What became of officer who hit teen with baton 18 times?
A POLICE officer who struck a teen with his baton 18 times in Byron Bay has left the region.
About 18 months after the officer Tasered a 16-year-old boy before repeatedly striking him - and almost a year after the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission found his actions constituted "serious misconduct" - a NSW Police spokesman has confirmed the officer was "subject to an interim risk management plan" and was now "performing duties at another command".
NSW Police has been unable to comment further on any potential reprimand the senior constable, known only as Officer E, will face as a brief of evidence remains before the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The boy, who was visiting Byron Bay with his family, had messaged his mother on January 10, 2018, to say he'd met some "kids on the beach" and was "hanging" with them.
About 2am the next morning, the night manager of a Lateen Lane hostel noticed him "acting in a strange manner" and appearing intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.
The boy called out for water, removed his clothes, and someone phoned police. Four officers arrived and the teen was pepper sprayed, before Officer E used his Taser, then repeatedly struck him with a baton as he lay restrained on the ground.
A mobile phone video, taken by a civilian witness from a nearby balcony, sparked the LECC inquiry.
The commission found the teen was "intoxicated, naked and acting strangely".
While police claimed he was aggressive, civilian witnesses said he was "confused and distressed".
One of the LECC's two recommendations was that Police Commissioner Mick Fuller consider disciplinary action over the misconduct, or alternatively consider removing him from NSW Police.
The commission also recommended consideration be given to charging the officer with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
An LECC spokeswoman said the brief of evidence which has been with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions since last December was still being considered.
"The LECC does not have the power to commence proceedings for an offence unless the DPP has advised the LECC in writing that prosecution may be commenced," she said.
She said they could not comment further until the DPP had given them advice based on the brief of evidence.
Byron-based youth worker Nicqui Yazdi, who was present during the LECC hearings, said she was concerned about an apparent lack of consequence for Officer E.
"They found that his use of the baton was grossly excessive force," she said.
"No one on the planet could think that that was justified."
She said the commission's conclusion was "very clear" and should have seen authorities "move forward very fast".
"It's a long time for the family to not get any closure themselves," she said.
"They may want to just move on from that... (but) how do you make sure that doesn't happen in the future?"
The LECC made no adverse findings about the other officers involved in the incident.