Candidate wants justice for TJ

Remember TJ protest. Waterloo, Sydney, February 2010. Photo: Peter Boyle

Socialist Alliance candidate for upper house in the coming NSW elections Bea Bleile expressed her continuing support for family of TJ Hickey, who are still fighting for justice following his death in 2004.

TJ Hickey, a young Aboriginal man, was killed during a police chase. He was impaled on a spiked fence in Phillip St, Waterloo.

In 2006, the NSW coroner exonerated the police involved from any wrongdoing. Yet a large amount of evidence was not included in the hearing. The family has called for the inquest to be reopened.

“On the occasion of the 7th anniversary of TJ's tragic death, I convey our complete support and solidarity to the Hickey family, Ray Jackson, president of the Indigenous Social Justice Association, Raul Bassi, and all groups and community members actively seeking justice for TJ,” Bleile said.

“Ray Jackson showed me where TJ was impaled on the spikes. The height of the fence raises the question of whether the police vehicle hit TJ.

“There are other unanswered questions. Nobody has been charged. There seems to be collusion and obstruction by police in TJ's case and in the case of other Aboriginal deaths in custody.

“There is a systemic failure to properly investigate Aboriginal deaths in custody.”

She said she backed the proposal by the Hickey family and ISSA for the Aboriginal Housing Company to incorporate a NSW Deaths in Custody monument into its Pemulwuy redevelopment plan in Redfern.

Bleile said she welcomed City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s support for a plaque commemorating TJ’s death to be placed on the fence at the spot where TJ was impaled.

Authorities have long prohibited any such commemorative plaque at the site. “The plaque is overdue,” Bleile said.

“I also call for the implementation of all the 339 recommendations of the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, and the full investigation of the deaths since.”

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