Skip navigation

Senator Thorpe welcomes Mardi Gras cop ban, calls for more police accountability.

Senator Lidia Thorpe has welcomed the Mardi Gras organisers decision to uninvite the NSW Police to the event, and called on the Albanese government to lead on establishing a strong national police oversight and accountability framework.

She said that until Police departments nationwide submit to strong, independent scrutiny and accountability, they’ll have no place participating in LGTQIA+ or in First Nations community events.

This comes after police officer Beau Lamarre – who was cleared following an internal investigation after he tasered a First Nations man in the face three years ago – allegedly murdered Jesse Baird and Luke Davies with a police issued firearm. 

Thorpe has said internal police investigations are not adequate for police accountability.

Around Australia, incidents of police misconduct are investigated internally by police, rather than an independent authority with powers to investigate and penalise misconduct. 

Thorpe has also pointed to the evidence presented to the Kumanjayi Walker coronial inquest by former police officer Zachary Rolfe – who fatally shot the Indigenous man – which detailed a vulgar culture of racism in the NT police. Thorpe said this is just the latest evidence of a broad culture of impunity within police departments nationwide. 

She says Prime Minister Albanese and the Attorney General Mark Dreyfus should convene a meeting of the Standing Council of Attorneys General to initiate implementation of a strong nationwide police accountability framework. 


Quotes attributable to Gunnai Gunditjmara and Djab Wurrung Senator Lidia Thorpe:

‘I welcome the decision to keep police out of Mardi Gras, which comes after years of campaigning by the community.’ 

‘Until police are subjected to real scrutiny and accountability, they won’t be welcome to wave our flags or march in our parades and rallies. We need accountability and justice, not more empty apologies and hollow gestures.’

‘For decades, Queer and Black people have been brutalised and murdered by police, and this continues unchecked every day.’

‘There is a shocking lack of standards and accountability within police departments across this country. This means violent aggressors – many racist and homophobic – are given a badge, a gun and the permission to act with impunity against our communities.’

‘Far too often we’ve seen cops get off with less than a slap on the wrist for discrimination, brutal acts of violence or even murder. 

‘This is more than a few bad apples, this is a serious problem with police departments nationwide. And cops investigating cops will never begin to improve the systemic racism, homophobia and culture of impunity we see in policing.’ 

‘We need strong independent oversight bodies in every state that can apply serious penalties on police who do the wrong thing.’ 

‘I’m standing in solidarity with the queer community today and every day against ongoing discrimination and violence that police across this country continue to perpetrate with impunity against the LBGTQI+ community and First Peoples.’ 

‘The Attorney General Mark Dreyfus should convene state and territory Attorney’s General to review and strengthen police accountability standards in this country.’ 

‘I extend my condolences and solidarity to those grieving loved ones at this time – I’m fighting with you for justice.’



Continue Reading

Read More