Inquiry into death of Daniel Yock

Issue 

By Kerry Vernon

BRISBANE - The Criminal Justice Commission inquiry into the death of Aboriginal dancer Daniel Yock in police custody was adjourned on December 22. Just prior to its adjournment, the inquiry took evidence from the six police involved in the events surrounding Yock's arrest on November 7.

Individual police accounts surrounding the arrest and death of Daniel Yock after he was placed in a police van and taken to the city watch-house have differed on whether Yock waved a stake at police, how he was knocked to the ground, how he was restrained while he was on the ground until he was handcuffed, what Yock said or what noises he made, how he was placed in the police van and whether he ever sat up while he was in the van.

One police officer was not aware that another person was arrested and placed in the police van with Daniel Yock, who was lying face down on the floor of the van. On arrival at the watch-house, Yock was found to have no pulse and was not breathing.

Two pathologists who gave evidence to the inquiry have indicated Yock may have had a heart attack due to drug and alcohol intake before his arrest, but they could not be definite when a heart attack occurred. Yock was also knocked to the ground by police after running from them in a street in West End.

One of the pathologists, Dr Collins, was critical of the fact that Yock was put on his stomach in the back of the police van, with his hands handcuffed behind his back.

The inquiry will reconvene on February 3.

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