Disturbing allegations have emerged over the weekend that a local pool ordered all Aboriginal people to leave a swimming complex in Bathurst which was then followed up with the use of excessive force by Police on local youths.
In what appears to be a simple misunderstanding has turned into a violent crackdown on local Indigenous teens in the town of Bathurst on Saturday last week. According to a viral social media post which emerged on Sunday, a simple misunderstanding over the use of a swimming toy escalated into an order to leave. Some of those who were ordered to leave were then subjected to excessive force by police officers who were called in by staff working at the pool.
The short video posted to social media which shows the police targeting a number of youths, was posted by a family member of the young woman who was at the centre of the initial misunderstanding between herself and a lifeguard. The same woman also alleges that one of her nephews was later targeted by police with further excessive force by police officers. The woman is adamant that the whole ordeal was blown way out of proportion and does not believe the actions warranted anyone being kicked out of the pool. She is also calling on any witnesses to come forward with statements and any recordings of the events that took place on late Saturday afternoon. She is also confident any CCTV footage will back up her story.
It is not clear whether pool staff were following the directions of the police when the alleged call for all Aboriginal people to leave the complex was made. It’s sad that a simple misunderstanding has lead to several injuries to a number of teens and has heightened the distrust of police to those caught up in the incident and the younger generation of Indigenous bystanders who are now describing the officers as bad people instead of those who are supposed to be protecting the public.
At the moment there is only one local news article that mentions the incident however it fails to mention the simple misunderstanding that started the incident or the alleged response for all Aboriginal people to be removed. We have found a few negative reviews posted on the swimming pool’s Facebook page.
Update: A follow up community protest was held outside the Bathurst Police station on November 9.
We hope that with our spotlight on this case we can add the extra pressure needed for pool management and police to take this situation seriously rather than think they can get away with it because they are backed by the mainstream media who continue to ignore or whitewash stories like these.
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