‘Indian and Pakistani peasants’: Senior Australian police officer quits after offensive online posts
Assistant Commissioner Brett Guerin used to post racist and sexist remarks under the name of Vernon Demerest, a character from the 1970 movie ‘Airport’.
A senior police officer in the Australian state of Victoria on Monday resigned after it came to light that he had been using a pseudonym to post racist, sexist and pornographic content online, The Age reported. Assistant Commissioner Brett Guerin, who used to head the police force’s Professional Standards unit, used terms such as “Indian and Pakistani peasant[s]”, “cheating dagos”, “third world dullards” and “jigaboo[s]” in his posts.
Guerin was referred to an investigative body last week after the newspaper revealed he had posted offensive comments about two retired senior police officers on a blog. On February 22, Guerin admitted he had posted the comments under the name Vernon Demerest, a fictional character that actor Dean Martin played in the 1970 movie Airport. “It is crude and coarse language and, you know, what I am most ashamed about is my mother and my daughters have read it now,” he had said. “The language I used...was completely inappropriate, embarrassing and I can understand people saying ‘what the hell is this bloke doing?’”
The newspaper revealed that complaints were lodged against Guerin in 2006 for an expletive-laden speech to a group of 30 police officers and support staff in the Melbourne suburb of Flemington. However, no action was taken.
Victoria’s Police Commissioner Graham Ashton said Guerin’s behaviour was “really baffling” and “out of character”, ABC Australia reported. “People that know him really well are really shocked by what is there,” Ashton added. “We will be making sure we’re talking to the broader multicultural community today and making sure they know that those views in no way represent what Victoria Police is about.”