JANET FIFE-YEOMANS, The Daily Telegraph
MOBILE phones were seized from 15 officers amid a police “witch hunt” over the leaking of CCTV footage of an axe rampage at a Sydney 7-Eleven.
The footage of the 2.20am attack on two customers at the Enmore store was revealed exclusively on news.com.au.
After it appeared two days after the attack, police Professional Standards Command called in 15 officers — believed to include general duties officers based at Marrickville — cautioned them and took their phones.
NSW Police Association president Scott Weber yesterday slammed the move as disgusting. “We wouldn’t even do that to crooks,” Mr Weber said.
A senior police source said: “This seems to be a witch hunt against police who are just trying to do a good job.”
The source said the police hierarchy was obsessed with controlling what was released to the media.
“Wouldn’t it be a great idea if this information went online straight away instead of going through cumbersome red tape?” the source said.
Mr Weber said the 15 officers had lodged official internal complaints about their treatment.
“The Police Association is disgusted at the way officers were treated and we will be supporting our members and their rights in regards to this matter,” Mr Weber said. “The officers only ever have the safety of the community in mind.”
A NSW Police spokesman yesterday said the Professional Standards Command had received two complaints “in relation to the alleged unlawful distribution of a video”.
“NSWPF investigators are acting in accordance with all legal and procedural requirements, including their legal obligation under the Police Act to investigate this matter,” the spokesman said.
The CCTV footage shows a blonde entering the 7-Eleven on Saturday, January 7 carrying a long-handled axe which was then swung at two people queuing at the cash register — a woman buying milk and a man buying a pie.
Evie Amati, 24, faces five charges, including intent to murder, over the attack
Her lawyer Charles Waterstreet told the court she was suffering from hallucinations “saying kill”.