Complaint lodged against police
A WALLOON woman who has chronic epilepsy has lodged an official complaint against Ipswich police – alleging she has been the victim of discrimination.
Kylie Wright, 28, said she was not given the opportunity to provide a witness statement after she requested her partner be allowed to sit in on the police interview.
According to Ms Wright and her partner Mathew Hay, 35, her epileptic fits can be triggered by stress and she had previously suffered a seizure 12 hours after giving a witness statement about another unrelated matter.
Ms Wright has a history of seizures, including one that caused her to fall face first into the gutter and knocked out half of her teeth.
She requires several medications to reduce the risk of seizures.
Mr Hay said the police were made aware of Ms Wright’s neurological condition before he and his partner arrived at the Ipswich station on December 10.
“I told the senior constable that Kylie needs a support person there – that I can identify when she’s about to have a seizure,” Mr Hay said.
“There are certain indicators like staring – things a stranger wouldn’t know. With epilepsy you need someone familiar there.”
The senior constable allegedly told Mr Hay he was not allowed to supervise his partner while she gave a statement.
Mr Hay said he tried to discuss the situation with the police officer, but that the door was shut and the officer walked away.
Ms Wright said she’d wanted to give a statement so the matter could be resolved as soon as possible, and said she felt insulted by the officer’s conduct.
“I thought I’d done something wrong. He just shut the door in our faces and didn’t give us a reason why,” she said.
Ms Wright said she was yet to be offered another opportunity to give a statement.
Ipswich police Inspector Merv Adamson said Ms Wright’s complaint had been referred to the Ethical Standards Command and would be investigated in due course. Insp Adamson confirmed the complaint related to a police investigation of a matter in which Ms Wright was a witness.
Ms Wright also planned to take her complaint to the Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland.