More footage adds to pressure on Vic cops

By AAP Newswire

Victoria Police faces mounting pressure to overhaul its complaints process as six officers stare down suspension or reassignment for the manhandling of a Melbourne disability pensioner.

Since footage emerged showing the man being dragged onto his front lawn, beaten on the leg, pepper sprayed and squirted with a garden hose, more instances of questionable police treatment have surfaced.

A specialist unit will decide by Thursday if the officers involved in the September incident will be stood aside amid an investigation by the state's corruption watchdog, Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said.

"We are actively seeking further detail and making an assessment as to whether they should be stood down ... or placed in alternative duties," he told reporters.

"This couldn't be undertaken until we got the authority from IBAC," he said, referring to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission.

There will also be an IBAC investigation into the treatment of another man who tried to rob a Preston chemist in 2016 before being punched in the head, neck and back by officers.

The vision shows one of four officers kneeling on the 23-year-old before he is kicked in the head, hit with a baton and stomped on the back.

Deputy Commissioner Andrew Crisp acknowledged the two sets of CCTV - made public by the ABC and the Age, "certainly demand explanation".

The public broadcaster on Wednesday also released footage of an officer throwing a young, drunk man into a metal door before another kicked him as he lay on the floor of a Bendigo police station, in March 2015.

IBAC confirmed this incident was also under investigation.

A woman who said she had been "a victim of police brutality" outside a Sunbury pub in 2012 has also joined with legal groups to call for a review of officer complaints.

Jessie Scarlett-Rhodes said she was shoved to the ground, kneed in the head and thrown into a police van after swearing at officers who shone a torch in her face and demanded she and her husband show identification.

She was later charged over the incident but subsequently awarded $86,000 following a civil suit against Victoria Police.

"I was mentally distressed, I felt injustice, I was scared, I was angry," Ms Scarlett-Rhodes said on the steps of Victoria's parliament.

"And I just felt that I had to keep going and I had to keep pushing through."

Various legal groups say such incidents highlight the need for a new body to deal with allegations of serious police misconduct, because IBAC referred most cases back to the force.

"The current system is failing Victorians and the odds are stacked against anyone who complains," Human Rights Law Centre executive director Hugh de Kretser said.

A Fitzroy Legal Service spokeswoman added that not a single complaint against police had been substantiated in the past decade.

But Police Minister Lisa Neville defended police and called for people to wait for the outcome of a parliamentary inquiry.

"This is an incredibly tough job and is not our role to second guess how our officers operate when they are protecting the community," she said.