New South Wales Greens MP Jenny Leong has been subjected to vile racist and sexist attacks on Facebook — allegedly from several cops — as she seeks to repeal legislation allowing police officers in the state to use drug sniffer dogs in public without a warrant.
In response to public outcry about the attacks, NSW Police said yesterday the posts were in violation of its social media policy and issued a reminder about the rules — but nothing about whether the officers had been stood aside pending an investigation, or what punishment they might face if found guilty of posting such classy comments as “Nawww tank u hunny… 2 dolla sucky suck lub u long time” and “Her daddy was a swamp monkey”.
In addition to the social media policy, there might be another document lying around NSW Police HQ that cops might want to have a squiz at — the Criminal Code, particularly s.474.17:
“It is an offence for a person to use a carriage service in a way that reasonable persons would regard as being menacing, harassing or offensive.”
And while they’re in the mood for research, they could also glance through the Racial Discrimination Act and our old friend, section 18C.
When the matter of breaking the law was raised, Police said social media policy and law were two separate things. But funnily enough, even the social media policy tells officers to obey the law and not harass people. The matter has been referred to the Police Integrity Commission — but the officers involved might still be performing their duties.
So much for being held to a higher standard.