An Impact Statement – by Renee Eaves June 2016

 

 

STALKED – FOR THE SECOND TIME

 

An Impact Statement – by Renee Eaves June 2016

Why I will be taking action against over 1000 officers

 

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This statement has come as a result of me lodging a Right to Information Application to find out Who and When my personal Q PRIME file has been accessed.   So put simply, I wanted make sure that just because I have been supporting people that had been victims of police brutality, or supporting Police officers that are Alledging Corruption, that it didnt mean that I personally was ‘open game’ to have a shot at too.   Just because I might have popped up on the news, does not give police a front row seat to my private and personal details.

In part 16 of the QPS Standards of Practice, Police cannot access or use information without an official purpose related to their duties. I will now be lodging a formal complaint because there have been 1475 entries into my name.  In the time frame that I searched, I have had a handful of traffic infringments, and I have no criminal history.

Experienced officers will tell you this number is extraordinary.  It is not normal, its certainly not ok. To put it into perspective how serious they apparently treat this. One officer has been charged with accessing his own file just once.

I will alledge my privacy has been breached, I will name the persons and departments I went to with my concerns about my concern of this happening, that did nothing leading up to this detailed document being provided to myself.   I say they have been proffesionally negligent, failed their duty of care, they have not been impartial, I will say there has been a conflict of interest that exists due to these members private interests.  They are liable as a result.    I will personally take action against each and every one. One by one if need be.  I say this ‘free for all’ is a the knee jerk reaction to the exposing of certain officers committing  unlawful acts such as serious brutality against members of the public.   If Senior management say they were not aware, that is not an excuse. It is managements job to make sure they are aware of what goes on below them, and in this case, beside them.

I do not believe the Ethical standards police are capable of being impartial to investigate this, due to their involvement in complaints made to the CCC about some of their members and the handling of vicims of police brutality.

I have deliberately left the word Victim out of this “IMPACT STATEMENT”  –

You may, or may not know me or my story.  For a number of years I was stalked and harassed by a traffic cop.  I exhausted the complaints process, making complaints to his station, to the officer in charge, then to the CMC, I also attempted to take out a restraining order. Nothing was working, my complaints fell on deaf ears. I constantly lived in fear. He even turned up at my office late one night, coming through the carpark as the last car left for the day while I worked back. I was running my own modelling/dance agency full of gorgeous girls. I’m not sure if this is what started his interest initially.

pictured: me at the time

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This situation hit a crisis point, when he turned up at my apartment, he came in to my home whilst I was pregnant, and handcuffed me for what he claimed was a traffic violation earlier in the day.

That day I had been in hospital for a very invasive procedure in the hope of carrying on my pregnancy.

Prior to him arriving at my door I was cramped and feeling sore and incredibly sorry for myself, ready for bed.  Despite my pleas of innocence of this apparent driving offence, it was pointless, I urged him to call the hospital and cross check where I had been, but he didn’t want to hear any proof that his allegation was totally wrong.

After forcing his way into my apartment he followed me around in circles. My heart was racing. I felt like a caged animal trapped. I didn’t know the law then, but common sense told me that this was not right, he was disturbed, and that I was in trouble, common sense was not prevailing; he had that vacant look in his eyes, this vacant stare, the kind that sends chills down your spine like someone fixated.  He then notified me I was under arrest, for this alleged driving offence.  I went into complete shock.

The nature of the way the arrest was carried out itself violated me in every way imaginable.  I was handcuffed with my hands behind my back and could not cradle my pregnant tummy the way instinct wanted me to. I continued to vomit through my hair, and all over myself while I was laughed at by this officer. He appeared to be somewhat getting off on the situation.

I was paraded past neighbors, clients from work, and strangers in hand cuffs, an entire block away to a police car. It was degrading and humiliating.

I was then placed in the rear of a police car and told to ‘hang my head out the window as he was not interested in cleaning up vomit. And that he “hated spew”.  I had no seatbelt on and questioned why not after he kept hitting the brakes forcing me into the seat in front, I obviously had no hands to brace myself.  He then pulled over and put his hands all over me claiming to fix the lack of seatbelt I had complained about.

It is very clear in the recording of the incident, my pleading with him while this happened.   I don’t want you touching me, get your hands off me I cried.  Call some more police, anyone, I don’t care just get away from me. He had a newly recruited  lady with him,  but it was him that felt necessary to see to my seatbelt request, as she nervously looked on.

I was put into Brisbane watchouse, denied water, anywhere to vomit, was abused by a female prisoner for vomiting in the holding cell, and refused medication. I had low blood pressure low blood sugar. And was in pain from the procedure I had had that day.

It turned my entire pregnancy into an anxious nightmare with my son being born 2 months prematurely.

 

I then proceeded to defend the driving charge through the court and was successful, despite saying goodbye to a ton of money, and going through the stress with a new baby in toe, they still call that a ‘success.  I then commenced civil action for *wrongful arrest, *assault, and *deprivation of liberty.

The process was excruciating, in 2008 I had extreme anxiety and I was suffering from debilitating migraines my friend Hayley made sure little boy was ok, checking on me every single day. I felt like a knife was going through my eyes with these chronic migraines.   It was the living in complete fear, I used to stack my furniture up against the doors to my home every single night as a protective measure. I felt there was no one to talk to about how I felt. I was depressed and on medication for anxiety.  My doctor one afternoon had given me a large dose of morphine and sent me home to bed for a migraine that was a 10/10.

That night I could hear someone walking around outside, I knew I was being watched and it was not paranoia,  I tossed and turned and couldn’t sleep. I had fishing wire in a Criss crossed pattern across my child’s nursery. I was constantly worried what this guy might have in store for me next. I took some sleeping pills that unfortunately with the morphine Id been given earlier by the Dr, were a bad mix. It suppressed my breathing,  I was found unconscious by my friend Hayley the next morning and put into intensive care in a coma.  This was the lowest ebb of my life. I was financially struggling, my baby was teething, and I was living in a state of alert constantly.  I needed to be questioned as to whether I was suicidal, due to what happened with the medication. I had to defend my mental health. It’s not in my nature to lay down and die. Did my life feel like hell?  Yes, was I desperate to sleep?  Yes. At no point would I ever suicide though. I simply would not. Even at my lowest point, it is not in my spirit to ever give up.    I refuse to leave this low point out of my story out now like some dirty little secret about when I was not strong,  or when I let these mongrels get to me. The struggle was as real as it gets, and I’m done just saying it was a really tough time, to not appear dramatic or nuerotic,  I nearly died. A  ‘tough time’ doesn’t do justice to what occured.

Im grateful to my friend that saved my life, a single mum of 3 kids that has since gone on to become a registerd nurse, Im so proud and grateful, and the amazing work of Qld Ambulance.  I still have the ambos badge I found in my hair as a reminder of the genuinely good people in this world that do amazing things daily.

paramedic

 

 

Weeks before going to trial to take action against this officer and the QPS, my lawyers informed me that they didn’t believe my case was “commercially viable” to proceed I was livid. The matter had been dragged out so long by the QPS they estimated that any compensation I would be awarded would be taken up in legal fees for a trial that was to run an entire week. People told me that firm did a lot of work for the police, I had no idea if this had anything to do with it.

I had gone through all the channels that were available, you name it, the Law Society, the CMC, Ethical Standards,   no matter which department I turned to I hit closed doors, unanswered emails, unanswered calls, I was going around and around in circles like a mouse on a wheel.  And to the lawyers, I felt like a number that they punched into some calculator and concluded,  simply,  ‘not worth it’.

The legal process can sometimes be a further kick in the guts to anyone that has been a victim of any assault, or an attack, whether it be domestic violence, police brutality, or assaults, when the people that are supposed to have your back, or be your mouthpiece tell you it’s not worth it, what you hear is, that you’re not worth it, it feels personal, even though it’s not. It feels like what they are saying to you is, it’s acceptable what happened to you. That their grubby calculator said sorry  we can’t help you as the numbers don’t stack.  This point in the process I have since found, is usually the making or the breaking of a person.

I decided to pick up my bat and ball and continue on.  The lawyers would not return my file as it was a no win no pay, there had been no win.  To retrieve my file they wanted me to pay for it. At this point I was then a single mum, and did not have the resources to come up with that kind of money. I then went to court with them to argue why they should either continue on with the matter, or return my file despite the judges concerned remarks about their timing with withdrawing, they apparently had a legal right to do this. I had no time to cry over spilled milk.

I needed to create my file again from scratch, so I sat on my loungeroom floor and proceeded to prepare my own case in order to run the matter myself, purely out of principal. I could find no precedents that even came close. I sat in on other hearings to get a feel for the courtroom. That was the extent of my legal training, watching cases about assaults, disputes over wills, rape, you name it, all to get comfortable in this very uncomfortable environment, so that I had a fighting chance of finding some justice against a system that had failed me.

Leading up to my matter I received an email accidently CC to me from the Crown Law Solicitor by mistake. It said he was trying to get into my facebook but could not get in, so would get the Justice Department would get him in.  I have taken this to every single department possible with my concern, no one oversees the Crown Law they are suppossed to be model litigants,  and the Attorney General’s office said and I quote “that I had no proof that they had been successful in accessing my account just because they were planning to”. I met with her Senior advisor to the Attorney General,  and a lady from the Justice Department.  How it can be called the justice department is anyone’s guess.

I began my civil hearing against the officer and the QPS.  They had stack of people. SC, Solicitors, assistants, support, resources, a copy of  the transcript from the day before provided each morning, while self repped me,  I had to refer to my own notes as I was speaking.

I had a pencil, a folder with Oprah Winfrey glued on the front, but I didnt care, most importantly  I had my health, and my strength back and a strong desire to set a precedent.

The matter ran for an entire week.  The process was grueling. On the 4th day I came home and fell asleep in my shower in fetal position crying until the water ran cold and had woken me up at 2am. I literally crawled over to my scrunched suit on the ground put it on, and got back up, to do it all again.

I came from no place of hate or revenge. I learned a good fighter is never angry. But I held nothing back when cross examining this man. I had the job of peeling this guy back, layer by layer. His attitude in court was no different right in front of a judge. He denied I was vomitting and argued the colour of the substance coming from my mouth did not constitute the word vomit, despite the audio of me vomitting and a GP giving evidence that I had been the worse case of hyperemisis ( pregnancy related vommitting) that she had seen in her entire career.  That I needed to be canulated even to hold water down. He sat there and told bare faced lies. It proved to me and to anyone watching,  he didn’t see an issue with the things he said.

Whenever we have interacted, the odds have always been stacked in his favour.  First, access to my personal details through his job, a gun, a taser, handcuffs, the power that is given  and trusted with all police.  Then in court, I was self represented and he had the best legal team that money could buy. A never ending, unlimited cheque book backing him.

After a grueling week long trial that symbolically ended on my sons 4th birthday  – Judge Nicholas Samios ordered in my favour. ‘Compensatory, Exemplary and Aggravated Damages’.  And in his finding said  “ I accept Ms Eaves to be a truthful witness, and in particular her EVIDENCE about her past dealings with this officer, he laughed at her while she was vomiting, I find the officer made a mistake, I do not accept this was an honest mistake”

( A celebration lunch with my little man)

mummy and tyrese (2)

I didn’t get to see my pregnancy out for 9 months.   I didn’t get to hold my baby for more than a minute when he was born, he was straight to ICU, I didn’t get to breastfeed, he was 3 pound 10.   I cannot prove this was a result of the stress. It doesn’t come down to what you think, or what you know in your heart, it comes down to what you can prove.  I couldn’t prove this element.

I did not want to hold hate in my body. I walked up to this man at the end of the hearing and said that I forgive him. I forgive him because only a very lost human beings could do what he did. Happy people don’t act that way.

His lawyers the QPS then proceeded to appeal the interest I was awarded on part of the damages. They argued the judge made mistake in awarding interest on one of the components as police are the only once that do not have to pay interest on one of the components.

Then due to the hearing going an unplanned extra day, the QPS took me back to court again, to sue me for this officers witness expenses (even though he was a defendant in the matter). This man violated me in every way possible – They then asked me to pay out of my pocket his :

*Lost Earnings, *Meals, * Accommodation, * Travel Expenses and a large sum for “CARE AND CONSIDERATION” Totalling over $5000.

Picture: me at the appeal

JUSTICE

The Lawyers that ran for the hills and hung me out to dry saying it was “Not commercially Viable” found out that I had been awarded costs and then submitted an account, they were paid what I will say is an absurd amount of money.  It was no win no pay.   They didn’t win. They did the bolt,  I fought the battle alone but still,  they were paid.  I can only say that Karma misses no one and I wish them the very best.

How did it go so wrong?  This officer had been charged in the 90’s for abducting 3 aboriginal children and dumping them miles away from their home. Chief Officer of complaints at the CJC Michael Barnes, urged then Police Commissioner Jim O’Sullivan to sack this officer. He asked that it be considered ‘very seriously’ and that police had abused their powers and shown a complete disregard for the welfare and safety of children involved. The Aboriginal Legal Service called for the Commissioner himself to be disciplined.

Instead this officer remained, and was allowed to carry on this behavior.

This is no different to what we are seeing in regard to Police Brutality now, especially on the Gold Coast.

I have been to the CCC, ESC, submitted to the PCCC,  Attorney General, Minister for Justice, Media.  To the people I have met with, you know who you are. You are just as bad as the guy that violated and assaulted me. These Gold Coast assaults are contuining because you speak empty words about fixing the issue.

Which now brings me to the point of this statement and WHAT HAS HAPPENED NOW.    After my matter finished, I studied Counselling. I began to volunteer to assist victims of police brutality and I became passionate about supporting victims through the legal process. I have been relentless with my intention in instigating change, shining a light on what is going and why.   My intention has been to make change, so that no one ever need go through what I did.  There are not enough hours in a day to tell you what I have seen with my own two eyes while doing this.   Let’s say I have been around the block, and just about seen every trick in the book.

During this process I have supported Police that have also fallen victim to a culture that is rife with varying degrees of bullying and corrupt behavior. I was never anti police. Ever.   I have always simply been against abuse of power, and against excessive use of force.  It’s not about condemning certain police, but identifying problems early on, and acting on them before they hit a crisis point. Trust me when I say that police have it just as bad as any of us if not sometimes worse when it comes to other police abusing their power. It’s woeful.

You might have seen I have been extremely vocal in the media, and I have brought a lot of attention to a problem that keeps being swept under the rug by people that should know better.

 

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I have known along the way that the QPS might not appreciate what I’m doing, but I never thought they would be so bold as to blatantly  re offend.

I recently asked for the flag against my name to be removed.  When police pull me over it indicates that I might record them.  This escalates simple traffic stops into a drama. They assume when reading that flag that I’m a smart alec looking for trouble I assume,  and then off we go from there. I don’t need it. I do not need it.

In requesting this to be removed I was questioned about how I knew I was flagged, as it is such a serious breach for any officer to access my QPRIME record.

The assistant Commissioner Clem O’Regan wrote to me outlining how serious it was for anyone to access records unlawfully, and how serious he appears to take it.

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Following this I applied to Right to Information to see if anyone had accessed my confidential QPRIME file.

I started the search from after the arrest with this officer, up until last week’s date,  as it should have been a clean slate since then.

I have had a handful of traffic infringements since then and have no criminal history.  So it would normal and ok for there to be 4 or 5 entries into my profile I  had assumed.

I asked experienced officers what they would estimate in the way of checks against my name, some said 10, some said 20.  The highest answer I got was maybe 50 at worst,  he said, ‘I have brought a lot of attention to some serious things that are going on, especially with regard to police brutality on the Gold Coast’. So you might be more up closer to 50 enquiries.   No matter what PR spins are put out by QPS,  what promises are made, reviews, rollout plans, initiatives to work in 2’s on the glitter strip,  the parliamentary enquiry into the CCC,  let me tell you the truth, my truth. It’s bullshit.  They want you to beleive that the relevant areas are taking this issue seriously, they sit in meetings eating camembert cheese, sipping coffee and have no idea what is going on in the real World.  They are full of empty promises.  Many victims are blaming the CCC for sending complaints back to the police, and the will not even release the report of the review they did into police culture on the Gold Coast last year.  Is that not in the public interest?

Many times no action is being taken against officers that continue to re offend. I know of one that has 28 assault complaints and is still on the job, yet the one officer that has been accused of sharing vision of police assaulting an innocent man is facing jail.  I have firsthand experience of what impact that can have. Allowing this to go on leaves the most arrogant of them all thinking they are untouchable. Its dangerous. This is why some continue with unacceptable behavior.

Subsequent to me shining the light so brightly on all of this, I wanted to check that everything was being done ‘by the book’ as I support these people through their own low ebbs, I need to take care of myself,  as I have seen some pretty concerning practices of late, which are stories for another time or place.

So now most importantly,  I have come to learn that my QPRIME profile has been accessed not the 20 or 50 times people estimated *** 1475*** times.  I have the badge numbers of every single officer that has done this.

The CCC have put a statement out recently with regard to the seriousness of this act, and that they are taking action. One fellow was even charged with accessing his own name!!

Let me paint a picture of what this feels like.  It is like being violated all over again. Its like strangers going through your  underwear draw.

These strangers that have no right to know my details, yet have accessed them, daily and weekly.  It is sickening. It is corrupt; it is a huge breach of my privacy. And there is no looking to their bosses for some resolve as some of these people are the bosses.

I will personally make sure every single one is held to account if the CCC do not do so first.

I will instigate an enquiry and personally cross examine and take action against every single officer that has violated me by breaching my privacy and going through my private information because they saw me on the news,  or simply because they can.

I no longer come unarmed; I have years of experience now,  and refuse to allow this one to be swept under the rug.

I feel the same way about dirty cops that Erin Brockovich feels about dirty water.

The resemblance is uncanny, an ex pageant girl, a single mum, and a burning desire for what’s right.

I may not being suing for 333 million like Ms Brockovich,  but I will make dam sure it is worth even more than that to me in the way of ‘value to all people’ by the time I’m done with what has been allowed to happen here.

I have been the voice for so many over the years.  I’m now asking for your voice of support. You might be a lawyer, a journalist, a humanitarian, a celebrity, a billionaire, someone on the street doing it tough.  No matter what, please look at how you can contribute, what you can contribute, I’m asking for your support by sharing my story.  By getting the conversation going about how abuse of power must stop. And what I’m about to personally do about it. I shouldnt have to go it alone ever again, Ive done my time in the trenches.

I thankyou in advance for supporting me

Everything will be ok in the end, if its not ok its not the end.

 

Renee  xx

 

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