police brutality mardi gras
New South Wales, News

NSW Police officer resigned three years after Mardi Gras brutality accusation, investigation reveals

An officer remained with New South Wales Police for three years after the brutal arrest of a teenager at the 2013 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade, new information has revealed.

Jamie Jackson Reed, 18 at the time, was already handcuffed when then-constable Leon Mixios was videotaped slamming him into the pavement.

“I have pulled him back and thrown him to ground with a leg sweep,” Mixios wrote in his report at the time.

“I placed my foot on his back to hold him down as he was bleeding and I didn’t want to be contaminated nor did I feel safe getting down with the crowd around us.”

The charges against Jackson, including using offensive language and resisting arrest, were dropped, and New South Wales Police were ordered to pay him $39,000 in costs.

Despite Mixios’s own account of the incident and the video footage of the brutality, in which officers could be heard telling people to stop filming, he remained with the police department for three years, an investigation by The Guardian has revealed.

Note: Video of the incident contains graphic violence.

Mixios was put on office duty before resigning amid the police investigation.

An initial finding of “unreasonable use of force” was made under Section 181D of the Police Act,
New South Wales Police stated.

A police spokesperson said that Mixios commenced proceedings to have the order reviewed, and resigned during the process.

The police commissioner accepted his resignation and withdrew the Section 181D order.

The police force paid over half a million dollars in damages and costs to the victims of four incidents at Mardi Gras in 2013.

At the time, assistant police commissioner Mark Murdoch said the police were in the “biz of policing by consent with the support of [the gay] community”.

Murdoch stated, “Police need to be mature enough to know everyone on the street has a mobile phone and that anyone has the right to record anyone in a public space.”

Reed said he had never been informed that Mixios had left the police force.

“It makes me sad to think that police brutality is still continuing [against] different minority groups in Australia,” Reed said.

“I also wanted to shed light on the disgusting amount of Aboriginal deaths in custody.

“Over 400 human beings have lost their lives, and justice is yet to be served for their families.”

The revelation that Mixios remained with the police force for so long after the Mardi Gras incident comes as the Black Lives Matter movement gains momentum around the world, protesting police violence against Black people.

The police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis this May has led to rallies in all American states and dozens of other countries.

The Minneapolis City Council pledged to dismantle the city police department in favour of a “new model of public safety” yet to be determined.

This story was updated on 3 August 2020. An earlier version stated, based on an erroneous statement from New South Wales Police, that Mixios was dismissed from the force. Pink Advocate has since been advised that he resigned of his own accord. We apologise for the incorrect information.

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