I’m not sure if this News.com.au story covers the complexity of what happened to 15 year-old Tyler Cassidy who was shot dead by 3 armed police in a park situated in my neighbourhood (Northcote, Melbourne) on 11-12-08. The Age offers a better speculative piece on the circumstances surrounding the shooting, when police opened fire on Tyler who allegedly wielded a knife and refused to be subdued.
Police quite rightly have to defend their actions, because not only have they killed a child; but this apparently has raised the ire of the Nationalist organisation (Southern Cross Soldiers) Tyler was a member of, who are considering “seeking revenge”.
Without making judgements about Tyler’s political allegiances, reflected on his MySpace page: I am sure the suburb of Northcote joins in support with Tyler’s family and friends to demand justice in a peaceful and dignified manner. Tyler’s senseless death will also definitely ignite debates as to why use of Tasers or other alternatives to guns are not currently available to Victorian police.
There also doesn’t appear to be any substance to the ‘suicide by cop’ theory currently circulating which seems to be drawing attention away from the fact that the police may have acted irresponsibly.
I extend my sympathies to Tyler’s family and hope they press forward with legal action against the police.
Ironically 15 year-old Michalis Kaltezas who was murdered by Greek police caused riots which lasted several days.