South Australian Police officers have been caught on camera pushing and shoving a man in a dark alley, before grabbing him round the neck and slamming him to the ground.
Video obtained by 7NEWS (below) shows witnesses watch on in disbelief as officers pounced on the man on York Street, in the Adelaide CBD.
The impact so severe that witnesses say he was briefly knocked unconscious.
“Was that a cop that just did that to him?” witness Jasmin Hanson can be heard saying.
She filmed the entire incident from her apartment balcony and said it left her distressed.
“It just felt like the whole thing was a massive overreaction,” she told 7NEWS.
“He really didn’t seem aggressive at all … he looked genuinely scared.”
“You could tell he was quite distraught.”
The footage show the man backing up and making no attempt to physically engage with the officers.
After the footage surfaced, SAPOL defended the officers’ actions, claiming the man had earlier interfered with a separate investigation and had repeatedly been told to leave the area.
In a further attempt to justify the officers’ heavy-handed actions, SAPOL offered the rather fanciful excuse the aggressive response came after the man “threatened to spit in their faces.”
At the start of the footage, it appears as if the man may be wearing a face mask, although the poor lighting makes it difficult to tell for sure.
At any rate, the “spitting” line is absurd. People don’t “threaten to spit”, they simply spit.
The reality, as we have seen in recent events involving SAPOL thug Senior Constable Ben Higgins, is that the “spitting” line is a trusty standby excuse when the pathologically dishonest SAPOL is caught out assaulting unarmed and outnumbered people.
In SAPOL’s classic malicious fashion, the 21-year-old has been charged with a number of offences, including “assaulting an emergency worker” and “resisting arrest”.