Mr. Farmer had been wanted for questioning over a caller’s complaint of “suspicious activity” in the area, the police statement said. In the police account of the episode, they said that after a scuffle in which one officer was injured, Mr. Farmer fled and was arrested “after colliding with a police vehicle involved in the search.”
The officer, who was not identified, will be suspended from all operational duty pending the outcome of an investigation by the police force’s internal affairs unit, the police said.
The family of the young man is extremely upset, said George Newhouse, a lawyer from the National Justice Project who is representing them. They are considering litigation, he said.
Mr. Farmer, who was taken to a hospital for treatment, did not have a previous history of seizures, Mr. Newhouse said, adding that he had been “seriously injured.”
“The WA police have one of the worst track records in this country for discrimination and prejudice against Aboriginal people,” he said. “The commissioner of police needs to come out with a very clear statement that violence against and harassment of Aboriginal people is not acceptable in his police force.”