ bystanders yell at the officers.
The male officer then pushes his knees on the man’s back, pressing him further into the ground, as he again orders him to give the female officer his other arm.
Confronting footage of an Aboriginal elder, 65, being arrested by two police officers in Doomadgee, Far North Queensland, on Thursday has sparked fears of riots in the indigenous town
The woman filming tells the officers she is going to show the footage to the council as others scream that the man is struggling to breathe and has suffered broken ribs.
The officers eventually secure the man in handcuffs and tell him they are going to sit him up, before lifting him off the ground.
Tensions escalate when a growing group of locals crowd the officers and start hurling abuse at them.
The female officer slaps a woman’s mobile phone to the ground, drawing outrage from the crowd as the male officer appears to move his hand to his Taser and call for help.
The footage was shared to Facebook hours after the arrest with the caption: ‘This is how the f***ing police treat treat an elderly person of Doomadgee. We need to stand up and do something about them.’
Outraged social media users urged viewers to call the local police station and complain or write to local MP Bob Katter demanding an investigation against the officers’ actions.
‘Our officers are speaking to the community tonight, asking for calm while we look at all aspects of the incident,’ a police spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia.
Police said they had been called to a domestic violence matter following reports of an assault.
‘It will be alleged a man struggled with police while being detained, resulting in a 26-year-old male Constable being bitten on the hand,’ the spokeswoman said.
‘The matter will be reviewed by senior police as per policy and through the judicial system.’
The 65-year-old man in the vision has been charged with serious assault police, obstruct police, and domestic related matters.
He is scheduled to appear in Doomadgee Court on Friday.
Police will allege the 65-year-old man bit the male officer on the hand while being detained for alleged domestic violence matters
The remote Aboriginal town, dubbed ‘Doom City’, is known to engage in bare-knuckle fist fights, dubbed ‘fair fights’ (above), as a means of settling differences or disputes between clans
The remote Aboriginal town of Doomadgee, 470 kilometres north of Mount Isa, made headlines in February this year after a fight between two teenage girls snowballed out of control.
Five extra senior police officers were flown in after a dispute between two 16-year-old schoolgirls over who was older escalated into a large brawl between warring family groups.
The town is known to engage in bare-knuckle fist fights, dubbed ‘fair fights’, as a means of settling differences or disputes between clans.
A number of Instagram pages are dedicated to documenting the organised all-in brawls.
But Mount Isa Police Acting Superintendent Rhys Newton said authorities had no time for the violence.
‘Street fighting and violence is no way to resolve conflict in remote communities,’ he told Courier Mail at the time.
‘It is unclear exactly what is behind the rising tensions. We want to mediate any issues without anyone resorting to violence.’
Doomadgee Acting Mayor Jason Ned said the law wasn’t tough enough to tackle the issue.
‘We’ve got bulls**t laws that let off young criminals with a lollipop and handshake,’ he told the publication.
‘Back in the 1980s, tribal elders could make sure the young ones respect people. Now there’s no respect.’
However, Aboriginal leaders said the scale was ‘nothing like’ the civil unrest in Aurukun, in Cape York, which has seen hundreds of people displaced.
A number of Instagram pages are dedicated to documenting the organised all-in brawls, which typically end with handshakes
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN AURUKUN
Upheaval in the Queensland town of Aurukun has been so violent about 300 people have left and the government is sending in disaster response experts.
Riots triggered by an alleged murder almost a month ago has seen more than one fifth of the 1400-strong town flee to other communities throughout Cape York.
During a 15-hour rampage, rioters wielded spears, star pickets, axes and bows and arrows as they went house-to-house looking for relatives of two teens charged with killing a 37-year man.
The government says it is working to return the troubled town to ‘normality, calm and healing’.
Additional police have been sent to Aurukun where they have been rostered on 24 hours a day to maintain calm in the town.
The marauders sought vengeance during the rampage as they tried to force their way into the local medical centre, stormed the airport and torched eight homes.
About 250 residents fearing further reprisals fled Aurukun, with 130 heading six hours’ west to Coen, while others travelled to nearby communities including Hope Vale, Kowanyama, Laura, Mapoon, Napranum and Pormpuraaw.
More than 100 other refugees sought shelter in a bush camp being run by former soldiers 80km outside the township where they were still hiding out.
Some have since returned, but others say there is no future for them in Aurukun.
Inter-clan tensions which go back generations have contributed to previous riots in Aurukun in 2007, 2013 and 2015.
In previous riots the police station has been attacked and gunfire kept scared residents indoors. In 2016 the township became so violent the local school was temporarily closed down.
In 2007 it gained international headlines when nine boys and men aged from 13 to 25 avoided jail after pleading guilty to the repeated rape of a 10-year-old girl.
At that time about 10 per cent of the township’s inhabitants were on parole or under court supervision orders, with just as many in juvenile detention centres and jails.
As part of the latest violent flare-up a 17-year-old youth and an 18-year-old man have been charged with murder and extra police have been deployed.
Investigators have charged 27 others with 118 offences since the riot. Twelve of those people have been charged with arson.