Queensland police accuse ABC journalist of drug use

By Kate Kyriacou, Simone Mitchell

Warning: Coarse Language
Journalist John Bavas filmed his exchange with a Brisbane police officer at Bunnings this morning. Photo / John Bavis Twitter
Journalist John Bavas filmed his exchange with a Brisbane police officer at Bunnings this morning. Photo / John Bavis Twitter

A video has emerged on Twitter showing Queensland police detaining, swearing at and accusing an ABC journalist of being "off his chops" on drugs.

Josh Bavas was detained at the Oxley Bunnings store in Brisbane's southwest this morning. He was at the store with his brother and was waiting for him outside when approached by the officers.

The video, posted by Bavas on Twitter, shows the bizarre exchange with two police officers.

Warning: Coarse Language


"I was just detained by police outside Bunnings because they said I was on drugs," writes Bavas in the tweet. "I have a cold. Unbelievable."

The officer, who is identified at the end of the clip as Senior Constable Richard Power, says "Mate, the fact you got pinpoint eyes and you're looking directly into the sun and they're not dilating, due to the sunlight? I believe you to be under the influence of a dangerous drug. So for the moment, I'm going to detain you".

At this point, an incredulous Bavas asks, "You're going to detain me?"

"Yes, for the purpose of a search," responds the officer. "Do you have any identification on you?"

"It's in the car," says Bavas.

"Yeah, exactly," responds the officer, somewhat inexplicably.

The policeman then calls on his colleague: "Mate, Reedy ... He's off his chops on something *points at Bavas*"

"I'm not off my chops!" replies Bavas.

"Oh f****** mate, if we hadn't hung on to you mate, you'd float off into f****** outer space," chimes in 'Reedy'.

Josh Bavas is a police and emergency services reporter with the ABC. Photo / John Bavas Twitter
Josh Bavas is a police and emergency services reporter with the ABC. Photo / John Bavas Twitter

At this point the first officer reminds his colleague that Bavas is recording the exchange.

The officers initially asked if he was with the group of youths before asking whether a car they were sitting near was stolen.

They continued questioning Bavas until his brother came out of the Bunnings store.

Bavas and his brother were separated and questioned further, with an officer repeatedly asking "what is he on?" of Bavas' brother.

One of the officers told the reporter they were conducting a street check and Bavas was asked a series of questions - including "what colour is your hair?" - while they recorded his name, address and noted what clothing he was wearing.

Since it was posted this morning the clip has been retweeted over 700 times, and many have tweeted their support to Bavas:





Josh Bavas shared a final tweet about the ordeal, jokingly blaming the clothes he was wearing for being detained.


Queensland police declined to comment at this stage as they are "conducting enquiries".

- news.com.au

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