An African-Australian filmmaker has accused police of victimising him in a string of racially motivated attacks – a claim that police deny.
Representing himself at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Hamadou Djime made 27 allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation, racial vilification and human rights breaches against individual police and Victoria Police as a whole.
The accusations, including alleged sexual harassment at Footscray railway station, have also been lodged with the Office of Police Integrity and the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission.
Mr Djime’s complaints relate to a series of incidents stretching back to 2008, after his 2006 arrival from Mali. In one incident, Mr Djime arrived at Footscray railway station on May 15, 2013 but did not ‘touch on’ his myki card as he had recently done so on a tram.
Mr Djime alleges two female senior constables followed and flirted with him “like two high school girls”, before telling him he had committed an offence by not tapping his myki.
Defence evidence suggested the women called for back-up after Mr Djime began acting aggressively, which Mr Djime denied. He alleged he was assaulted, molested and had his dreadlocks pulled before being put into a police van and dumped in an industrial area “in the middle of nowhere” between Footscray and North Melbourne stations.
Mr Djime also claimed at VCAT he was assaulted by police during a later incident in his Sunshine rental property in September 2013.
He said he was handcuffed and beaten by a sergeant, claiming he was “smashed to the floor, kicked and punched 12 times on the back”.
VCAT heard Mr Dimje was later charged with assaulting a police sergeant and the brother of the man who had rented him the premises, as well as resisting police.
He was found guilty in Sunshine Magistrates Court of assault and resisting police, but a charge of assaulting the sergeant was dismissed.
Mr Djime has appealed the findings.
Most of his claims at VCAT were lodged under the Equal Opportunity Act. But Victoria Police sought to have the majority dismissed on the grounds they did not relate to provision of a service so could not be assessed under that act.
VCAT member Anna Dea agreed, dismissing 21 of the 27 allegations but ordering a further hearing on the remaining six at a later date.