A 16-year veteran of the Melbourne, Victoria police force in Australia went public this week to denounce the actions of many police during recent protests.
Acting Senior Sergeant Krystle Mitchell was interviewed by a group called "Discernable," wearing her full uniform during the interview and announcing that she was officially resigning from the force at the end of her interview.
Blaming the police actions ultimately on Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews, Mitchell stated:
“I think that the reason, or the issue, in why perhaps police [are] feeling more emboldened to act the way they are in relation to these harsher actions is because of the messaging that comes from Dan [Andrews],” who tells the law enforcers what to do “on a daily basis.”
However, she stated that individual police members who use excessive force will be held accountable, and that police do have a responsibility not to use excessive force, something that is allegedly grilled into them at the academy.
She served 6 years at Professional Standards Command - the division responsible for investigating police misconduct, corruption, discrimination and freedom of information, referring investigations to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) where appropriate.
She reminds her colleagues that ultimately they will individually be held accountable for their actions, and are still subject to s 462A of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) which forbids the disproportionate use of force.
Acting Senior Sergeant Mitchell cites ethical conflicts as the reason for speaking publicly about conduct of Victoria Police officers, their Chief Commissioner - Shane Patton, their Minister - Lisa Neville MP, and ultimately their Premier - Daniel Andrews MP.
She feels she can no longer remain silent with the division between police and community growing, and totally ignored by the leadership of both the police and government.
She also stated that she has talked to over 300 fellow police officers, and the majority feel the same way that she does.
Sergeant Krystle Mitchell gave up her career to do this interview, and could possibly face disciplinary measures as well.