MINISTER FOR POLICE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
THE HON. PETER RYAN, MP
1 Treasury Place
10 june 2011
THE RIGHT TO THE
PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE
We are writing to you to express our great concern at the
comments made by a senior serving member of the Victorian police, Inspector
Mick Beattie on then 8th June 2011. His inappropriate and damaging
comments have been broadcast nationwide, and no doubt internationally.
He has made inappropriate comments about Australians
carrying banners at a soccer match on 8 June 2011 which are also
discriminatory. Australians who support an AFL club can carry banners, and no
comments are made. As Minister for Police, you would be responsible for
implementing the Government’s policy to support the fundamental right of all
people to the presumption of innocence. The serving members of your force are
also duty bound and obliged to support this very important fundamental right of
innocence, and any deviation must be the subject of a sanction, especially from
any highly ranked public servant.
On this occasion Inspector Beattie has made subjective, and
not objective comments, that banners unfurled by Australians at a soccer match
were offensive, simply because they support a person who is presumed innocent
at Law. This is totally inappropriate for a senior public servant, especially a
senior police officer. It reflects badly upon your Government.
His condemnation of the right of Australians to indicate
their support of a person presumed innocent is deplorable.
Victoria espouses an anti-discrimination policy and people
who are presumed innocent should not be pre-judged by those who duty and obligation
it is to uphold the Law.
We await your early reply and hope that the above was an
aberration rather than a part of your Government’s policy.