Inquiry into NSW police shootings

NSW Police Minister Mike Gallacher has thrown his support behind two constables who shot joyriding juveniles at 4am on Saturday in Kings Cross. Senior police yesterday met families of the two injured youths as well as Aboriginal leaders amid calls for an independent inquiry.

Among the biggest talking points was video footage of the allegedly stolen vehicle's front-seat passenger, aged 17, being pulled from the vehicle and punched.

Aboriginal elder Mick Mundine described the video as ''horrifying'', but Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch said the footage only recorded a small part of what happened.

''Let's just be a little bit calm, a little bit more restrained and see what our investigation [determines],'' Mr Murdoch said.

A critical incident investigation is underway, overseen by the NSW Ombudsman. However, NSW police refused to comment on whether the report would be made public.

The Deputy Opposition Leader, Linda Burney, herself an Aborigine, said the ''fundamental question'' was about how a 14-year-old came to be driving through Kings Cross with five others in the car at that time. She said behind the issue was a glaring raft of social issues.

Three youths - aged 13, 14 and 16 - as well as 24-year-old Matthew Dalton were arrested at the scene and have been charged with travelling in a stolen car.

The 14-year-old driver was last night in a serious but stable condition in St Vincent's Hospital. The front seat passenger was still in intensive care but listed as stable. with Saffron Howden