Open Letter: Community, Legal and Civil Society calls for policing reform

To: Premier, Attorney General, Police Minister, Police Commissioner


Open letter on the murder of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies


Our organisations join with the queer community in mourning the murder of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies. Lives lost too soon, at a time when the queer community should be celebrating, not mourning days before Mardi Gras.


Our organisations respect the presumption of innocence and the accused person's right to silence. But we take this opportunity to call on the government to reflect on whether policing settings in this State are fit for purpose.


Firstly, intimate partner violence occurs within the LGBTQI+ community. NSW Police continue to have a fraught relationship with the LGBTQI+ community as demonstrated by the findings of the Special Commission of Inquiry into LGBTIQ hate crimes. Parts of the community do not feel safe in reaching out to NSW Police for help. Governments must ensure that appropriate avenues are in place for the LGBTQI+ community to seek help when feeling unsafe.


Secondly, use of force connected with NSW Police and their weapons continues to cause harm and death. Enough is enough. Our organisations call on the government to immediately launch an independent inquiry into police use of force and weapons. This is urgent. No one should die at the hands of NSW Police Officers, whether on or off-duty.


Thirdly, the system for investigating NSW Police Officer conduct is inadequate. Most investigations are by NSW Police themselves. How can the community have confidence in NSW Police when they investigate themselves? The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) has also expressed concern about its ability to monitor internal NSW Police investigations. The LECC is the appropriate forum through which investigations into NSW Police conduct should occur. This change is simple to make, and should be made immediately.


Too much pain is caused by the actions of NSW Police Officers. Too many families and friends are in mourning. We urge you to act on policing reform immediately.


 Yours sincerely,


First Mardi Gras Inc.

Community Legal Centres NSW

Redfern Legal Centre

Human Rights Law Centre

National Justice Project

Inner City Legal Centre

NSW Council for Civil Liberties