Cops Accused Of Forcing Dog To Sit And Indicate Festival Goers Had Drugs
A video shot that appears to show police forcing a sniffer dog to indicate a person had drugs at a music festival has been slammed as "humiliating" and "wrong".
The video was taken at Sydney Showground on Sunday evening during the Epik Music festival.
The video shows a NSW Police officer approach a couple with a sniffer dog. The officer then appears to place one hand on the dog's back and force it into a seated position. The dog appears to struggle under the officer's force, but remains standing.
The video was shared on the Sniff Off Facebook page -- a group founded by Greens MP David Shoebridge and the NSW Young Greens to combat the use of sniffer dogs.
Shoebridge told 10 daily police use drug dogs to deliberately embarrass members of the public.
"The NSW Police use their drug dog program as an excuse to submit people to the humiliating and traumatising strip searches at random," he said.
"We are constantly hearing from young people that the drug dogs haven't indicated they have drugs but are still searched by police."
Shoebridge urged NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to abolish the sniffer dog program, claiming dogs get drug detection wrong most of the time.
"Drug dogs get it wrong almost 70 percent of the time and this video shows you one of the reasons why," Shoebridge said.
Sniff Off said they will be reporting the footage to the NSW Police Minister and the Police Integrity Commission.
But in a statement released on Monday afternoon, NSW police said the officer involved had attempted to put the dog in a 'controlled position' in order to speak to the 20-year-old man.
"This was not used as part of justification to conduct the subsequent person search," the statement said.
"Nothing of interest was located. However, as a result of inquiries, the man was ejected from the venue."
NSW police were asked why the man was removed from the festival but refused to comment further.
During the Epik music festival 18 people were charged with drug-related offences, 13 people were issued drug criminal infringement notices and a further 38 people were ejected by police.
Seven festival goers were charged with drug supply. Among the seven was an 18-year-old woman who allegedly concealed 800 MDMA pills in her bra.
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