Andrew John Bornen, 16, was killed while lying in the middle of the road of a busy street outside of Ipswich, Australia. Bornen was not engaging in some high school prank. He was lying face down in the middle of street with his hands cuffed behind him at the insistence of the police. The prosecutors have decided that no charges will be filed against the Queensland officers.
Police were responding to a report of a man with a machete and arrested Bornen who was carrying a baseball bat. An inquest confirmed that he was not acting aggressive in any way. Yet, the police left him face down in the middle of a busy road until he was run over.
The director of public prosecutions, Tony Moynihan SC, insisted that “[t]here is no suggestion that the police officers were acting unlawfully or not in the execution of their duty in arresting Andrew Bornen who was intoxicated and armed in public . . . Given the momentary opportunity the police officers had to assess and act in this situation, the efforts made to alert the driver of the vehicle and the contribution of the driver of the vehicle which ran over and killed Mr Bornen, there is no reasonable prospect of a conviction.’’
In what he described as a ‘‘terrible error of judgment,’’ the officers not only left him in the road but positioned their police car so that its headlights blinded approaching cars. They failed to put on their emergency lights.