Top cops probed over gun threat, gravestone stunt

 

Exclusive: Two Australian Federal Police officers are under internal investigation over claims one pointed a gun at an Aboriginal motorist while the other was accused of spraying "White Lives Matter" on a grave he built while on COVID-19 secondment in the Northern Territory.

Both officers were returned from duties in the NT pending the outcome of the inquiries and are now working in their home states of NSW and Queensland.

It is alleged the officer pointed his Glock at the man after he had been pulled over in Alice Springs for a traffic offence.

It is alleged the vehicle in which the man was travelling had rammed the marked Northern Territory police car, but the AFP officer did not technically have the authority to take any action.

 

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw has promised more transparency in the force. Picture: Sam Ruttyn.
AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw has promised more transparency in the force. Picture: Sam Ruttyn.

The AFP is investigating the second officer over an alleged incident on the Tanami Track at the now closed Rabbit Flat Roadhouse - once famous for being the most isolated roadhouse and pub in the world.

It's alleged the officer stole some memorabilia.

But sources told News Corp Australia the officer claimed he only did so to protect it from being destroyed. Among the allegations are claims that unnamed others allegedly set an abandoned car on fire and shot at signs.

The officer was the subject of a complaint that he spraying "White Lives Matter" on a grave which he built in a prank. He allegedly took photos of the grave and sent them to a friend.

And the officer is also understood to have vehemently denied the allegation.

A Northern Territory Police spokeswoman confirmed they had investigated the complaint against the officer concerning the road house.

 

Former owner Bruce Farrands stands in front of the oasis of the Rabbit Flat Roadhouse, the most isolated roadhouse in Australia.
Former owner Bruce Farrands stands in front of the oasis of the Rabbit Flat Roadhouse, the most isolated roadhouse in Australia.

 

 

"NT Police can confirm that detectives from Alice Springs investigated an allegation of a theft from the Rabbit Creek Roadhouse, however the owner of the abandoned premises did not wish to make a formal complaint and our investigation was discontinued," the spokeswoman told News Corp Australia.

 

Detectives from Alice Springs investigated the complaint about stealing from the Rabbit Flat roadhouse.
Detectives from Alice Springs investigated the complaint about stealing from the Rabbit Flat roadhouse.

 

"Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services Professional Standards Command do not have any reports regarding the shooting of a traffic sign or an abandoned car being set alight.

NT Police are aware of the unsubstantiated allegations regarding the grave prank but referred all comment to the AFP.

An AFP spokeswoman confirmed that two officers deployed to the Northern Territory as part of Operation Protect have been transferred back to their home regions.

"AFP Professional Standards is investigating allegations about their actions while on deployment," the spokeswoman said.

"As these matters are currently ongoing, it would not be appropriate to comment further," she said.

The AFP deployed about 100 officers working with Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services (NTPFES) and the Australian Defence Force at checkpoints across the Northern Territory helping to keep Territorians safe from COVID-19.

 

The alleged offences took place in Alice Springs and the Tanami track.
The alleged offences took place in Alice Springs and the Tanami track.

 

AFP officers are providing resources for staffing at 10 of the NT's border security checkpoints including Darwin and Alice Springs airports.

The unsubstantiated allegations about the AFP cops behaving badly follows revelations that a string of Protective Service Officers were stood down in Canberra last month for disciplinary matters understood to relate to "creative" rostering on the manual systems.

 

A view of Alice Springs from Anzac Hill.
A view of Alice Springs from Anzac Hill.

 

That followed a News Corp investigation which revealed a group of Protective Service Officers had been suspended over wide-ranging allegations of wrongdoing including abuse of rosters.

The AFP has recently introduced an electronic rostering register which it is hoped will stop abuse of the system.

At the centre of the Sydney scandal is a scam siphoning off Australian Defence Force-funded assets for personal use including a series of vehicles, the latest a 4WD Pajero worth more than $50,000.

Separately an AFP officer who worked as the security detail on the home of federal MP Peter Dutton was sacked for repeatedly making vulgar comments to a fellow female officer who worked the same job.

The AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw told the National Press Club last week that his overhaul of the force includes more transparency.

"Under my leadership the AFP will own our success and well as stand-up and accept our mistakes, because when you carry guns and take people's freedoms away, it is incumbent on us to do so."

Do you know more? Email natalie.obrien@news.com.au

Originally published as Top cops probed over gun threat, gravestone stunt



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