Police in South Australia are investigating an officer over a racist social media post directed at a Sudanese-Australian lawyer and human rights advocate.
- Nyadol Nyon appeared on Q+A on Monday
- She received a racist, abusive message from an SA Police officer
- An internal police investigation is underway
Melbourne-based Nyadol Nyuon was sent the Facebook message on Monday evening, a week after appearing as a guest on the ABC’s Q+A program.
The message told her to “stop blaming white man and pulling the race card you ignorant c***”.
The post also said: “If it’s so f***ing bad here f*** off back to the war-torn shithole country you came from.”
An SA Police spokesperson apologised for the comments and said the officer was no longer performing operational duties.
“The comments and views on this personal Facebook account are abhorrent and in no way representative of the values of South Australia Police,” the spokesperson said.
“A full and expedient internal investigation will be undertaken.”
Difficult week for race relations
It comes after two other officers are facing an inquiry over their behaviour during the arrest of an Aboriginal man in Adelaide’s north on Monday.
Several clips shared on social media showed officers forcefully handcuffing 28-year-old Noel Henry.
In one video, filmed from behind, one of the officers can be seen striking the man as two others help restrain him.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said two officers involved had been put on administrative duties.
“I would refute any suggestion that there is systemic racism within the South Australia Police,” Mr Stevens said.
“But with an organisation of 6,000 people I think it’s reasonable to assume that you have divergent views amongst that 6,000 and it’s my obligation to ensure that police officers act respectfully in their interactions with all people.”
Apologies from police
An assistant commissioner called Ms Nyuon to personally apologise and to inform her that the matter was being investigated.
The officer involved also sent another message to Ms Nyuon.
It read: “My differences of belief don’t excuse my hatred. I snapped. Please accept my apology for the way I acted.”
Ms Nyuon said she appreciated the apologies and would not be taking the matter any further.
“I’m not interested in him being trolled on social media like I have been,” she said.
Ms Nyuon said she regularly received racist messages after appearing on television.
“Every time I do media I have to put aside hours to deal with the abuse. I feel sorry for some of these people,” she said.
“I think I will be taking some time off.”
Ms Nyuon grew up in a Kenyan refugee camp and moved to Australia in her teens.
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