WARNING – DISTRESSING CONTENT: A video has emerged of South Australian police pinning down an Aboriginal man with one officer appearing to hit him several times.
The video was filmed by bystanders calling for the officers to "get off his head" and "get his head up" off the ground.
It was posted on Facebook on Monday night.
Comments on Facebook suggested he had been stopped for not wearing a helmet while riding a bike.
Witness Emma Pereira said her friend, Noel Henry, was the man being arrested in her driveway and was "getting tackled" by two officers when she started filming.
She said the incident happened outside her Albert Street flat in Kilburn, in Adelaide's inner north, about 9:30pm (local time) on Monday.
"He's like part of our family, he's lived in Kilburn for all his life," Ms Pereira told The Advertiser.
SA Police released a statement addressing the incident, saying police went to a Kilburn address in response to “an alleged high risk domestic violence matter” about 8.15pm on Monday.
Police said a woman was taken to hospital and the offender was not known at the time.
When officers approached the house, a man was seen leaving the home on a bicycle.
“Police at this time advised the man that they had suspicions concerning him being in possession of illicit drugs,” SA Police said.
“He was asked to place his hands on his head while a search of his person was undertaken.”
They allege the man was initially compliant, but after a short time he “began to refuse”.
Officers then attempted to arrest the man who they said resisted and then a struggle ensued.
“Police and the man went to the ground as police attempted to restrain and handcuff him,” SA Police said.
During the arrest, one of the officers was wearing a body camera and it was “grabbed” during the arrest, with police only being able to locate parts of it.
SA Police then say a number of nearby residents confronted the police and became “agitated”, and back-up officers were called.
“Defensive spray was deployed and other police arrived,” SA Police said, acknowledging the video had been shared to social media.
“The video shows a rear view of a police officer appearing to strike the man on the ground.”
An internal investigation into the incident has commenced and a senior police officer has been assigned to look into this matter, police said.
“The 28-year-old Kilburn man was initially arrested and charged with hinder police, resist police and property damage,” SA Police said.
“As part of the initial review, the man has been released from police custody and the incident is the subject of further investigation.
“Both the man and one of the police officers received minor injuries.”
Less than two weeks ago, more than 5000 people protested in Adelaide's CBD calling for justice over the death of black man George Floyd and an end to Aboriginal deaths in custody.
with Yahoo News Staff
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