"This is going to be hectic."
With those words and a grin to his colleagues, an ACT police officer drew his Taser and prepared to enter the Watson motel room of Aboriginal man Luke Marsh in circumstances deemed to be unlawful.
Magistrate James Stewart remarked during the week that police body-worn camera footage of this incident, which ended in a heavy-handed arrest, was "disturbing" and seemingly inconsistent with guidelines around the use of force.
Senior police should heed his recommendation that the footage be reviewed for training purposes, but they would be mistaken to focus only on what happened once Tasers and pepper spray were being deployed inside the room.
The grinning officer's demeanour beforehand was troubling when one considers that Tasers, albeit much safer than guns, remain capable of causing serious injury or death.
The alarm bells should now be ringing even louder as the Sunday Canberra Times reveals an officer threatened to drag an Aboriginal woman, Rosemary Rix, into some bushes and "pummel [her] f---ing head in".
While the officer in question has already been disciplined, according to ACT Policing, this is yet another incident in which the mistreatment of Indigenous suspects has only become public knowledge because of open justice in our court system.
And it is not only Indigenous people falling victim to officers taking things too far, as last year's case of Mason Craig, who screamed in pain as he was Tasered during an unlawful arrest in Civic, shows.
As an ACT Policing spokesman's response to questions posed by the Sunday Canberra Times made clear this week, officers should "always deal with members of the public in a professional and courteous manner".
If the body-worn camera footage that exposed these three incidents is anything to go by, this is an issue the powers that be in policing would do well to focus on.
Police officers should be figures the rest of us can look to and trust.
When people see those in the uniform and the first thing they feel is fear, they are likely to panic and behave irrationally.
And while everyone needs to take responsibility for their own actions, police must play their part in making society safer.
This is not achieved solely by arresting offenders. While on duty, officers need to also perform a much simpler task: treating everyone they interact with respectfully.
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