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Melbourne police accused of brutality

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 5 February 2004


Police are investigating claims a 26-year-old was bashed during his arrest in Melbourne on the weekend.

Raymond William Merritt was arrested by police on Sunday after a brief car chase.

English musician Nitin Sawhney says he saw police officers hit him with batons and fists and slam his head against a car.

"It's one of the most traumatic things I've seen in my life," Mr Sawhney said.

Mr Merritt faces 30 charges, including theft and assaulting police.

His lawyer, Jenny Clark, from the Aboriginal Legal Service says her client intends to complain.

"We do have concerns about the treatment of him by the police, the use of force, the use of the capsicum spray," Ms Clark said.

Acting Superintendent John Manly says police are looking into the claims.

"There's always two sides to a story and we'll be looking at it from all angles," he said.

The 26-year-old has been remanded to appear in court tomorrow.


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