EXCLUSIVE: Disturbing footage showing police in riot gear storming a home in NSW to forcibly remove indigenous children from their parents has been obtained by National Indigenous TV news.
The Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) and New South Wales police raided the home toremove multiple children from the one family. The children have now been returned to their parents.
The footage and images provided to NITV News show police dressed in riot gear enter a home at around 6.30am earlier this year.
The parents, who were asleep when the raid began, have told NITV News they awoke to find guns pointed at them and that they were then handcuffed by police as the children were forcibly removed in front of them.
It is alleged the children’s aunt and grandfather were also handcuffed and detained by police during the raid.
New South Wales Police has confirmed the raid occurred but said no charges were laid.
The children were placed in temporary foster care, but are now back with their parents.
The New South Wales Greens are calling for answers as to why such heavy handed force was used in the removal of these children.
MLC David Shoebridge says the children remain traumatised and the process and its impact on the children needs to be investigated.
“(This is a) deeply troubling story of a family that’s been woken soon after dawn,” he said.
“[Police armed with] shields, helmets, assault rifles, the mother and father taken from their beds, shaken from their beds, handcuffed naked, children marched out at gunpoint.”
A spokesperson for the Minister for Family and Community Services, Gabrielle Upton said the riot police were present for the protection of caseworkers.
“The Department of Family and Community Services has a very good working relationship with NSW police.
“NSW police provide critical protection in often very complex and difficult child protection matters.”
“Police only attend a child protection issue after a stringent risk assessment.”
NSW police provided the following statement:
‘About 6am on Wednesday 15 January 2014 police from Moree Local Area Command assisted Family and Community Services officers in the execution of a warrant issued by the local court.
‘This was a local operation and did not involve specialist commands like the TOU. (tactical operations unit)
‘Children aged between one and 13 who had been identified as being at risk were removed from a home … by FACS.
‘Police attended to prevent any breach of the peace or public order incident.
‘One man was detained in handcuffs for a short period. No charges were laid.’