As much fun as it waswatching ABC reporter Josh Bavas shaken down by Mr Plodon the weekend, it does raise uncomfortable questions about how that encounter would have played out if Bavas wasn’t a sharp, highly-educated middle class white man with a smart phone and the presence of mind to use it when things went sideways.
Nanjing Night Net

If he’d been black, or brown, if he’d had learning difficulties or a mental illness, if English was his second language, if he was homeless or even just hung over it could have been much less amusing.

But of course, we’d probably never know, would we?

His incredulity when confronted would be familiar to anyone accused of something they hadn’t done. We all bristle and push back under those circumstances. But some us do it by recording video that uploads securely to the cloud, while others… well, if you’ve spent your entire life getting pushed around by the system you might just lose your shit and before you know it you’re face down with a boot on the back of your neck and the cuffs going on tight.

Bavas, who reports on the emergency services, is understandably reluctant to make anything more of the incident outside Bunnings, evenjoking that it might have been his poor choice of pairing red shorts and green shoesthat brought him to attention of the authorities (in whichcase, well done officerand give him one for me).

The Police Service is ‘reviewing’ the matter. If the cops caught out on camera are lucky enough to have understanding bosses they’ll get a quiet bollocking – not for being idiots, but for getting caught on video.

Josh Bavas’ encounter with the law was not unique, or even special. It ended in lulz for us and a bit of embarrassment for the QPS. But it’d be worth remembering next time some black fella dies in the cells.

JOHN BIRMINGHAM, Fairfax Media