Following his unlawful arrest in January of this year, Canberra Raiders back Curtis Scott has launched legal action against the New South Wales Police force, per The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Sarah Keoghan.
After being handcuffed, tasered and capsicum sprayed whilst unconscious on Australia Day, Scott’s legal team have taken civil action against the force on his behalf.
According to Keoghan, they are said to be pursuing a $400,000 out of court settlement.
Scott was initially charged with seven offences in total – two of which were for the assault of his arresting officers – after his arrest in Sydney’s Moore Park last summer.
Police have tasered star @raiderscanberra recruit Curtis Scott who then spent the night behind bars, accused of punching a police officer during a boozy Australia Day with teammates. The @NRL must now decide whether to stand him down. https://t.co/nh4xgtEqbT @RobertOvadia #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/8RpYAjIIoB
— 7NEWS Sydney (@7NewsSydney) January 27, 2020
However, after bodycam footage from the officers was shown in court in September, the presiding magistrate Jennifer Giles dismissed said charges on the grounds that Scott’s arrest was unlawful.
Giles also demanded that the NSW Police force pay the entirety of Scott’s $100,000 legal fees – a figure Scott is said to have received in early December.
#NRL player Curtis Scott has been cleared of assaulting police, with Bodycam footage revealing he was asleep when he was handcuffed – prompting charges to be dropped at the last minute. @KellyFedor #9News pic.twitter.com/34NFdrp4QN
— 9News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) September 9, 2020
Despite Giles’ decision, Scott was still handed a suspended fine of $15,000 by the NRL.
Although Scott’s lawyer Sam Macedone has indicated his client is willing to settle outside of court, Keoghan is of the belief that a statement of claim will still be filed in the new year.
“We will be asking for $400,000,” Macedone told the Herald. “I think the cops will want to sort it out.”
According to Keoghan, the aforementioned statement of claim is almost certain to provide a summary of the psychological trauma the 23-year-old underwent following his apprehension.
In addition to this, Macedone has stated he will argue that Scott’s 2020 dip in form was due to the arresting officers heavy-handedness.
“It outlines the trauma, the physiological damages, the economic damages and the sponsorship he lost out of it,” Macedone said.
Following the cases dismissal in September, Scott also spoke publicly about his tribulation.
“I’m just happy I can get a full eight hours of sleep at night and not wake up with an anxiety attack,” Scott said. “I’ve been coming in putting on a brave face. Knowing I’m at such a great club that has supported me through it all, and such a great playing group, made it much easier to come in.
“But always laying down in bed thinking, ‘If one of these charges stick, I could be out of the workforce’ every day is pretty scary.”
When launched, Scott’s statement of claim will be heard by a Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) investigation.
In the wake of the centre’s acquittal, New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller publicly backed the arresting officers.
Fuller stated in a 2GB radio interview that he was “sympathetic” to their situation.
According to Keoghan’s research, the financial figure that the star Raider is seeking is not without precedent.
Four years ago, a 68-year-old male sued police on the grounds of unlawful arrest, battery and malicious prosecution. Following a review of the CCTV footage of the incident, the man was awarded $582,000 in damages.
Keoghan also highlighted a 2018 case in which a then 21-year-old man was awarded $124,000 following his police brutality case.