13 Nov 2022 By theguardian
A series of tapes, leaked to Guardian Australia by a whistleblower, record several Queensland police service officers using racist slurs and offensive language while working in the holding cells.
Marshall, who gave Guardian Australia consent to publish his name, has worked at the Brisbane watch house for four years and was present during the conversations he recorded.
Marshall says he is speaking out after being left deeply disturbed by the racist remarks uttered casually in front of staff, and in some cases possibly detainees, in his workplace.
The Queensland police service said in a written response to Guardian Australia the ethical standards command was conducting inquiries into the matter, and would immediately review any previous complaints.
The leaked recordings can be listened to below, along with corresponding transcripts.
A group of officers are chatting at the watch house charge counter.
The officers discuss population growth.
The officers then discuss Japanese immigration policy.
Marshall says that later a First Nations woman is taken into a cell on the other side of the glass by another watch house officer, and the following exchange occurs.
Marshall then asks about a different detainee at the watch house, who he says was a person of colour, who had been taking a shower.
An unknown officer laughs.
A sworn police officer is talking to a group of colleagues, including Marshall, at the charge counter about social media posts about protests, including Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion.
The officers discuss the recent decision to drop charges against the Brisbane Greens councillor, Jonathan Sri, after his arrest for allegedly failing to heed a police direction during a refugee rights protest.
The officers discuss a book by Peter FitzSimons.
Marshall participates in the conversations but says he found comments by some of his colleagues seriously concerning. He told Guardian Australia that he reported one of the comments to the Queensland Human Rights Commission, which subsequently alerted the QPS.
Marshall claims he was told to withdraw the Human Rights Commission complaint by a superior.
He says he has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and has put on 25kg as a result of workplace issues, about which he made formal complaints.
The Queensland inquiry into police responses to domestic violence has heard multiple stories about police engaging in racist behaviour, language and abuse, particularly directed towards First Nations people.
A final report is due on Monday.