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Man called police racists after being stopped

A young man claimed he was subjected to “racist slurs” from police after being stopped on his motorcycle on the morning of his 21st birthday.

Nelson Courtney, a sales associate at Goslings, admitted calling the officers “f***ing racists” during the incident at the junction of Court Street and Reid Street on April 27.

He was given an absolute discharge by Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo, who told him: “Consider this a birthday gift.”

Courtney also admitted a charge of impaired driving on March 16, for which he was fined $1,500 and given ten demerit points on his licence.

Prosecutor Garrett Byrne told Magistrates’ Court that Courtney was stopped by police on April 27 after he was seen going through a red light on his motorcycle.

“An officer asked him to take a seat on the sidewalk. He said: ‘It’s my f***ing birthday’. He was warned it was an offence to use offensive words.”

Mr Byrne said Courtney told police: “You are f***ing racists. F*** you cops. You are the greatest cops ever. If your mothers didn’t tell you they loved you, I love you. You called me a n*****. I hope you get sick and die.”

Courtney, whose address was not given, told Mr Tokunbo: “That’s not what happened, your honour. I did say they were effing racists; however, I didn’t say ‘your mothers’ and all that.

“The officer said to me: ‘I hope you get sick and die’ and used a racist slur against me, at which point I said: ‘You are f***ing racists’. It was my 21st birthday, on my way to work.”

The defendant, dressed in a navy blazer and tie, said though he was “technically guilty” of using offensive words he was reacting to “racist slurs”.

He later added: “I regularly come under police scrutiny. I was pulled over probably 20 or 30 times within the last year or two years.

“I continually get random weapon searches and all kinds of different things. I have never been caught with any weapons or drugs or anything like that. I just feel I’m harassed by the police.”

He said on the day of the impaired driving offence he’d had a “couple of beers”, adding: “On the day of the offensive words, I hadn’t been drinking at all. It was nine in the morning.”

Mr Tokunbo told Courtney: “Don’t let it happen again. You use better judgement next time. You don’t look like a person that behaves like that.”

Giving him an absolute discharge, the magistrate said: “I expect that you learn from this and you don’t come back again.”

Mr Byrne said it wouldn’t be in the public interest to pursue two other charges which Courtney denied: of using a hand-held device and not properly maintaining his tyres.

He offered no evidence and Mr Tokunbo dismissed the charges, adding: “You got another birthday gift, kid. You are racking them up.

“But it’s not because you behaved badly. It’s because it was recognised that you were out of character and it’s not going to happen again.”

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Published May 14, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 13, 2013 at 11:05 pm)

Man called police racists after being stopped

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