Footage has circulated on social media of a National Tertiary Education Union member being assaulted by a police officer at the Kangaroo Point refugee rally on Sunday afternoon. The man, Jeff Rickertt, a 56-year-old university librarian, is seen holding a fence when a police officer violently attacks him. Rickertt was hospitalised overnight and released from the Mater on Monday afternoon.
As stated by NTEU Queensland Secretary, Michael McNally:
“I was shocked and appalled to see Jeff attacked like that. The footage is really short and you can’t see what is happening before the incident, but there is no possible excuse for this excessive use of force.”
“Jeff just appears to be holding the fence when he is attacked from behind, while not apparently constituting a threat to anyone.”
“Jeff has been protesting for a long time against the festering sore that has been created by the indefinite detention of refugees in terrible conditions.”
“It’s totally inappropriate that they are locked up in an inner-city motel that’s not fit for purpose. I bet that the police don’t want to have to be there either, though that’s no excuse for violence. It’s a toxic situation created by inhumane border protection policy.”