News

Police are suffering, inquest hears

The coroner is investigation five police shootings including this one police attended on Outlook Drive at Tewantin.
The coroner is investigation five police shootings including this one police attended on Outlook Drive at Tewantin. Cade Mooney

POLICE officers are afraid to say they need help after being involved in a shooting death, for fear of being labelled weak, a union president has told an inquest.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said the organisation's culture needed to change in the way it dealt with the well-being of officers who had been involved in a line-of-duty shooting.

State Coroner Terry Ryan is conducting an inquest in the wake of five police shootings in less than a year.

Between August 2013 and November 2014, in separate incidents, officers from Queensland Police Service acting in the course of their duties, shot and killed five men.

Mr Ryan is considering what recommendations, if any, will prevent these sorts of incidents occurring in such circumstances again.

The inquest, which continues until Thursday next week, will look at the circumstances around two shootings on the Sunshine Coast, two in Brisbane and one on the Gold Coast.

On Tuesday, Mr Leavers spoke about the impact of so-called "critical incidents" on police.

He said those who had been involved in such incidents were often left suffering without adequate support from the service, for fear of how it would be perceived.

"I'll be honest. I tell people 'if you need help, don't be outward, go and get private assistance' because of the way the organisation works," he said.

"I think people do hurt and they hurt for a long, long time, but they're certainly not outward in doing it."

Mr Leavers was reflecting on recommendations to track the impact of critical incidents on police over their entire policing career.

He said an external organisation should conduct it and should look at what happens outside of their policing career because often it did lead to family dysfunction.

Some police who have left the organisation as a result of critical incidents, they never get over it in any way, shape or form.

"They've got to live with it for the rest of their lives because they've never got treatment for it," Mr Leavers said.

He said while the organisation was changing, a perception remained that those who sought help were weak, "that you can't cut it and it's held against you for promotion and transfer forever and a day".

Mr Leavers said he had examples in recent times of people who had sought help and it had been used against them.

He also said when it came to response to critical incidents, the size of the state was an issue.

He said remoteness of postings could interfere in dealing with critical incidents, noting suggestions to mandate two-hour gun residue testing after any incident.

Mr Leavers said this would be logistically impossible in some circumstances, despite being beneficial in interpreting the critical incident.

- ARM NEWSDESK

POLICE SHOOTING DEATHS

Laval Donovan Zimmer: Age 33. He grew up in Mackay, Kingaroy and Brisbane and had a history of paranoid schizophrenia. He was killed after running at police with a knife at his home in Redcliffe. They had attended his home after he made numerous nuisance calls to 000 and PoliceLink at Redcliffe and Maroochydore which became increasingly aggressive.

Anthony William Young: Age 42. Lived with his older brother, his brother's partner and their 12-year-old daughter. Brandished a machete at police when they attended his home at Yandina-Coolum Drive, after numerous reports of a disturbance at his home on August 21, 2013. Was told to "drop the knife" three times before he was shot. Police found two bodies inside the home and concluded Young had murdered his brother and partner before his death.

Edward Wayne Logan: Age 51. He was visiting his son Thomas Logan at Outlook Drive, Tewantin. A fight with his son escalated into a domestic dispute in which he smashed up cars, windows and garage doors. He was killed when police attended and he lunged at them with a splayed metal letterbox.

Shaun Basil Kumeroa: Age 42. Was killed after a four-hour siege at Inala. He allegedly had been avoiding police for a number days after assaulting his former partner, who he was involved in a custody dispute with. He brandished a replica gun at police, which they believed to be real.

Troy Martin Foster: Age 32. Police shot him in Southport after he held a knife to his mother's throat on November 24, 2014. He suffered from mental health issues and had consumed drugs and alcohol. His mother alleged problem with police began at age 11 after an alleged police assault at Tweed Heads.

Topics:  anthony william young coroner edward wayne logan inala inquest laval donovan zimmer police shooting shaun basil kumeroa sunshine coast troy martin foster


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

OPINION: We really are a nation of welfare bludgers

Centrelink

Eight out of 10 cents from taxpayer going to fund welfare

Man repeatedly struck with baseball bat during robbery

Police are investigating a violent robbery at a Loganlea store.

One of the men put the man in a headlock

Man killed after van bursts into flames in crash

Two cars were involved in the crash

Local Partners

Buderim dad rejects gay son's emotional plea for second time

Bride and Prejudice: Son’s emotional plea rejected again by unmoved father

What's on the big screen this week

Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

This week's new releases offer plenty of variety for movie buffs.

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Hodges proud to be part of first channel dedicated to NRL

Justin Hodges is gearing up for his new gig on Fox League.

Footy star hopes to provide a voice for players on new NRL channel

Furious Price wants to quit I'm a Celeb after clash with Keira

Steve Price has threatened to quit the jungle.

Will camp ration clash with Keira cause Steve to call it quits?

Novel with lots of heart

The romance in A Quiet Kind of Thunder was only one of the joys of the book.

Book proves to be a gem with layers

Bliss N Eso announce tribute show for stuntman

Bliss N Eso will play a tribute show at Coolangatta in honour of Johann Ofner. The stuntman died during the filming of the group's Friend Like You film clip earlier this year.

BLISS N Eso to play tribute show to raise funds for killed stuntman

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!