Police

Q: ‘DOES SAPOL HAVE A RACISM PROBLEM?’ A: EO COMMISSION SHOULD FIND OUT

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Greens MLC Tammy Franks has today in Question Time called on the Marshall Government to task the Equal Opportunity Commissioner to review racism within the ranks of SAPOL as was done to address sexism and sexual harassment.

Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:

“In the past week we have seen officers put on administrative duties and subject to internal investigation following the social media expose of the violent arrest and subsequent release without charge of a young Aboriginal man in Kilburn, and the online disgusting trolling of a Sudanese community leader by another officer leading to similar internal investigation.

“Each time this week these events have only been addressed due to community backlash and the SAPOL Commissioner has stated that SAPOL does not have a racism problem. Yet in parliament today I raised the case of a former SAPOL officer who not so long ago quit the force citing the appalling treatment she received because her partner was Aboriginal.

That former officer told ABC radio in late 2019 “I remember pretty much the first week of having graduated from the police academy, we were walking down Hindley Street, and I remember one of my supervisors at the time said ‘It’s not racism, it’s stereotyping that we do’.

“Stereotyping is racial profiling. To me that is racism. If we have such a problem, we should first identify it so that we can address it. The EO Commissioner would be well placed to take on this task and should be charged to do so with urgency.

BACKGROUND: the EO Commissioner undertook similar work to review sexist behavior and sexual harassment in SAPOL in 2016 with the subsequent report finding “sex discrimination and sexual harassment of women and anyone else that doesn’t fir the white macho male stereotype is commonplace in SAPOL, including amongst supervisors and managers”.

Media Contact: Tammy Franks – 0457 549 938