“Victoria Police acknowledges the outcome released by IBAC today, which determined that our members had acted lawfully and reasonably during the arrest of a man in Fitzroy on 11 May 2019,” said Assistant Commissioner of Professional Standards Command, Russell Barrett.
“There are no winners in this situation.
“We have a man who was involved in a highly distressing situation and was injured during the arrest. We have already apologised for the emotional and physical impact this incident had on the man and will continue to offer him and his community our full support.
“For someone to be injured during an interaction with police is not the outcome our members want or expect when they start their shift. That is why we apologised to the man so early on and we would do the same thing if we had our time over.
“However, it was not appropriate for us to pass judgement on the actions of police before a full review had been completed.
“Policing is a challenging and dynamic role. Our members are regularly called out to dangerous and high-pressure situations that require quick thinking and timely responses to keep the community safe. I am proud of all of our employees who serve and protect the community every day.
“I also acknowledge IBAC’s finding that there was no evidence to suggest our members’ actions were racially or sexually motivated. Victoria Police has strong relationships with the LGBTIQ community and we would not jeopardise this under any circumstance. Our role as police is to serve and protect all Victorians and the LGBTIQ community is an important part of this.
“In addition, I acknowledge IBAC’s finding that our officers did not advise the man with the reason for his arrest. Whilst we need to more fully understand this finding, we are absolutely committed to respecting people’s human rights, which is a core value of policing.”