A former police officer is expected to face criminal assault charges over his treatment of detainees in the Broome police station after two findings of misconduct against him by the State's corruption watchdog.
But the WA Police Union fears he will not receive a fair trial after footage of clashes with two men aged 18 and 31 in March and April was released by the Corruption and Crime Commission yesterday.
The careers of other officers who failed to intervene or report the events hang in the balance, with Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan asking two of them why they should not be sacked.
The footage's release came after a six-month legal fight by the 31-year-old former officer to keep the footage from public view ended in the Supreme Court and a separate application to the High Court was withdrawn.
The former first-class constable resigned from WA Police in May but the union has kept a close eye on the case amid fears the release of the footage would inflame tensions between locals and officers in Broome.
In its report yesterday, the CCC formed opinions of misconduct against the former officer over an incident on March 29 in which he dragged the 18-year-old to a cell in a neck hold and an April 19 clash that started in a secure garage.
In the incident, the CCC found the former officer used excessive force on a 31-year-old Aboriginal man when he punched him in the head and upper body on the garage floor and twice dropped his knee on the detainee's head.
He later pulled the detainee up by his hair, threw him face-first into the charge-room floor while the prisoner's hands were cuffed behind his back and dragged him across the floor by his jaw.
The man went to hospital after being released from prison 10 days later and was found to have a fractured finger and haemorrhaged eye.
The CCC concluded the former officer's conduct could constitute common assault and is expected to lay charges.
Another nine officers were criticised for failing to intervene and failing to render assistance, which the CCC said "could have had fatal consequences".
Mr O'Callaghan rejected the CCC's suggestion that failure of supervision could be a "systemic issue", saying the CCC had looked at two lockup admissions among thousands each year.