National

Family await answers after teen’s arrest

By AAP Newswire

The father of an Indigenous teenager who had his legs kicked out from beneath him while being arrested in Sydney is waiting for the police officer to be punished.

Footage of the 16-year-old boy's scuffle with police was shared via social media last month after he was arrested at Ward Park in Surry Hills.

The teenager had allegedly told a police officer "I'll crack you in the f**king jaw, bro" before the officer reacted.

After being threatened, the officer can be seen telling the teenager to turn around and put his hands behind his back. He then kicks the young man's legs out from beneath him and handcuffs him face down on the ground.

Referring to his son as 'Kuta' - a pseudonym which means brother in the language of the Pitjantjara people of Central Australia - his father says the family is determined to fight injustices experienced by Kuta and all Indigenous people in custody.

"There's no words in the dictionary that describe how I felt that day seeing my son treated unjustly by the cop," the father, who can't be named, told reporters on Sunday.

"My son was the only black person among his white friends. He was targeted by these police and I just want to say that today is our time to get our voice up."

Police had not been in contact with the family since the incident occurred and he had little faith in "police investigating police", he said.

The police force's professional standards command was investigating and the constable has been placed on restricted duties

"We want our own investigations toward that action," he insisted.

"We just want to keep away from them, they terrorised my kid, they terrorised my family and that's it. Enough's enough."

The father said his son was still suffering from the experience but would join him at the protest in solidarity.

"To other fathers and uncles, we have a job to do, we have to look after our young people, we need to look after our young warriors that are coming up," he said.

"This is a time for change, it's time for power for all of us as black people."

National Justice Project director George Newhouse - who is one of the lawyers representing Kuta - told AAP on Sunday the family are "patiently waiting for police to investigate this matter".

"Hopefully there'll be some decision soon about whether this officer's going to be charged or not," Mr Newhouse said.

The family had asked Mr Newhouse to launch a private prosecution if the constable was not charged, while the Redfern Legal Centre has referred the matter to the independent police watchdog.

Before Sydney's Black Lives Matter protest on Sunday afternoon, Kuta's father thanked everyone who had turned out at the events.