I did not lie to protect officer, sergeant tells Salter inquiry

A police officer has rejected suggestions she lied to an inquiry to help justify a colleague’s actions in fatally shooting a mentally ill Sydney man.

Sergeant Emily Metcalf today told the Police Integrity Commission she saw fellow officer Sheree Bissett shoot Adam Salter inside his family home in Lakemba in November 2009.

Police went to the home in response to a call that Mr Salter was attempting self harm and the commission has heard he was shot while stabbing himself in the throat with a knife.

His shooting, the subsequent police investigation and allegations of a police cover-up are now the subject of an inquiry by the commission.

Moments after the shooting, Sergeant Metcalf was recorded on police radio saying that Mr Salter had come at officers with a knife.

She said today that the radio report was inaccurate and that Mr Salter had not threatened officers.

In questioning today from counsel assisting the commissioner, Geoffrey Watson, SC, Sergeant Metcalf conceded that originally stating Mr Salter had threatened police had portrayed the officers involved in a “good light”.

However, Sergeant Metcalf said she did see Probationary Constable Aaron Abela with his arms around Mr Salter only seconds before the shooting took place.

Sergeant Bissett previously told the internal police inquiry into the shooting that she fired at the 36-year-old because she feared he would stab Constable Abela.

But three paramedics in the room at the time of the shooting have told the commission that no one was near Mr Salter when he was shot and he was only a danger to himself.

“I want to put it to you that your evidence is nothing more than a contrived lie to attempt to justify Bissett’s shooting of Adam Salter,” Mr Watson said to Sergeant Metcalf.

She replied: “That is incorrect.”

Sergeant Metcalf said her recollection of where Mr Salter and Constable Abela were standing at the time of the shooting differed from that of Sergeant Bissett.

The inquiry continues.

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