Sgt Chris Hurley, the Officer who beat Mulrunji (Cameron Doomadgee) in 2004, inflicting injuries so great that the injuries cleaved his liver in two and later died as a result – has been found not guilty.
Media Release – “Death of justice in Queensland”
The acquittal of Snr-Sgt Chris Hurley – despite him admitting he caused Mulrunji’s death, despite him changing his story, despite overwhelming medical evidence likening Mulrunji’s fatal injuries to a high-speed car crash – is the lowest point in Australia’s judicial system for Aboriginal people,” said Aboriginal leader and Socialist Alliance Indigenous spokesperson Sam Watson, in response to the not guilty verdict in the manslaughter trial of Hurley.
“The police rallied around their own, fixed their story of ‘a complicated accident’, and the 12-member non-Indigenous jury agreed,” Watson continued. “This jury decision has sanctioned the unlawful death of an Aboriginal person in police custody.”
“The fact that the life an Aboriginal person was worth less than four hours consideration by the jury reinforces Townsville – named after one of the last slave owners Robert Towns – as a centre of anti-Aboriginal prejudice.”
“We extend our sympathy and love to the family and community on Palm Island – they will need healing time. But around Australia, the Aboriginal community and non-Aboriginal supporters will rally and continue the struggle for justice. We make a promise to the family of Mulrunji and all families who have lost loved-ones in custody – Hurley and all police will be held accountable. There must be justice for all – whether you’re born in Brisbane or on Palm Island.”
“The Jury verdict ended one process, but the struggle for justice continues,” said Watson.
An Indigenous rights demonstration planned to march on State Parliament at 1pm this Friday in protest at council amalgamations, will also take up the ongoing fight for justice for Mulrunji, with a minute silence for the ‘death of justice in Queensland.’
Watson and other Aboriginal leaders have called for massive national protests on July 14, NAIDOC day.
“At end of day, all we ever ask is that those who are taken into custody come out alive, but in Queensland, this appears to be an impossible ask.”
For information or interviews phone Sam Watson 0401 227 443 or Paul Benedek 0410 629 088
A grave injustice occurred today when and all white jury dismissed both charges against Snr-Sgt Chris Hurley in a mere three hours. Our urgent action in support of the ongoing campaign to stop Aboriginal deaths in custody is needed now!
Please support the following:
(1) Emergency protest – Friday 22 June, 12:30 pm, Old GPO for a speak out and march to State Parliament.
(2) Open organising meeting – Wednesday 27 June, 6:30 Solidarity Salon, 580 Sydney Road, Brunswick to mobilise the broadest possible support for a National Day of Action on July 14. Be there!
(3) National Day of Action – July 14th.
Pass this e-mail on to all of your networks NOW!
For ISJA – Melb
Demand Justice for Mulrunji
Mourn for the death of
justice in Queensland
Rally, Friday 22 June, 12:30 pm
Steps of the old GPO for a speak out and march to State Parliament
Wear black or Indigenous colours.
* Implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in Custody in full!
* Establish elected community controlled civilian review boards to hold the cops to account ? No justice on stolen land
Called jointly by Indigenous Social Justice Association – Melbourne and Socialist Alliance
For more information contact:
Land lines: 9639-8622 or 9388-0062
Indigenous Peoples are putting their bodies on the line and it's our responsibility to make sure you know why. That takes time, expertise and resources - and we're up against a constant tide of misinformation and distorted coverage. By supporting IC you're empowering the kind of journalism we need, at the moment we need it most.