Australian Man Who Filmed and Taunted Dying Police Officers Gets 10 Months in Prison
- Richard Pusey, a 42-year-old Australian man, was sentenced to 10 months in jail Wednesday for “outraging public decency” after filming and taunting four dying Victoria police officers.
- Pusey was pulled over for speeding down a highway in his Porsche last April, and as officers prepared his arrest, the driver of a semi-trailer swerved out of its lane and struck all of them.
- Pusey reportedly avoided injury because he had been urinating behind roadside bushes at the time, but he made no attempts to assist the officers. In profanity-ridden video he took, he zoomed in on their injuries and made remarks like, “absolutely amazing” and “beautiful.”
- While many called his punishment too lenient, a court reporter for the Herald Sun explained the sentencing and noted that “being a downright despicable scumbag devoid of any redeeming features unfortunately isn’t an offence.”
“Most Hated Man in Australia” Gets 10 Month Sentence
Several people across Australia have expressed outrage over the recent sentencing of 42-year-old Richard Pusey, who is often referred to by local media as the “most hated man in Australia.”
Pusey was sentenced to 10 months in jail Wednesday for “outraging public decency” after filming and taunting four dying Victoria police officers.
He was reportedly pulled over for speeding down a highway in his Porsche last April.
As four Victoria police officers prepared his arrest, the driver of a semi-trailer swerved out of its lane and struck all of them.
According to The New York Times, Pusey avoided injury because he had been urinating behind roadside bushes at the time. However, he remained on the scene of the accident for several minutes to film the officers who had been hit.
All four officers were killed, though experts believe one, who was pinned under the semi-trailer, was likely still alive as Pusey began filming.
For around three minutes, he wound his way through the crash, zoomed in on injuries, and mocked the officers on video. His commentary included profanity and remarks like “he’s smashed,” “justice,” “absolutely amazing,” and “beautiful.”
When a bystander came to aid the officers and asked Pusey to help, he replied, “They’re dead,” and continued filming.
He reportedly made no attempts to assist them, then left the scene and drove home.
After his arrest, police discovered the footage on his phone and learned that he had shared it with other people.
Pusey later pled guilty to the outraging public decency charge, along with drug possession and a speeding offense. On top of his 10-month sentenced, he was also ordered to pay $1,000 fine and had his driver’s license suspended for two years.
Responses To Sentencing
Pusey’s conviction is fairly interesting because it marks the first time an outraging public decency charge has been prosecuted in the state since 1963.
The sentencing judge, Trevor Wraight, said his conduct was “heartless, cruel and disgraceful,” though he noted that Pusey had a personality disorder, which might explain some of his behavior.
Pusey had already spent nearly 300 days behind bars when the sentence was ordered, but The New York Times claims he is likely to remain in custody for unrelated matters.
Still, families of the slain officers, and much of the general public, were furious over the sentencing, with many on social media calling it too lenient.
Chief of the Victoria Police Association Wayne Gatt even said Pusey “is a worthless individual that lacks any human trait.”
“Each and every one of us will face our mortality one day. When his day comes, I hope that he faces the same coldness and the same callousness which he provided my members when they faced theirs,” he added.
Others, however, pointed to a piece by Rebekah Cavanagh, a court reporter for the Herald Sun, which explained the sentencing and noted that “being a downright despicable scumbag devoid of any redeeming features unfortunately isn’t an offence.”
As far as the driver of the truck, Mohinder Singh, he had allegedly been impaired by drugs and sleep-deprived when his vehicle hit the officers. He was sentenced to 22-years in prison after pleading guilty to four counts of culpable driving causing death, three charges of drug trafficking, and one count of possessing illicit drugs.
See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (BBC) (The Daily Dot)
95-Year-Old Woman Dies After Police Tases Her in Nursing Home
The officer involved was suspended with pay and charged with assault.
A 95-year-old Australian woman whom police tasered in a nursing home last week has reportedly died from her injuries.
Clare Nowland, who had dementia and required a walking frame to stand up and move, was living at the Yallambee Lodge in Cooma in southeastern Australia.
At about 4:15 a.m. on May 17, police and paramedics responded to a report of a woman standing outside her room with a steak knife.
They encountered Nowland, then reportedly tried to negotiate with her for several minutes, but she didn’t drop the knife.
The five-foot-two, 95-pound woman walked toward the two officers “at a slow pace,” police said at a news conference, so one of them tasered her.
She fell to the floor and reportedly suffered a fractured skull and a severe brain bleed, causing her to be hospitalized in critical condition.
Nowland passed away in a hospital surrounded by her family, the New South Wales police confirmed in a statement today.
After a week-long investigation, the police force also said that the senior constable involved would appear in court next week to face charges of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault.
NSW police procedure states that tasers should not be used against elderly or disabled people absent exceptional circumstances.
Following the incident, community members, activists, and disability rights advocates expressed bewilderment and anger at what they called an unnecessary use of force, and some are now questioning why law enforcement took so long to prosecute the officer involved.
See what others are saying: (Reuters) (The New York Times) (CNN)
U.K. Police Face Backlash After Arresting Anti-Monarchy Protesters
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that some of the arrests “raise questions” and “investigations are ongoing.”
The Public Order Act
A controversial protest crackdown law in the U.K. is facing criticism after dozens of anti-monarchy protesters were arrested during the coronation ceremony in London over the weekend.
The law, dubbed the “Public Order Act” was passed roughly a week ahead of the coronation for King Charles III. It gives police more power to restrict protesters and limits the tactics protesters can use in public spaces. It was condemned by human rights groups upon its passing, and is facing a new round of heat after 52 people were arrested over coronation protests on Saturday.
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said protesters were arrested for public order offenses, breach of the peace and conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. The group said it gave advance warning that its “tolerance for any disruption, whether through protest or otherwise, will be low and that we would deal robustly with anyone intent on undermining the celebration.”
It is currently unclear how many of those arrested were detained specifically for violating the Public Order Act, however, some of those arrested believe the new law was used against them.
“Make no mistake. There is no longer a right to peaceful protest in the UK,” Graham Smith, the CEO of anti-monarchy group Republic tweeted after getting arrested. “I have been told many times the monarch is there to defend our freedoms. Now our freedoms are under attack in his name.”
An Attempt to “Diminish” Protests
During a BBC Radio interview, Smith also said he believes the dozens of arrests were premeditated.
“There was nothing that we did do that could possibly justify even being detained and arrested and held,” Smith claimed.
“The whole thing was a deliberate attempt to disrupt and diminish our protest.”
Yasmine Ahmed, the U.K. Director of Human Rights Watch, also tweeted that the arrests were “disgraceful.”
“These are scenes you’d expect to see in Russia not the UK,” she wrote.
When asked about the controversy, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told reporters officers should do “what they think is best” in an apparent show of support for the Metropolitan Police.
For his part, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he is looking into the matter.
“Some of the arrests made by police as part of the Coronation event raise questions and whilst investigations are ongoing, I’ve sought urgent clarity from Met leaders on the action taken,” Khan tweeted.
See what others are saying: (The Guardian) (CNN) (The Washington Post)
Foreign Nationals Make Mad Dash out of Sudan as Conflict Rages
The conflict’s death toll has surpassed 420, with nearly 4,000 people wounded.
As the 10-day-long power struggle between rival generals tore Sudan apart, foreign governments with citizens in the country scrambled to evacuate them over the weekend.
On Sunday, U.S. special forces landed in the capital Khartoum and carried out nearly 100 American diplomats along with their families and some foreign nationals on helicopters.
An estimated 16,000 Americans, however, remain in the country and U.S. officials said in a statement that a broader evacuation mission would be too dangerous.
Christopher Maier, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity warfare, said in a statement that the Pentagon may assist U.S. citizens find safe routes out of Sudan.
“[The Defense Department] is at present considering actions that may include use of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to be able to observe routes and detect threats,” he said.
Germany and France also reportedly pulled around 700 people out of the country.
More countries followed with similar efforts, including the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Canada, China, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Indonesia.
Yesterday, a convoy carrying some 700 United Nations, NGO, and embassy staff drove to Port Sudan, a popular extraction point now that the airport in Khartoum has closed due to fighting.
Reports of gunmen prowling the capital streets and robbing people trying to escape, as well as looters breaking into abandoned homes and shops, have persuaded most residents to stay indoors.
Heavy gunfire, airstrikes, and artillery shelling have terrorized the city despite several proposed ceasefires.
Over the weekend, the reported death toll topped 420, with nearly 4,000 people injured, though both numbers are likely to be undercounted.