Author & Researcher Delphine Jamet
- For the CHASE CREW -

Kayaarn Bouncer Interview



It would have been nine years ago or something. I remember me and my brother and a few others got caught with tires in the back of our car. We'd bought them but the police thought we'd stolen them. This was years ago. And they took us down to the old Cannington police station and one copper took my brother into a cell and he threatened to hit Mark if he didn't tell him, like where he got the tires from, because we didn't have receipts and all that kind of stuff. And Mark kinda stopped the coppers from hitting him, because they were going to hit him and Mark just turned around and said 'Every punch you throw, I'm going to put my face in front of it because I walked in here with a clean face and if I walk out of here with blood and stuff like that, then people are going to know you've been hitting us. When they walked out, Mark told us what happened and the female copper that was interviewing me, she said 'We just do that to get the truth out of people'. I turned around, because I . . . I mean was a security guard at that time, and I just turned around to the police and said 'Oh, so it's okay to threaten people to get a confession out of them'. And the police said 'we're allowed to'. So . . . that was just another way the police abuse their authority. Stuff like that.

Plenty of coppers have come into nightclubs when I've been working there as a bouncer. They'll be drunk, they will be wearing the wrong things, and they expect free drinks. I've seen plenty of police go into McDonalds or Hungry Jacks or anywhere like that, smelling of alcohol when they're still wearing their uniform, pushing in line. One copper actually wouldn't wait so he just took someone else's meal and said "You can have mine when it gets there".

I remember . . . the only trouble I had with a copper up in Darwin, I was speeding and he pulled me over. I was doing fifteen kms over the limit . . . you know . . . which is still wrong but anyway, the copper pulled me over and he had a look in the car, put me under the breath alyser, I hadn't been drinking but I had half a carton on the front seat, which I was taking home. The copper said "Well I won't book you if I can take your beer off you". I said "You're going to book because I'm not going to be bribed. There's nothing to say that you're going to take the beer and then pull me over again five minutes later.

There's a woman I knew . . . Vicky. She worked as a barmaid at the Police Social Club in Darwin. And she used to have coppers all the time up there, like cracking onto her, trying to get sexual . . . trying to get her to have sex with them and they weren't going to bust her for this and that. I remember one funny story, she said she was getting into a car and this copper was standing there talking when he started wanking himself off while he was talking to her . . . actually pulling himself out. And he said . . . oh Vicky, I mean she's a pretty nice looking chick. This copper kept on doing it so she reckoned to the copper like, "Stick your dick in the window . . . through the window and I'll play with it for you". He did that and she just grabbed it and reversed back. So she hurt him a bit.

Some coppers reckon just because the wear a blue uniform, they've got that power of authority, they can do what they want. You know . . . pick on people. You feel sorry for some of the younger ones cos it's almost like, you have to stop and think 'Were they abused . . . or where they picked on when they were little . . . by other kids. So they put a uniform on and they've got this big chip on their shoulder and they just wanna . . . you know . . . get as many brownie points as they can and pick on people and . . . turn around and say 'Oh, you can't pick on me now cos I'm wearing a blue uniform". It's pretty much the same with bouncers. A few of the bouncers that I work with . . . they're good. They don't abuse their authority, they don't pick on people. Some people I know that do it, they can hit people, so they can throw people out. They can do whatever. Some of them will take advantage of drunk people and things like that and take money of them to ring taxis and the taxi never turns up. That kind of thing but a prime example . . . sorry, it's a prime example because they're a bouncer and everyone's going to believe a bouncer and not some drunk customer or patron.

Plenty of patrons, the bouncer may not like the look of them, they may be gay . . . whatever. I mean it doesn't matter if they're gay or not but . . . they'll just throw them out for no reason. They'll be heavy handed with them . . . some of the cops who come into the nightclubs to pick up people, check ID's and stuff like that. I mean you can tell they're cops straight away. Shiny black shoes, nice haircuts and four people drinking water . . . you know, it's pretty obvious. They'll just come in, checking people's IDs. I've had some coppers, like the ID will be real but the copper will say, I've heard of them say like "Give us 20 bucks or 50 bucks or I'll charge you anyway and just say it's a fake ID. I can quite easily get rid of your ID".

Some have pulled mates over in cars . . . they were hotted-up cars. Absolutely nothing wrong with them but the coppers have said "Anyway, we can give you a red sticker cos, they've even said themselves they can give their cars a red sticker. They'll just find something wrong or break something on the car and say it was already broken. Because no one's going to believe a young bloke over a copper. You know, it's just another example of coppers asserting their authority. Saying they can do stuff because they're a policeman when, as I said before, whether they were picked on when they were younger or whether they just have a chip on their shoulder for whatever reason, they don't . . . they've got to realise that, if they treat people with respect - all people, not just people with shirt and ties but young kids, older people, street kids, homeless . . . whatever, if they treat them with a bit of respect, then they'll get respect back.

If they don't treat them with respect and just categorise everyone, because they're either streetkids or homeless, or they've got heaps of tattoos, or piercings, dress different . . . whatever . . . if they're just going to categorise them or pick on them, then they're not going to get the respect back. They're going to get a bad name, they're going to get young kids . . . and they're going to get the names like pigs and dogs and everything else, and they're going to wonder why no one likes them. But if they show people respect, well . . . as much respect as they deserve and try to understand . . . if they see someone with heaps of tattoos, they're not a bikie, they're not a druggie or whatever, they just like tattoos. You see someone with heaps of piercings . . . they're not a freak, they just like piercings. They see someone . . . a streetkid, a bunch of streetkids hanging around, all right, they may be going to cause trouble, they may not be going to cause trouble. Just because if they see someone's homeless, don't just put them down and tell them to leave or abuse them, maybe talk to them. If they can understand their situation, then they might be able to let them know where they can stay, like Salvos, or some crisis shelters, or whatever . . . Tudor Lodge - places like that, you know.

But if they're just going to abuse everyone, they're just going to abuse and not listen to people, like if someone walks up to them and asks them a question and then turn around and say 'get fucked', if they can't help, then, well just say 'Well look, sorry, I can't help you'. If they're going to turn around and . . . just because someone's standing, say in the street waiting for someone or outside a shop, if they're just going to tell them to move on, or they'll arrest them, why don't they just ask them what they're doing there. At least, find out what that person is up to. I mean some people dress differently, some people dress raggedly, some people dress smart but it doesn't mean to say they're druggies or out for trouble. Coppers don't take the time to, they don't feel they have to take the time to get to know someone. They just, they feel they're a law above everyone else, they feel that they can do want, no one can question what they do, no one can argue any point the coppers make, or try to tell them they've got their story wrong, because they wear a blue uniform. It's the same with a lot of bouncers.

Whether they wear blue uniforms, blue shirts, white shirts, black shirts . . . whatever. Some of them, when they put that shirt on, they feel what they've got. They'll purposely ask people for ID, they'll purposely annoy people at nightclubs, like someone who's had to much to drink or maybe not too much but someone who's having a dance, a good time. They'll just go and pick on someone. Some bouncers have even picked fights with people. They just wanna . . . they've got the power and authority to hit someone, throw them out and be rough with them and they're not going to get into trouble for it. That's why a lot of people do it. Some of the bouncers are decent, some of them just do their job. Are good people.

It's the same with some cops. They'll turn around and thump people for no reason. Pick on streetkids, throw them around, abuse people in hotted-up cars, that kind of thing. Just because they wear a uniform and they feel that they can do whatever they want. No one's going to question a copper but it's getting to a stage now where it's happening too often and people are starting to question what the police are doing and they've got to realise, that if more than one person puts in a complaint about a certain policeman or policewoman, then it's going to look suss. It's like the trouble with the bikies now. All right, the bikies . . . if the Gypsy Jokers have killed that guy, fair enough. They've got every reason to pick on them but just because someone wears a badge, it doesn't mean to say they're trouble. A lot of them are, some of them aren't.

They shouldn't . . . police will basically pick on someone because they are different. Unless they are wearing a white shirt, black trousers, a tie, briefcase and they work in an office, then the coppers won't pick on them. But if you dress any differently whatsoever, you've got different colour hair, piercings, tattoos, baggy clothes, you drive a hotted up car, they're going to pick on you because you don't conform to society. But you're doing what you what you want to do, coppers do what they want to do . . . fair enough. But as I said before, unless they learn to show people respect, the respect they deserve, they're not going to get the respect they deserve back. They're going to be called dogs, they're going to be called pigs, people are constantly going to harass them and pick on them, call them names, throw stuff at them, abuse them. And the cops are going to wonder why, when it comes to anything happening or an incident happens in the street, no one wants to talk to them. No one wants to tell them if they saw anything because they've got no respect for the cops. The coppers won't help the people, then why help the cops?

One girl, when I was working at The Bog. She would have been 23, 24 and she was pretty drunk. We told her . . . because she started to fall asleep on the couch and by law, we have to wake someone up first and then say 'Sorry, you'll have to leave' because they're not allowed to sleep in the nightclubs. It doesn't look good for other people, it doesn't look good for the club. Myself and the other bouncer, we woke her up, gave her a glass of water and said 'Sorry, you're going to have to wait outside for a taxi. We'll call you a taxi'. She said 'do you mind if I sit down and lean against the wall while I'm waiting'. We said 'Yeah yeah, that's not a problem. Just be careful'. And she sat down and the coppers came up. They were asking her questions and she kept falling asleep. And this copper just turned around and slapped her, like slapped her in the face and said 'Wake up bitch. I'm talking to you'. And myself and the other bouncer that escorted her out, we said 'She's tired, we've only just woken her up. We've called her a taxi, there's no reason to hit her'. The policeman, who've we had a few run ins with, turned around and said 'I'm a copper, I can do whatever I fucken like'. So we just looked at him, we said 'We're going to take her inside, sit her in the office and wait for the taxi'.

The copper goes 'Nah. I'm going to arrest her for loitering. I'm going to take her to the station'. And we said 'Well, she's not loitering. She asked us if she could sit there and we said yes she can. We were watching her to make sure no one tried anything with her because she was drunk and didn't really know what she was doing. And the copper actually grabbed her by the arm and quite heavily, and tried to put her in the car. And if it wasn't for another cop that had just walked out of the nightclub as well, saw what he was doing and actually asked why he was doing it. Then she would have gotten in the car and God knows what would have happened to her because she was passing out all the time. The other copper told him to just let go of her, leave her alone, there's a taxi coming for her. The copper, instead of letting her go, actually threw her to the ground and said 'I will get what I want next time I see her'. So it was pretty obvious what his intentions were.

You know, it's . . . you see that a lot with drunk girls in nightclubs, like bouncers taking advantage of them, coppers taking advantage of them, some of the guys that are drunk. I mean, one guy who was drunk, we escorted him out. We told him to sit on the bench outside and just calm down because he was getting pretty rowdy. And he quietened down and when he stood up, he stood up just as two coppers passed and I don't know what . . . he wasn't abusive . . . but he asked one of them a question, whether it was the time or whatever and the copper just turned around and pushed him back onto the seat and said 'Why don't you just shut up or I'll arrest you'. And the bloke just sat there and was pretty wide eyed and a bit shocked and said 'what did I do wrong?'. And the copper said 'Nothing. Just like your mum did nothing last night while I was fucking her brains out' and just walked off.

There's no need to be like that. It's as if when they put there uniform on, there's like a curse. Instead of saying 'Police', it should say 'Schizophrenic' because they're probably nice people out of uniform. Some of them are arseholes, some of them are not. But a lot of them when they put their uniform on, again, think they can just do whatever they want. They'll pick on people, they'll abuse people, they'll hit people. As I said, same with bouncers, some bouncers do the same thing. They'll pick on people, they'll humiliate people, they'll try and get things off people, only because they're wearing a uniform. And they feel they can get away with it. But it's just not happening. Too many bouncers now, myself included . . . we've had enough of people giving us a bad name and I'm sure there's a lot of police, whether they're beat police, traffic police, whatever, are sick of a handful of cops giving them a bad name. Just constantly harassing people.

I mean I've seen plenty of instances where coppers have seen people in a shopping centre, they don't bother walking around them, they just walk straight through them because they're wearing a uniform. If anyone turns around and says 'Why did you do this? Why did you do that?', the coppers are just going to arrest them when they did . . . they feel they can break the law, they feel they can create their own laws and no one's going to bust them, because they are the law. Which is wrong, which is the same as bouncers. Some bouncers feel they can break the law, they feel they can create their own laws, they feel they're pretty much a law above everyone else, when they're not. It's only because they're wearing a uniform and that's the main thing. If cops didn't wear uniforms, like you get the plain clothed ones who don't, if they didn't wear uniforms and if they didn't have such a big chip on their shoulders, or such a big rod up their arse, then they might find they'll might get a hell of a lot more respect. They just need to talk to people.

I remember seeing one bus copper . . . a bus copper, sitting on the disabled seats in those new buses, where you've got those seats at the front. An old lady got on, she would have been about 70, 72 or something and there was no seats and the copper wasn't going to get up. He just sat there and the bloke sitting behind the copper, he just tapped the copper on the shoulder and he said 'You're in the disabled seat. Don't you think that's where that lady should be sitting?'. And the cop turned around and said 'If you don't want to get thrown off this bus and your teeth kicked in, why don't you get up?'. They feel that they don't have to do anything to prove anything to anyone. But they can do whatever they want. They can pick on anyone, same thing, as I keep saying. They can arrest you for any reason, especially young people, like a streetkid. There's no way a streetkid's going to go into a cop station and say 'I wasn't doing anything wrong. This policeman arrested me for no reason. He harassed me' and did whatever. The people behind the counter aren't going to believe him because the cop's just going to make up a story. It's just a whole lot of corruption, intimidation and abuse of power because they're wearing a uniform. Until more is done to create better policing, a better understanding of the public, better public relations towards the public. I mean, I don't know what it is when police become a policeman while they're going through cadet school or whatever. They must take half their brain out and insert an arsehole chip or something. Not all cops are bad but unfortunately, a lot of them are. They've got to learn to get rid of that chip on that shoulder and just learn to be a bit more co-operative and understanding.