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Australia top cop resigns over racist posts, one on 'Indian, Pakistani peasants'

IANS  |  Canberra 

One of Australia's most senior police officers has stepped down after he was linked to "shocking" racist and obscene online posts made under an online pseudonym.

Victoria state's Assistant Commissioner Brett Guerin, who was also head of professional standards, quit on Monday. He made racist comments on YouTube under the name "Vernon Demerest", The Age newspaper reported.

According to the daily, several vile posts on the social media, including references to "cheating dagos", "third world dullards", "Indian and Pakistani peasant(s)" and "jigaboo(s)" were made by "Vernon Demerest".

Guerin reportedly made racist and sexist remarks about rugby league, cricket and his former colleagues.

"The National Anthem must never be improvised. It must always be sung by a male. A baritone. And accompanied by a band. No argument. No opinion. Just fact," he wrote.

He also made derogatory remarks about Somalia, Argentina and referred to "third world dullards", according to the newspaper.

Expressing shock over the incident, Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said at a press conference on Tuesday that he was struggling to explain Guerin's behaviour.

"This to me describes behaviour that is abhorrent. It is behaviour that is completely and utterly unacceptable at Victoria Police," Ashton said.

Last week, Guerin admitted to a local radio station that he had made the comments.

"The language I used was completely inappropriate, embarrassing and I can understand people saying 'what the hell is this bloke doing?'," he told Melbourne's 3AW station.

"It's crude and coarse language and, you know, what I'm most ashamed about is my mother and my daughters have read it now."

"The reason I did it under a fake name is clearly if I had gone in with my own name, it would have been associated with Victoria Police," he said.

In the press conference, Ashton said the comments from Guerin "were out of character and at odds with the man known to other officers in senior command".

"I guess in weeks to come I'll get a report ... that might fully explain it to me, but (it's) really baffling behaviour from someone that's had a long career with Victoria Police, and a successful career, and has been doing ostensibly really good work as well."



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 27 2018. 18:44 IST