Plain-clothed police from the NSW Counter Terrorism Unit have stormed the family home of a young journalist in a dramatic arrest that was captured on film.
21-year-old Kristo Langker, who is also a student at Sydney’s Conservatorium Of Music, can be seen in the footage getting pinned down and handcuffed by officers, who it’s understood were acting on a complaint from NSW Deputy Premier, John Barilaro.
In the video, Langker’s distressed mum also accuses one of the arresting officers of “pushing her down in her own home” during the sting, while the young man’s dad can be heard yelling “You can’t do this in Australia!” as the cops escort his son off to their unmarked squad car.
Langker has since been charged with two counts of “stalk or intimidate intending to cause fear of physical or mental harm” to the deputy premier, with whom he is currently embroiled in defamation proceedings over a series of satirical YouTube videos levelling allegations of corruption against the politician. Barilaro claims the videos are “vile and racist”.
One of Langker’s charges relates to an exchange that occurred between the pair while Langker was leaving class at The Con that same week.
Langker’s lawyers, Xenophon Davis, have strongly refuted police’s version of events, which states that Barilaro was returning to his car after the funeral of rugby league immortal Bob Fulton when Langker followed him for about 200 metres and then approached him while yelling “Why are you suing my boss?” and “You’re corrupt!”
As it turns out, Langker also filmed that whole exchange, with his lawyers arguing the footage proves at least four major inaccuracies in the official police statement of facts. Instead, they claim Langker merely spotted Barilaro by chance while walking back from class and approached him to hand over some paperwork relating to the ongoing lawsuit. They are also in the process of subpoenaing CCTV footage from the area, which will allegedly provide further proof that their client was not following Barilaro.
Xenophon Davis have also condemned Langker’s arrest itself, claiming the deployment of the NSW Police’s fixated persons unit – which, as The Guardian points out, was set up to tackle lone actor extremists three years after the Lindt cafe siege – was “shocking” and “highly alarming”.
“We are highly disturbed by misinformation that police appear to have acted upon,” the firm’s partner Mark Davis said in a statement.
“We have the video of the interaction with the Deputy Premier and it does not appear to accord with the police facts.”
He further alleges that Langker’s mother and girlfriend were assaulted during the arrest, leaving them “injured and traumatised”.
Music Feeds contacted NSW Police for comment, with a spokesperson saying they had “not received a complaint in relation to the circumstances of the arrest”.
Langker, who works as a producer for YouTube comedian and political journalist Friendlyjordies, is facing up to three years in prison if convicted of the charges against him.
You can watch the footage of his arrest, and Friendlyjordies’ response to it, here.
The views expressed by people and organisations quoted in this article are not the view of Music Feeds or its employees.