Copwatch training comes to Perth

The National Justice Project held a ‘Copwatch’ workshop in Perth this week, to teach members of the community how to safely and legally record interactions with police to be used as evidence in court. 

The workshop was held in partnership with Noongar activist Mervyn Eades, whose 18-year-old relative was hit by a police car in the Perth suburb of Thornlie in May.

Police initially claimed that the incident occurred when the Indigenous teenager “collided” with the police car.

A video of the incident, however, showed the police car following the teenager, driving into his path and hitting him with such force that he ended up on the footpath. The police officer involved was later stood down

The National Justice Project’s Principal Solicitor, George Newhouse, says that the police officer was only stood down because of this video.

Mr Newhouse and Mr Eades gave tips about how to best record interactions between the police and Indigenous community members. 

The workshop was covered by ABC News  and NITV News.

“It is important to all communities to let people know that taking footage from a distance, a safe distance from the police, when there is any brutality or excessive force taking place is really necessary for when it comes to the criminal processing in the courts and to hold them accountable to whatever injustices they are doing to our mob,” Mr Eades told NITV News. 

Attendees at the launch of Copwatch in Perth