Sunday, 04 Dec 2022

Head of Queensland police First Nations unit investigated for alleged racism

Head of Queensland police First Nations unit investigated for alleged racism


Head of Queensland police First Nations unit investigated for alleged racism

The superintendent in charge of the Queensland police First Nations unit is under investigation for alleged racism and bullying, Guardian Australia has confirmed.

Amid questions about racism within the ranks, the commissioner, Katarina Carroll, on Tuesday sought to highlight the work of the First Nations and multicultural affairs unit and publicly praised its boss, Supt Kerry Johnson.

A Queensland police service spokesperson confirmed an investigation was ongoing, and said Carroll only became aware on Wednesday, when questions were sent by Guardian Australia.

In October, Johnson was appointed to serve as the interim executive director of the QPS communication, culture and engagement division next month. This occurred after concerns were raised by the reference group, and while he remains under investigation.

The complaint details how a panel to appoint staff to the First Nations and multicultural affairs unit was comprised of three white officers. It also alleges Johnson showed disrespect at a community funeral in Cherbourg.

The spokesperson said there was no requirement for the superintendent position in the First Nations and multicultural affairs unit to be filled by an identified First Nations person.

A First Nations officer who worked in the unit, former sergeant Richard Monaei, recently described the QPS as culturally unsafe.

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