A JEWISH man who claims he was assaulted and racially vilified at the hands of Ocean Grove footballers has lodged a complaint against police at the Equal Opportunity Commission.
Menachem Vorchheimer, 33, of St Kilda East, suffered head injuries after he was allegedly bashed in front of his children, aged six and three, while on his way home in October.
Mr Vorchheimer said he lodged the complaint against Victoria Police because an off-duty officer had “authorised and assisted” the racial vilification against him.
“It was the behaviour that (the officer) encouraged…that incited the theft of my Shabbat hat and yumulka and incited the subsequent physical assault that left me with significant injury that required medical attention and which has left me physically and emotionally scarred,” Mr Vorchheimer said in his complaint.
The off-duty police officer was driving the busload of footballers at the time of the incident, he said.
Mr Vorchheimer said he confronted the players about racist comments directed at him and his children as they walked along Balaclava Road wearing traditional Jewish clothing.
Players allegedly yelled “f… off Jews” and “go the Nazis” before directing a machine gun-like motion at Mr Vorchheimer and his children.
Police expect to lay charges over the incident.
“It is a case of necessity to assert society’s values of what is right and wrong,” Mr Vorchheimer said.
“The case extends beyond the footballers to the role of police, be they on-duty or off-duty and their responsibility as officers charged with upholding laws and values of our society to conduct themselves at all times in the highest moral and social regard.
“We’ve been advised that the EOC is investigating this complaint and that the commission has made contact with Victoria Police and asked them to respond.
“Victoria Police have sought an extension until February 15 for the commission to respond.”