Recent video footage has been released of an incident that occurred at a Melbourne (Australia) Disability pensioner’s home in September 2017.

The pensioner in question, identified only as “John,” was withdrawing from painkillers after undergoing a recent operation on his back. Aware of John’s pre-existing mental health concerns and how withdrawal may exacerbate feelings of ill health, his psychiatrist asked Victoria Police to conduct a routine welfare check on the patient.

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While the six police officers who visited John that day initially followed protocol for a welfare check, speaking in calm voices, things soon took a turn.

What happened next was unnecessary and did not follow protocol

John was hesitant to leave his house and yelled at the officers to leave. When he finally did open his door, John received a douse of oleoresin capsicum (commonly known as pepper spray) to the face and was then dragged onto his front lawn.

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Here, despite raising his hands to defend himself, John was beaten, verbally abused, hit with a baton, sprayed with additional pepper spray at close range, and then blasted at high pressure with a garden hose.

The protocol to follow after administering pepper spray is to wash the affected skin and eyes with water, using a bottle or a bucket. John was instead handcuffed and blasted with a high-pressure garden hose so that John felt as though he was going to drown.

The entire encounter lasted 20 minutes.

John had not committed any crime, and yet he was humiliated and physically, mentally, and verbally abused by the men who were supposed to be checking in on his welfare. Not surprisingly, the brutal treatment John received after opening his door to the police was not proper police protocol.

Lucky for John, footage of the incident was captured

Footage of the incident was captured by John’s own home security camera, but one of the policemen at the scene also filmed the brutality on his phone, presumably with different intentions.

Footage was obtained by The Age and shared with ABC.

Despite national public outrage at the incident and Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius being “very concerned,” the police officers involved will not yet be stood down.

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John’s lawyer, Jeremy King, has said the footage of the incident is confronting and distressing and that police misconduct is widespread.

It was only last week that an IBAC report found that Victoria Police failed to manage conflicts of interest adequately or consider human rights in serious incidents where a member of the general public is hurt or killed.

The state’s police watchdog, the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission, will investigate the incident and the outcome will determine the fate of those involved.

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This incident follows similar occasions of police using unnecessary force and brutality in America, such as when two women were shot dead after calling 911 and when a man in California was beaten after allegedly jaywalking.

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