Sydney Criminal Lawyers: Mardi Gras May Have Passed, But NSW Police Remains a Rogue Force

The Mardi Gras Board recently requested members of the NSW Police Force to refrain from participating in the 2024 parade, to allow for a period for collective mourning after the tragic shooting of two gay men allegedly by Senior Constable Beau Lamarre-Condon.

Despite this, pressure from the NSW Premier Chris Minns and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese resulted in a compromise where LGBTIQA+ officers participated in the parade wearing plainclothes. On the night of the parade, their section was additionally accompanied by armed riot squad officers. 

This compromise sparked debate and scrutiny, underscoring broader issues within the NSW Police Force that extend beyond the recent tragedy.


“The heartbreaking alleged murder last week leaves many questions to answer from NSW police, which feed into well-known systemic issues about weapons practices and accountability,” said NSW Council for Civil Liberties immediate past president Josh Pallas in a 28 February statement.

Pallas made the comment as part of a coalition of prominent NSW rights and legal groups formed to join the chorus supporting the Mardi Gras Board’s request that NSW police didn’t participate in the 2 March Mardi Gras parade, but also to call for “immediate reform”.

He added that NSW police commissioner Karen Webb having called on her Victoria police counterpart to conduct a review of her force’s weapons policy is not good enough, as “any review… needs to be independent of both the NSW government and any police force”.


The controversies surrounding the NSW Police Force encompass longstanding allegations of racism, homophobia, and excessive use of force, prompting calls for systemic reforms.

Concerns have been raised regarding the handling of intimate partner violence within the LGBTIQA+ community, instances of excessive force leading to civilian deaths, and the practice of police investigating themselves in critical incidents.

These systemic issues have garnered widespread attention and demand urgent action, with calls for government inquiries and comprehensive reforms from many prominent human rights groups. 

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