ABC news reporter detained in Qld, accused of being “off his chops”

UPDATE 5:00PM | Queensland police say they are investigating the behaviour of two police officers who detained an ABC journalist outside a Brisbane Bunnings store and accused him of being “off his chops” on drugs.

Several hours after footage of the ordeal was posted online, the Queensland Police Service released a statement.

“The Queensland Police Service is aware of social media footage concerning the detention of a man at a carpark in Oxley today,” the statement read.


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That man was well-respected ABC crime reporter Josh Bavas.

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

Police confirmed the reporter was not in possession of drugs and was “released without any further action taken”.

EARLIER AT 3:00PM |  An ABC news reporter has been detained by police outside a Bunnings store in Brisbane after officers accused him of being “off his chops” on a dangerous drug.

The ABC’s experienced police and emergency services reporter Josh Bavas claims he only had a cold when two officers stopped him outside a Bunnings at Oxley, in the city’s south-west.

Mr Bavas started with ABC News in 2009 when he joined the Brisbane newsroom as a cadet journalist.

The crime reporter filmed the ordeal and uploaded the footage, which shows police swearing at him, to Twitter on Saturday from where it has since gone viral.

“Was just detained by police outside Bunnings because they said I was on drugs. I have a cold. Unbelievable,” he Tweeted.

ABC police and emergency services reporter Josh Bavas PHOTO: Twitter

ABC police and emergency services reporter Josh Bavas PHOTO: Twitter

The first officer captured on the video, who identifies himself as Senior Constable Richard Power, accuses Mr Bavas of being on drugs because of the way his eyes were reacting to the sunlight.

“Mate the fact you’ve got pinpoint eyes and you’re looking directly into the sun, they’re not dilating, due to the sunlight, I believe you to be under the influence of a dangerous drug,” Senior Constable Power says.

“So for the moment, I’m going to detain you for the purpose of a search.”

Senior Constable Richard Power PHOTO: Twitter

Senior Constable Richard Power PHOTO: Twitter

Little did Senior Constable Power know, pupils constrict when they are exposed to light and dilate only in dark spaces.

As Mr Bavas protested that he is not “off his chops”, a second police officer can be heard cutting him off, saying, “if we hadn’t hung onto you mate you’d float off into f—king outer space.”

PHOTO: Twitter

PHOTO: Twitter

After his encounter, Mr Bavas posted to Twitter confirming all was well.

“All’s well that ends well. May have had something to do with my red shorts and green shoes. Now back to building a retaining wall,” he said.

Shortly after the shocking footage was uploaded to social media, ABC News director Gaven Morris took to Twitter to assure people Mr Bavas was fine.

“Everyone concerned for @JoshBavas .. Rest assured he is fine – apart from his cold – and is getting on with his Saturday,” Mr Morris Tweeted.