What does this mean for other officers?
POLICE ASSOCIATION ASKS
- What does this mean for other officers who must use lethal force?
"We are bitterly disappointed on behalf of Constable A and his family, at the decision today to proceed to a jury trial, but it is simply another step in what has been a very long process in getting justice for Constable A," Police Association President Greg O'Connor said today. "Immediately our concern is also the implication that this may have on any Police Officer who is unlucky enough to have to use lethal force."
Mr O'Connor was referring to the Chief Justice's decision today to commit the private prosecution of murder against Constable A to trial to be heard by a jury.
"While we draw comfort from the fact that the decision does not say the charge is justified or that the evidence supporting the charge is credible or strong, merely that this is a decision for a jury to make," Mr O'Connor said, "our legal advice is that it has likely changed the threshold on which a police officer will face charges when they must use lethal force."
"We now ask the question of the Solicitor General, Minister of Justice and the Commissioner - What are the circumstances where a Police Officer can not be charged publicly or privately, when they have been unlucky enough to have had to use lethal force?"
"If there are none, then there clearly need to be and we will be looking for legislative change. Police Officers must be able to protect the public with the knowledge that if they have to use lethal force and have acted legally and in good faith they will not face court action," Mr O'Connor said
"The Police Association continue to support Constable A and his family, with the utmost certainty that Constable A was justified in his actions that night," Mr O'Connor said. ENDS