Disturbing CCTV footage shows the moment two police officers dragged an elderly man out of a care home and restrained him on the ground, with one of the officers repeatedly kneeing the man.
The rough interaction came moments after the officers tasered and pepper-sprayed Mick Francis, a resident of the home.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens authorised the release of the footage on Wednesday afternoon.
The incident took place in Adelaide’s south on October 26 and a criminal investigation has been launched into the conduct of two police officers.
“The man, aged in his 60s, was restrained by police and sustained minor injuries during the arrest,” the police said on Tuesday.
A complaint was lodged with the Office for Public Integrity and South Australia Police over the incident on Sunday, and after reviewing bodycam footage, police investigators identified “concerns” and began criminal and disciplinary investigations.
Officers delivered the footage to Commissioner Stevens, who has declared a commissioner’s inquiry into the incident.
The two officers have been removed from duty.
“As this incident is the subject of a complaint, the Police Complaints and Discipline Act would ordinarily prohibit the disclosure or publication of information in connection with it,” the police said.
“However, the commissioner has determined to authorise both the disclosure and publication of the above information in relation to this complaint, as it is in the public interest to do so.
“No further information in relation to this incident is to be disclosed or published, pursuant to the Police Complaints and Discipline Act.”
Deputy Commissioner Linda Williams, speaking on Tuesday afternoon, said the inquiry would be led by a senior police officer but would be overseen by the independent Office for Public Integrity.
“They have complete oversight,” she said.
She said the police had responded “swiftly” after becoming aware of the incident on Sunday.
“I think you can read from the response that there is a level of concern that justified a commissioner’s inquiry,” she said.
She would not disclose whether the man was a resident of the facility or a worker.
She said the inquiry would take as long as it needed to develop a full picture of what had transpired.
She expressed confidence in how police officers deployed force in the state.
“We have a very rigorous training process and we have a rigorous oversight process in relation to the use of all forms of use of force in the South Australian police,” she said.
“I’m confident that in the majority of cases police officers exercise those authorities appropriately.”
The incident was allegedly not reported up the chain of command and it took a public complaint to set the investigation in process.
The deputy commissioner said this would also be investigated.
She did not disclose details about what happened in the moments leading up to the deployment of force.
The incident comes after, separately, care home resident Clare Nowland was allegedly tasered by a NSW police officer in May while she was holding a knife.
Ms Nowland fell and hit her head and died from her injuries.
Originally published as CCTV shows moment cop knees elderly man before he was tasered and pepper sprayed