Police are suffering, inquest hears

The coroner is investigation five police shootings including this one police attended on Outlook Drive at Tewantin.
The coroner is investigation five police shootings including this one police attended on Outlook Drive at Tewantin. Cade Mooney

POLICE officers are afraid to say they need help after being involved in a shooting death, for fear of being labelled weak, a union president has told an inquest.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said the organisation's culture needed to change in the way it dealt with the well-being of officers who had been involved in a line-of-duty shooting.

State Coroner Terry Ryan is conducting an inquest in the wake of five police shootings in less than a year.

Between August 2013 and November 2014, in separate incidents, officers from Queensland Police Service acting in the course of their duties, shot and killed five men.

Mr Ryan is considering what recommendations, if any, will prevent these sorts of incidents occurring in such circumstances again.

The inquest, which continues until Thursday next week, will look at the circumstances around two shootings on the Sunshine Coast, two in Brisbane and one on the Gold Coast.

On Tuesday, Mr Leavers spoke about the impact of so-called "critical incidents" on police.

He said those who had been involved in such incidents were often left suffering without adequate support from the service, for fear of how it would be perceived.

"I'll be honest. I tell people 'if you need help, don't be outward, go and get private assistance' because of the way the organisation works," he said.

"I think people do hurt and they hurt for a long, long time, but they're certainly not outward in doing it."

Mr Leavers was reflecting on recommendations to track the impact of critical incidents on police over their entire policing career.

He said an external organisation should conduct it and should look at what happens outside of their policing career because often it did lead to family dysfunction.

Some police who have left the organisation as a result of critical incidents, they never get over it in any way, shape or form.

"They've got to live with it for the rest of their lives because they've never got treatment for it," Mr Leavers said.

He said while the organisation was changing, a perception remained that those who sought help were weak, "that you can't cut it and it's held against you for promotion and transfer forever and a day".

Mr Leavers said he had examples in recent times of people who had sought help and it had been used against them.

He also said when it came to response to critical incidents, the size of the state was an issue.

He said remoteness of postings could interfere in dealing with critical incidents, noting suggestions to mandate two-hour gun residue testing after any incident.

Mr Leavers said this would be logistically impossible in some circumstances, despite being beneficial in interpreting the critical incident.



Laval Donovan Zimmer: Age 33. He grew up in Mackay, Kingaroy and Brisbane and had a history of paranoid schizophrenia. He was killed after running at police with a knife at his home in Redcliffe. They had attended his home after he made numerous nuisance calls to 000 and PoliceLink at Redcliffe and Maroochydore which became increasingly aggressive.

Anthony William Young: Age 42. Lived with his older brother, his brother's partner and their 12-year-old daughter. Brandished a machete at police when they attended his home at Yandina-Coolum Drive, after numerous reports of a disturbance at his home on August 21, 2013. Was told to "drop the knife" three times before he was shot. Police found two bodies inside the home and concluded Young had murdered his brother and partner before his death.

Edward Wayne Logan: Age 51. He was visiting his son Thomas Logan at Outlook Drive, Tewantin. A fight with his son escalated into a domestic dispute in which he smashed up cars, windows and garage doors. He was killed when police attended and he lunged at them with a splayed metal letterbox.

Shaun Basil Kumeroa: Age 42. Was killed after a four-hour siege at Inala. He allegedly had been avoiding police for a number days after assaulting his former partner, who he was involved in a custody dispute with. He brandished a replica gun at police, which they believed to be real.

Troy Martin Foster: Age 32. Police shot him in Southport after he held a knife to his mother's throat on November 24, 2014. He suffered from mental health issues and had consumed drugs and alcohol. His mother alleged problem with police began at age 11 after an alleged police assault at Tweed Heads.

Topics:  anthony william young coroner edward wayne logan inala inquest laval donovan zimmer police shooting shaun basil kumeroa sunshine coast troy martin foster

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Motoring show to rev up support for hospital

FAMILY FUN: Three of the sensational cars that will be on display at the Gatton Auxiliary Show and Shine.

Car, Ute and Bike Show and Shine is coming to town for a good cause.

Student wins half price fees

FUTURE VET: Brook Cridland, winner of the Country Challenge on Campus.

Year 11 runner wins $4500 university prize.

Gatton and Forest Hill make it two from two

PACE: Gatton Fordsdale bowler Chris O'Brien sends a speedy delivery to Southern Lockyer's Shaun Ashley during the A-grade fixture at Ropehill on Saturday.

Gatton and Forest Hill both won their round two fixtures.

Local Partners

Do you recognise this distinctive blue and white ute?

IF you've seen a distinctive white tray-back ute with a blue bonnet around the region, the Gatton Police want you to contact them.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Tim Finn headlining at Airlie Beach Music Festival

Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Tim Finn: "It's the kind of festival that artists love"

CMC organisers: No more pre-sale tickets will be sold

US country music group The Dixie Chicks. Supplied by Chugg Entertainment.

UPDATE: Plenty of people unhappy with process

Check out some fashions from the Coast festival

FASHION: Ocean Zen range.

Images from the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival show what's hot

Australian Survivor's magician Matt out of tricks

Australian Survivor contestant Matt Tarrant.

SHOW'S power couple looks unstoppable in race to the finish.

Top floor teams take out The Block's terrace week

Kim and Chris pictured on their winning outdoor terrace in a scene from The Block.

RIVALS Kim and Chris and Julia and Sasha tie in final week of work.

Bob Dylan slammed as 'arrogant' for Nobel silence

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan.

Singer the controversial winner of literature Nobel

Shannen Doherty reveals fear of dying in post on chemo

Actor Shannen Doherty shared this image of her lying in a hospital bed after a chemotherapy session.

Actor has been fighting cancer since 2015

Eddie Redmayne's stage fright on latest Harry Potter film

Actor Eddie Redmayne stars in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Actor felt like kid again when he got to film with a wand

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.