Politics

NSW Police Apologises To Greens MP Jenny Leong Over Horrifying Racial Slurs

One officer called her father a "swamp monkey".

The NSW Police Force has officially apologised to state Greens MP Jenny Leong after she was subjected to abhorrent racial abuse by officers on social media.

The member for Newtown lodged a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) over comments left by officers on a Facebook post made by her office in March 2016 condemning the use of police sniffer dogs.

One officer, then-sergeant Jack Zaineddine, changed his profile picture to a photo of Leong and wrote “2 dolla sucky sucky lub u long time”. When another officer posted a meme that said “Your Daddy Shoulda Pulled Out!,” Zaineddine replied calling Leong’s father a “swamp monkey”.

The posts were liked by a number of other members of NSW police. 10 officers were investigated by the Police Integrity Commission in April 2016. Zaineddine was suspended over the incident, but was later reinstated and served in a more senior role.

Leong launched her complaint with the AHRC in November 2018 in an attempt to learn what disciplinary action had been taken against the officers, and what had been done to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

In a statement released on Monday following a confidential settlement with Leong, the NSW Police Force said it “does not condone or tolerate any form of discrimination whether the conduct occurs on or off duty”.

“NSW Police Force made sustained findings including that the off-duty conduct had taken place and took disciplinary action against some of the officers. The NSW Police Force has apologised to Ms Leong.”

Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, Leong said she was pleased with the outcome.

“As the Member for Newtown, I can say I am absolutely committed to the campaign against the use of sniffer dogs in NSW and will continue to call out racism where I see it, particularly when it comes to those in powerful positions in our society,” she said.