Aboriginal Activists to Rally in Brisbane, maybe, after inquest says policeman killed black man on Palm Island.
Gracelyn Smallwood, a community activist, says indigenous leaders are meeting in Townsville today to think about what to do now the Queensland Coroner agrees that a policeman killed a black man two years ago in the Palm Island police station, just off the north Queensland coast near Townsville.
A rally might happen in front of the Queensland Police Headqarters in Roma St, Brisbane. The original report is from the ABC TV show Message Stick
(Note to international readers - there are no local police forces in Australia, so the officer concerned was directly employed by the state police).
Two years ago, Aboriginal man Mulrunji died in police custody on Palm Island in North Queensland, sparking riots when it seemed he had been beaten to death by Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley.
Palm Island, 70 km away north of Townsville, in North Queensland. Click on this photo, and then click on the photo that pops up, to see the image properly.
Now the coroners report, released just this last week, says that yes: S/Sgt Hurley did bash Mulrunji, and he died of the injuries after being left in a cell. Click here to read the full report as a pdf file.
Palm Island, approx 2000km north of Brisbane.Click on this photo, and then click on the photo that pops up, to see the image properly.
The coroner's report said that Mulrunji hit S/Sgt Hurley in the jaw, which made
Hurley and Mulrunji fall over. Hurley got up and, while Mulrunji was still on the floor, punched Mulrunji three times, which are the blows that killed him.
The coroner also found that Hurley did not tell the truth - he tried to say that the fatal injuries happened when he fell on Mulrunji, after Mulrunji threw the first punch - but the report doubts that the fall ever happened.
A close-up view of the Queensland Police HQ in Roma St, directly opposite the Roma St train station/Transit Centre. Click on this photo, and then click on the photo that pops up, to see the image properly.
If the rally is held, it will be to protest the fact that S/Sgt Hurley has not been suspended, but merely transferred to a desk job on the Gold Coast, while "the President of the Police Union says the inquest into the death of Mulrunji was a witch-hunt and there's no reason for Senior Sergeant Hurley to be disciplined, let alone charged." The Director of Public Prosecutions is currently deciding if they are going to charge him.
A view of Brisbane's inner city, showing Queensland Police HQ in Roma St, directly opposite the Roma St train station/Transit Centre. Click on this photo, and then click on the photo that pops up, to see the image properly.
Update...Saturday 1337 Australia Eastern Standard time
The report of Smallwood's speech is now on the mainstream ABC news website, as well as the Message Stick site.
There's also an update on today's meeting in Townsville on the ABC website.
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