Footage of police officers shoving people to the ground and kicking them while breaking up a party in inner Sydney has been met with intense outrage – but cops claim there is more to the story.
Videos of the altercation between police and partygoers have been shared widely across social media, including by Sophie Teo, daughter of controversial surgeon Charlie Teo.
The incident, which began late on Saturday night before coming to a head in the early hours of Sunday morning, occurred at a property on Riley Street in Surry Hills.
NSW Police said they were called to the home at about 8.30pm after receiving several noise complaints from the nearby area.
“Police spoke to an occupant who was uncooperative. Police later spoke to a 26-year-old male occupant around 10.20pm and issued a formal noise abatement direction,” NSW Police said in a statement.
“The occupant refused to comply with a noise abatement direction.”
One of the attendees, who posted a video to the r/sydney Reddit group, said there had been around 40 people gathered in the backyard of the property to watch a movie, with music also being played.
The person claimed after being told to turn the music down by police at around 10.15pm, one of the partygoers informed the officers that they would shut it off at 12am “which is within our right”.
The poster said the police informed the group they would be back with a warrant.
Under the time restrictions enforced in the City of Sydney, musical instruments, radios, sound systems, and public address systems are restricted between midnight and 8am on Fridays and Saturdays.
However, a police officer may issue a noise abatement direction where it appears that offensive noise is being emitted from premises.
Despite the music being turned off at 11.55pm, the poster claimed the police returned shortly after midnight, “kicked the front door in and proceeded to assault multiple people”.
“Riot shield chipped the front teeth of a girl, the guy in the video getting kicked copped a broken rib. People were pepper sprayed,” the poster said.
They claimed the party was contained inside the backyard and “no one instigated any conflict with cops prior to this”.
Sophie Teo also posted footage of the incident to her Instagram, claiming the Raptor Squad was called and police were “kicking and breaking the ribs of innocent people”.
However, the police provided a different version of events.
Additional police from specialist units, including Strike Force Odin officers, the Raptor Squad and the Public Order and Riot Squad, attended the home at about 12.20am on Sunday to execute a warrant to investigate the noise.
Police claim some occupants began throwing glass bottles and ice at officers, with some also making attempts to block police from entering the home.
“About 50 people inside the home were directed to leave the area, with a number of attendees attempting to hinder police,” NSW Police said.
“OC spray was deployed by an officer to disperse the crowd, who continued to resist police direction. The group eventually dispersed.”
A 21-year-old woman was arrested and charged with assaulting police in execution of duty and a 21-year-old man was arrested and charged with hindering police in execution of duty. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by Ms Teo.
The woman was granted conditional bail to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on December 1, with the man due to appear at the same court on December 15.
“Police issued an Infringement Notice to the occupant for the offence of ‘Not cease noise emission after noise abatement direction’,” NSW Police said.
Noise abatement directions last for up to 28 days from the day it is issued.
Teo’s daughter ‘traumatised’, blasts ‘loser’ cops
Sophie Teo shared a series of stories to her Instagram over the weekend detailing the police raid.
“RAPTOR SQUAD CALLED FOR THE MOST RELAXED PARTY! THE MOST UNNECESSARY BULLS**T I’VE EVER EXPERIENCED,” she wrote on top of video footage of the incident.
“THIS IS WHAT OUR TAX PAYERS MONEY IS GOING TOWARDS!”
She accused the police of “violence”, saying they were abusing their power when breaking up the party.
“Sorry I didn’t realise kicking and breaking ribs of innocent people was part of your job @nswpolice,” she wrote.
Ms Teo also accused the police of “laughing and high fiving” after “kicking/punching people, breaking someone’s ribs, breaking people’s teeth and pepper spraying everyone”.
“We were cornered into a small kitchen and abused,” she continued.
“These are our so called ‘protectors’. Yet I’ve never felt more unsafe and traumatised in my whole life.”
She said the officers broke and raided all the beds in the home in order to seize audio equipment and broke TVs in the process.
“Granted a warrant to seize anything that makes noise for a party that ended at 11.30pm!!!” Ms Teo said, adding the officers left with speakers that weren’t being used at the party.
She branded the officers “losers”, claiming they had “nothing better to do” with their time.
“Job well done boys you’ve done it again,” she wrote.
NSW Police confirmed that after the officers gained entry to the home, they seized electronic equipment “as permitted through the warrant”.
Footage of the incident sparked outrage, with social media users calling out police for their heavy handed tactics.
“Kicking them while they are down is putrid and assault! Cops need to be held accountable for their actions too,” one Reddit user said.
“They called the Raptor squad for a house party?! Wtf?!!” another wrote.
One added: “This is excessive for a house party. They are not criminals. Can’t party in Sydney not even in your own home.”
However, there were some who believed there was another side to the story that wasn’t being shown.
“Raptor squad don’t get called in for a ‘tame’ house party. Easily more to this story. Noise complaints rarely warrant a squad car turning up let alone the above,” one person commented.
Another person agreed, saying there was “a side to this story not being told”.
“Police coming back with a warrant which a law official has signed urgently means that there are facts missing from your description, OP,” they said.
“Also, my understanding with noise ‘allowed’ is that if the noise is unreasonable or excessive, law enforcement can ask for the noise to be turned down regardless of time.”