Jan 2019
Revelations about how the case was handled by the Victoria Police come amid growing pressure on the State Government to back reforms of the state’s police complaints system. Reform of the complaints system is supported by a joint parliamentary committee.
Phil Dickson was assaulted by a police officer, Michael Cooke in 2013. Phil Dickson joined the calls for reform after learning the policeman who assaulted him avoided being sacked.
Mr Dickson said in his case, the system appeared designed to “protect the police officer”.
Mr Dickson was found by the police sitting in his parked car outside a supermarket in regional Victoria with a blood alcohol reading of 0.27.
Mr Dickson, who had recently separated from his wife, was arrested for drink-driving offences and assaulting an officer. He pleaded guilty to those charges.
Once inside Geelong Police Station, CCTV footage that has never been made public before appears to show Mr Dickson being told to take off his belt, which causes his pants to fall down. Mr Dickson throws his belt on the ground, then senior constable Michael Cooke hits him on the head and throws him forcefully on the ground.
Mr Dickson, then 62, suffered a serious head injury and required immediate hospitalisation.
“I thought I must have tripped,” Mr Dickson told 7.30.
“I had a break in that knuckle. I had a torn ligament in my shoulder.”
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