CityHub: Calls for independent review of police weapons after murder of Sydney couple

The recent tragic deaths of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies have sparked demands for an immediate, impartial examination of the connection between law enforcement practices and the use of weapons.

The alleged murdered Senior Constable Beau Lamarre-Condon, who has been accused of the crime and was affiliated with the youth command, reportedly used a police firearm to shoot victims. 

Additionally, further concerns have been raised around firearm regulation within the NSW police as Lamarre-Condon allegedly checked out a gun for a period of 3 days whilst on recurrent leave and sick-leave.

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties has proposed that general duties officers no longer carry firearms, saying “Policing should be about harm minimisation not causing harm to others.”

This tragic murder has shone a light on the “damaged relationship” between police and the queer community, according to Josh Pallas, Past President of NSWCCL.

“While this conversation may have been instigated by tragic murders and unanswered questions from Police, it’s part of a much longer conversation about policing and the queer community,” he said.

The council has additionally shown support for Redfern Legal Centre and Sue Higginson MLC, endorsing their calls for an independent inquiry into police use of force.

It isn’t good enough, Mr Pallas says, that the Victorian Police will assist in a review of NSW weapons policies, recently announced by the Police Commissioner.

“The inquiry needs to be independent of both the NSW government and any Police Force,” he said. “The practice of police investigating police must also end. For as long as that practice continues the public’s confidence in NSW Police will be diminished.”

President of NSWCCL Lydia Shelly wrote to police and police minister, Yasmin Catley, calling for an inquiry into the broader issues surrounding the murders.

“NSWCCL … urges that the government call for an immediate independent inquiry into police use of force and access to weapons,” Shelly wrote in the letter.

“We cannot understand why general duties Police Officers are able to gain access to lethal weapons.”

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