The Greens today supported the growing call for the new, heavily armed and militaristic SAPOL “Security Response Section” (SRS) to be disbanded. The new unit was launched with a media walk through Rundle Mall on Wednesday which saw strong social media backlash. The Police Commissioner announced that the SRS was likely to be deployed at locations and events including the upcoming Christmas Pageant, Adelaide Oval, the Adelaide Railway Station, Central Market, Rundle Mall – and even at the Black Lives Matter (BLM) rally in Adelaide this weekend. The original Facebook post by SAPOL announcing the new unit was withdrawn within hours of being posted.
Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:
Who on earth is going to feel safer, seeing an officer with shoot-to-kill powers ‘patrolling’ through the Central Market toting a semi-automatic assault rifle as the public grab their weekly fruit and veggies or take the grandkids to see Santa?
When the world is watching the BLM movement and increased calls to de-escalate over-policing and increase justice reinvestment are gathering in force, it is quite astounding that SAPOL sends this new militarised unit down Rundle Mall, then the Commissioner suggest they may well be deployed for the #BLM rally this weekend. That is not just absurd, it is downright dangerous.
The Commissioner showed leadership and vision at the June 6 #BLM rally and the result was community building. It is now quite tone deaf of Commissioner Stevens to say that this heavily armed unit might be in attendance at the #BLM rally this weekend – where some of the key focuses are the misuse of force by the police, and demilitarising the police.