ALMOST a year after Brayden Mechen was allegedly punched in the face by a police officer while handcuffed he still struggles to talk about the “worst experience” of his life.
The softly spoken Upper Coomera man was out with mates in Surfers Paradise on September 28 last year when his first ever run-in with police happened.
The 21-year-old attempted to break up an altercation outside Sin City nightclub then grabbed a police officer’s shoulder while his friend was being taken away.
CCTV footage appears to show a police officer tackle Mechen to the ground, then another officer knee him several times.
The most shocking footage from later that morning appears to show another police officer punch Mechen in the face while he was being walked out of the police station in handcuffs.
Senior Gold Coast police have lodged a complaint about the shocking incident which was captured on CCTV footage.
Mechen was charged with serious assault police, assault police and obstruct police in relation to the incident, with police alleging he spat at an officer’s face.
Court documents show police alleged the constable used a “closed hand tactic” to push Mechen’s face away and “prevent the defendant from spitting at the victim again”.
In the Southport Magistrates Court yesterday, the three charges against Mechen were dismissed after the prosecution offered no evidence.
Mechen, whose eyes welled up as he spoke, said the experience was probably the worst he’d ever had.
“I didn’t expect it to happen that fast — I just got thrown,” he said.
“When they were taking me down they started kneeing me and pushing my head into the ground.
“They kept on saying, ‘Stop resisting, stop resisting’ but I wasn’t resisting. I was just laying and letting them do what they had to do.”
“I never knew that’s what they did — I never knew that’s how they treated people.”
He said he tried to break up a fight then tried to get the attention of a police officer by grabbing his shoulder.
Mechen said he found out while at the watch-house that police were alleging he spat at an officer in the face.
“They said I’d done something serious — I didn’t do anything, I was trying to help my mate.”
“I definitely didn’t spit at anyone, at all.”
The electrical trade assistant, who works at airports around Australia, said he was relieved the charges were dropped but said he still felt nervous and hot when he saw police.
Had he faced a conviction he could have lost his Aviation Security Identification Card and his job.
Solicitor Chris Hannay from Hannay Lawyers said it was “extremely disappointing” this sort of behaviour still happened.
Mr Hannay said he and barrister Alastair McDougall had “never really seen anything as bad” as the CCTV footage in more than 50 years of combined legal and policing experience.
“I really can’t put an explanation on it — it’s just absolute stupid behaviour by police officers,” he said.
“There’s got to be a control and professionalism in their behaviour, particularly when people are handcuffed.
“They’ve got to face the consequences if they misbehave.”
A Queensland Police Service spokeswoman said senior police from the Gold Coast District lodged a complaint with the Ethical Standards Command in relation to one of the incidents.
The spokeswoman said video footage was being reviewed.
“If any offences or breaches are detected, an appropriate complaint will be lodged with the QPS Ethical Standards Command and fully investigated,” she said.
As originally seen on Gold Coast Bulletin by Meagan Weymes on September 9, 2015.