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NEWS > 06 March 2007

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SEA calls for inquiry into Wat
The Socialist Environmental Alliance (SEA) in Derry has called for an investigation into police misconduct after two neighbours who went to the aid of a woman whose house was being attacked in the Waterside's Anderson Crescent were themselves arrested, one of whom was sprayed in the face with CS spray and required
hospital treatment for the injuries he received during arrest.
Colm Bryce, spokesperson for the SEA, told the 'Journal': "We have spoken to one of the men arrested and believe that this is a clear-cut case of police misconduct.

"We believe that senior police w... Read more

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Three charged over Vic race ha

A Jewish businessman who was punched and abused will continue his struggle for justice despite police charging three men over the race hate attack.

Three men from Ocean Grove football club face a series of charges over the now notorious attack on Menachem Vorchheimer as he walked to the local synagogue last October.

After he was abused and had his religious skullcap taken, the businessmen confronted the busload of rowdy footballers and their driver, an off-duty policemen.

The involvement of the off-duty senior constable prompted Mr Vorchheimer to launch his own civil action in the case, accusing the police of racial and religious discrimination.

Meanwhile, the fate of the off-duty police officer and whether he will face disciplinary charges awaits an assessment by the Office of Police Integrity (OPI).

Mr Vorchheimer said he felt compelled to continue his action, to be heard before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, even after hearing three men had been charged.

"It's not a case about me as an individual, it's more about a case about the values of society or the community," he said.

"We should never treat somebody differently because they look differently, they walk differently, they sound different.

"It's a civil means to get the outcome we believe is owed to us, the duty that has been owed but has been denied to us because we're relying on the force to prosecute its own."

On October 14 last year, the textile distributor - dressed in traditional Jewish garb - was walking along a road in suburban Caulfield with his two children when he was abused and attacked.

About 20 football players drove past him in a minibus driven by the off-duty police officer and subjected him to racist abuse.

The men yelled "F... off Jews" and "Go the Nazis", Mr Vorchheimer later told a newspaper.

When Mr Vorchheimer caught up with the bus and demanded his skullcap be returned he was allegedly punched in the face.

Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said the case of the police officer had been looked at by the ethical standards department and was now being examined by the Office of Police Integrity (OPI).

But he denied the two integrity watchdogs were in dispute over how to deal with the officer.

The public prosecutor had advised there was not enough evidence to lay a criminal charge against the officer, Mr Walshe said.

Mr Vorchheimer said the whole case could have been prevented months ago if the footballers and their driver had simply come forward and offered a sincere apology for their actions.

A 28-year-old man has been charged with theft, a 23-year-old man has been charged with intentionally causing serious injury and recklessly causing serious injury and assault using insulting words, and a 21-year-old man faces a charge of assault using insulting words.

The trio are all from the Ocean Grove area.

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