Sydney: Riot squad called to courtroom brawl involving family charged with assaulting police

15 April: The riot squad has been called to a Sydney courtroom to deal with a brawl between police and members of a family facing charges for assaulting police.

Five members of the Mehanna family were facing Downing Centre Local Court in central Sydney over charges of affray and assaulting police on New Year’s Day in 2013 at their Bankstown home.

Witnesses said that shortly after the lunch adjournment one of the Mehanna brothers struck a police officer, starting a courtroom brawl that involved more than 30 officers.

But Ali Mehanna claims it was police who started the altercation.

“There was no need for more police. Officers were in court dealing with the situation. There were six or seven other police officers outside of the courtroom,” he said.

“As my brother and the family has left the court room, they provoked him. They were pushing, shoving, and before you knew it he was getting hit and punched by the police officers.

“And then while they were arresting him on the floor, they started kicking him, kneeing him … it was police brutality all over.”

The original case against members of the Mehanna family was adjourned for sentencing until next month.

Police say one officer was injured in the brawl, and at least one member of the Mehanna family has been taken into custody.

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