Dani Laidley sues police over sharing pics

Former AFL coach Danielle Laidley is suing Victoria Police after she alleged officers shared photos of her at the races to disparage and ridicule her for identifying as a woman.

In court documents lodged with Victoria's Supreme Court this week, Ms Laidley is seeking damages from the State of Victoria, as the operator of Victoria Police.

She alleges she was treated like a "ridiculous spectacle" after police officers shared photos of her at Geelong Racecourse in November 2021.

"The nature of the first and second photographs and the words communicated by police officers of and concerning the plaintiff were such as to invite and expose the plaintiff to humiliation and ridicule," Ms Laidley's writ stated.

"The photograph and the words communicated by police officers of and concerning the plaintiff in this context meant and were understood to mean that the plaintiff, by reason of dressing as and/or identifying as a woman, was deserving of disparagement and ridicule and that she was a ridiculous spectacle."

Ms Laidley alleged her feelings, credit and reputation have been injured by the incident, and claimed she had been "brought into public ridicule and contempt".

She allegedly continues to suffer injury loss and damage, and is seeking aggravated and exemplary damages.

Victoria Police had a duty to exercise reasonable care for the physical and psychological safety of Ms Laidley, and police officers had breached that duty of care, she claimed.

Ms Laidley alleged the actions of officers had amounted to misfeasance in public office.

Victoria Police said it was yet to receive the writ but that it would vehemently defend all allegations.

A spokeswoman said police investigators had been unable to substantiate any claims that police members were involved in the photo sharing.

"This matter was extensively investigated at the time and no evidence was found to suggest any Victoria Police members, either on or off duty, were involved," she said.

"As part of our internal investigation all members working at the event where the image was taken were contacted and investigated.

"The media outlet which initially reported the matter were contacted and refused to provide details on who sent the image, nor did they provide a copy of the alleged comments."

The fresh legal action comes after Ms Laidley reached a confidential financial settlement with Victoria Police in March, after her mugshot was leaked on social media by officers.

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