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Police "just doing their job" when they subdued mob

A WITNESS to the melee after Sunday's Ipswich Rugby League (IRL) grand final insists that police were "just doing their job" and has rubbished claims of heavy-handed behaviour by officers.

Tahnia McGregor lives in a North Ipswich street where the fracas took place, which saw 12 people arrested.

Three individuals claimed in yesterday's QT that police aggravated the situation with heavy-handed treatment.

But Ms McGregor, who saw much of the altercation between the crowd and police take place in front of her home, said officers were forced to respond to an angry mob.

"The crowd was yelling at the officers and carrying on like idiots," she said.

"They were definitely out of hand.

"I don't think there are two sides to the story.

"It was the Islanders' fault.

"They started it all, and they got what they deserved.

"One woman tried to say that police broke a two-year-old's arm, but I saw the girl getting looked after by a lady and some police officers so that she didn't see anything.

"But she didn't have a broken arm.

"Police were trying to hide her from what was happening."

There is debate over how many people were involved in the incident, although Inspector Keith McDonald told the media on Monday that "at its peak there was probably in the vicinity of 100 people involved in the melee".

One offender received a broken arm while two female police officers received minor injuries.

A 38-year-old senior constable received abrasions to his forehead, nose, right cheek and jaw when he was punched by a person he was trying to arrest.

Ms McGregor said she saw a taser being used by police, but refuted suggestions the police response was over the top.

"I didn't see them being brutal. They were just doing their job," she said.

The injured officer was laying on the road just metres from where Ms McGregor was standing.

"I saw one cop down on the ground and then he was picked up by another officer," she said.

"It was pretty bad.

"I've never seen anything like it before

"I'm just glad my daughters weren't home."

Inspector Keith McDonald has viewed footage of the incident and said officers had shown "enormous restraint".

He said they acted appropriately to prevent the situation escalating.

"I have looked at the footage I have got, and at the private video that the news networks have shown, and it doesn't change my opinion one bit. It just reinforces it," he said.

"These people could easily have just walked away but they wanted to keep challenging and keep challenging.

"This was very ordinary behaviour by people who, as everyone knows, are adults."

Topics:  editors picks ipswich rugby league



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