Twenty people attended a meeting in Melbourne on March 23 organised by the Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) in support of the family of TJ Hickey, a young Aboriginal man who died in February 2004 in the Sydney suburb of Redfern. He was impaled on a fence after being chased through the streets by a police car while riding his bicycle.
Barrister Emrys Nekvapil told the meeting the case had been taken to the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) by TJ's mother Gail Hickey.
He said the case is based on the fact that the investigation into TJ Hickey’s death, which potentially implicated members of the NSW police force, was carried out by the police force itself.
There is no body independent of the police force that can investigate deaths in which the police may be involved.
Furthermore, given the history of racism in the police force, the absence of such a body means that the right to freedom from discrimination is not being protected.
Gail Hickey's submission to the UNHRC is available here.
ISJA member Keith Kaulfuss told the meeting about the ongoing harassment of the Hickey family by the police.
In September, police raided a home in the Sydney suburb of Riverstone where a birthday party had been held for Tisha Hickey.
Police threw her to the ground, causing bruising. Other members of the family were also assaulted, and seven people were arrested on trumped-up charges including riot, affray and assaulting police.
The police attack was recorded on camera and can be viewed below [video has since become unavailable].
Those arrested are due to go to trial on May 23 at Parramatta court. A rally is planned for outside the court.