Sudanese basketball star, 22, claims he is the victim of police brutality after an officer mistook him for a criminal and pepper sprayed him
- Basketball star claimed he is the victim of racial profiling after police altercation
- Akol Deng was walking through Adelaide CBD when he was stopped by officers
- Deng spent 12 hours in custody before being charged with assaulting police
- Claimed officers targeted him due to his race and were aggressive from the start
Basketball star Akol Deng claimed he was racially profiled by police after being pepper sprayed in the Adelaide CBD
A young basketball star has claimed he was racially profiled by police after being pepper sprayed by an officer who mistook him for a criminal.
Akol Deng, 22, was walking along Hindley Street in the Adelaide CBD in the early hours of Monday morning when he was stopped by officers investigating reports of an assault nearby.
Police allege they used capsicum spray on Deng – who has trained with the Adelaide 36ers – after he slapped one of the officers on the arm.
The Sudanese immigrant spent 12 hours in custody before being charged with assaulting police.
The young athlete though claimed the officers targeted him because of his race and were aggressive from the start – even after realising they had mistaken him for someone else.
Deng – who was left bloodied and bruised in the altercation after being tackled to the ground by police – said he only ran away after officers shoved him first.
Deng, 22, was arrested after being stopped by officers investigating reports of a nearby assault
‘He claimed I pushed him in the shoulder but I couldn’t have done that because I was filming with my right hand and pointing with the other,’ he told 9News.
‘It’s definitely racial profiling and it has led to me having a lot of mental stress.
‘I just felt paranoid and don’t feel safe anymore.’
Deng – who has also played basketball in the US – was granted bail at Adelaide Magistrates Court on Monday.
The young athlete has spoken out to claim the officers targeted him because of his race and were aggressive from the start
Deng was left bloodied and bruised in the altercation with police in the early hours of Monday morning
The police prosecutor told the court the officers pushed Deng because he had become aggressive and was ‘getting in their faces’.
‘Whilst talking to the defendant, it was realised he was not the person involved but he was very agitated and ultimately slapped an officer on the arm,’ the prosecutor said according to The Messenger.
Deng has not yet issued a plea to the assault charge but said he plans to fight it when he returns to court on March 17.
South Australia Police has declined to comment on Deng’s claims as the case is before the courts.
Published at Wed, 06 Jan 2021 17:32:00 +0000