15 Apr 2014

Riot squad called to courtroom brawl

8:42 pm on 15 April 2014

A riot squad had to be called in to a Sydney courtroom after a brawl erupted between dozens of officers and members of a family charged with assault.

Five members of the Mehanna family were facing charges at the Downing Centre Court on Tuesday of assaulting police at their home in Bankstown on New Year's Day in 2013.

Rafah Mehanna is taken by ambulance officers from the court on Tuesday.

Rafah Mehanna is taken by ambulance officers from the court on Tuesday. Photo: AAP

Ali Mehanna.

Ali Mehanna. Photo: AAP

Witnesses say that just after the lunch adjournment, a fight broke out between police and the Mehanna clan in court involving at least three dozen officers.

"One of the blokes actually hit a copper and then two or three other blokes stepped in. And the next thing there were coppers coming from everywhere - it was on," a man told the ABC.

Outside court, Ali Mehanna told media that police were the ones to start the brawl with his family. "That was assault, it was in front of hundreds and hundreds of people. Police brutality at its finest - that's what we're fighting against now."

Charges were dropped against Rafah Mehanna, the mother of some accused, but she had to be taken to hospital on a stretcher following the altercation. Her husband Mohammed and daughter Zainab had their charges aquitted.

Police say one officer was injured in the brawl, and at least one member of the Mehanna family has been taken into custody on Tuesday.