Australian Police harasses Minorities
Australia has seen huge immigration flows in the last century.
Many new communities have faced discrimination from the State especially by from the Police. Attempts at legitimising this discrimination have often rested upon the struggle against drug trafficking, but it is not only minorities who are involved in this trade.
According to a survey in 1990 by Sir James Augustine Gobbo (who was an Australian jurist and was the 25th Governor of Victoria), 12.5 per cent of females in prison for drug offences were Australian-born, compared with 17 per cent of overseas-born women.
In the same year, 6.4 per cent of men in prison for drug offences were Australian-born compared with 20.5 per cent of overseas-born men.
The Juvenile Justice Service made a survey in 1997–98, which highlighted a discrimination between the 18 million and half Australians. Three hundred and sixty-one clients (24 per cent of all clients) had been charged with one or more drug offences in 1997–98.
Of these, 51 per cent were designated ‘Australian’; 26 per cent ‘Vietnamese’while they represented only 0,93 percent of the total of the Australian population.
The remaining drug offenders were from 27 different ethnicities. Of the total 109 Vietnamese Juvenile Justice clients, 92 (or 84 per cent) had drug offences, compared with the total 1,088 Australian clients of whom 185 (or only 17 per cent) had drug offences.
These statistics are now very old and it is impossible to highlight discrimination behavior from policemen against minorities with regard to disproportionate over drugs charges.
However there are recent studies on the racist behavior of the Australian police.
The Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre has made 19 complaints to the Office of Police Integrity about police violence and racism since March 2006. These include police officers using insults including "Why don't you go back to Africa" and "black cunt" — and repeatedly calling a young person "black dog" while punching him in the head.
The complaints were the subject of a confidential report written by the Ethical Standards Department of the Victorian police.
In 2010 African youths have been racially targeted, taunted and bashed by police across Melbourne.
Victoria Police officers are accused of labelling young African men "monkey" and "black c***", taking photographs of them gathered on the streets for intelligence purposes and, in one case, taking off their uniforms to bash black men in a public park.
"It's horrible, humiliating," says Aran Brown, an 18-year-old African refugee who says he has experienced discrimination in Melbourne.
Berhan Ahmed, chairman of the African Think Tank, said the situation had improved since 2007 when Sudanese refugee Liep Gony was fatally bashed in Noble Park.
"It was really bad back then. But we've since been working to improve our relationship," he said.
"I can't say we've done everything, but without a doubt there has been progress."
Victorian police have also been accused of failing to take attacks on Indian students seriously, with some in the community claiming the slow response was due to racism.
In 2010, top Australian police officers have been caught in a racist e-mail scandal joking about the electrocution of an Indian train passenger and suggesting that it could be "a way to fix the Indian student problem" in Melbourne.
Racism attacks against non-white Australians touch also Arabic people.
That’s why Australian Arabic Council (VASS) in partnership with Victoria Police offered Arabic Language and Culture Courses for police officers in October 2002 and July 2003.
The course comprised presentations from community members on important Arabic family, religious and cultural values. Victoria Police has also implemented ‘partnership policing’ with ethnic communities through the Police and Community Multicultural Advisory Committee.
This joint committee of ethnic communities and police advises the Chief Commissioner and government on how they can work harmoniously with ethnic communities.
Now in Australia there is a flow of refugees especially from east Africa who fled civil war and poverty in their country.
The way they are treated by the police seems like the way the police treated other communities in the past.
Australia seems obsessed with its fear of ethnic gangs, the behavior of the police seems to be contributing to the conditions that will another gang culture amongst East African people.
The history of immigration in Australia highlight that non-white immigrants are victims of offences from police. So the governement should be change their policy which currently tolerate police abuses.
A partnership like this started with Arab-Muslim community should be extended to other communities especially for refugees who cannot have a strong influence like that of the Lebanese who are well integrated in the Australian economy.