Video footage has emerged of two Victorian police officers dancing with scantily clad women at a swingers’ party just hours before armed police stormed the venue and shot two revellers.
CCTV footage from Melbourne’s Inflation nightclub shows two uniformed police officers dancing with women at the swingers’ party held on July 8.
Dale Ewins, 35, and Zita Sukys, 37, are suing the state of Victoria after being shot at the costume party at the club in King Street, at the western end of the CBD.
The pair was about 3am after police had reports a man was armed with a gun at the Inflation Nightclub, during what was billed as an “erotic fancy ball”.
The footage shows the two male police officers mingling and dancing with scantily-clad partygoers, who hug and press up against them, and not making any attempt to separate themselves from the women.
Topless women and semi-naked men appear to walk around the officers as they mix and dance with party-goers.
AAP reported that the officers were understood to have been in the club since about midnight.
At 3.53am, special operations police burst into the club and shot Mr Ewins and Ms Sukys after what police said was a report about the man carrying a gun, which turned out to be a toy.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman said all police in attendance at the club on the night are being investigated by the Professional Standards Command and the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission.
“Police members are expected to attend licensed venues and are regularly approached by patrons who engage them in conversation,” she told AAP.
“Police are expected, at all times, to conduct themselves professionally.”
Inflation operator Martha Tsamis has called on police to release the Triple-0 calls about the toy gun, which she claims police already knew was a fake after having been informed of such by security.
She launched legal action against Victoria Police a week before the shooting over a senior officers’ comments that Inflation was a honey pot for drug dealers.
Ms Tsamis has also alleged police “overreacted” to the situation and denied the police account that Mr Ewins had aimed the gun at officers, claiming he had been “in a compromising position with his female partner”.
That officer and another will not take part in the shooting investigation amid conflict-of-interest concerns.
Mr Ewins, who was dressed as The Joker, and Ms Sukys, who was dressed as Harley Quinn, have also launched legal action against Victoria Police.
Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said Ms Tsamis’s long-term relationship with senior officer Detective Inspector Phil Harrison, head of Victoria’s drugs taskforce, was “not an issue”.
“We’ve been aware of (it) and if there’s any potential for conflict of interest there it’s managed by crime command,” Mr Ashton told ABC radio on Thursday.
– with AAP