ABC Queensland police reporter denies being under influence of a dangerous drug

Police are reviewing the conduct of two Brisbane officers who detained an ABC reporter outside a hardware store and accused him of being “off his chops” on drugs.

ABC Queensland police reporter Josh Bavas, who denies being under the influence of a dangerous drug, used his mobile phone to film the encounter at a Bunnings store in southern Brisbane.

He said that while sitting behind a car he was approached by an officer who identified himself as Senior Constable Richard Power.

Bavas said he had sat down to recover from a sneezing fit induced by a cold.

He released a portion of the recorded exchange on Twitter and the video has since gone viral.

“Mate, the fact that you’ve 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,” Senior Constable Power said in the video.

“For the moment, I’m going to detain you for the purpose of…”

“You’re going to detain me?” Bavas replied.

Senior Constable Power: “Yes, for the purpose of a search. Do you have any identification on you sir?”

Bavas: “It’s in the car.”

Senior Constable Power: “Yeah exactly, so you were saying you weren’t detained.”

Senior Constable Power then calls out to a second officer: “Mate, Reedy, he’s off his chops on something so I’ve detained…”

Bavas: “I’m not off my chops.”

The second officer replied: “Oh f…ing mate, if we hadn’t hung onto you mate, you’d float off into f…ing outer space.”

Senior Constable Power then warned the other officer that he, too, had begun recording the conversation on his body cam, to which the officer replied: “Oh, sorry”.

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) issued a statement on Saturday afternoon, saying it was “aware of social media footage concerning the detention of a man at a car park in Oxley”.

“In keeping with our commitment to high standards of behaviour, transparency and accountability, senior officers have reviewed the footage and are examining the behaviour of the police involved,” the statement says.

“The man was not in possession of dangerous drugs and was released without any further action taken.”

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