Police condemned in deaths, bashings

Issue 

Police condemned in deaths, bashings

SYDNEY — The Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Watch Committee condemned the police on July 28 after two 18-year-old Aboriginal men were killed in a high speed car chase and another ended up in hospital.

Ray Jackson from the Watch Committee said the deaths, on July 26, bring the total NSW deaths in custody since May 1989 to 25, and at least 75 nationally.

Jackson said that car theft was serious but hardly deserving of the outcome. Speaking out on behalf of the families of the deceased, he asked why police had continued the chase at speeds of 160-170 kilometres per hour.

Earlier in the week, the Watch Committee condemned police bashings of Aboriginal people, and called for an independent investigation. Referring to the NSW royal commission into police corruption, Jackson said that despite the "high profile" of the police, "racist cops ... continue to bash our people at every opportunity".

Over the last three months a series of bashings have taken place. Laurence Stone was assaulted on the night of the Lesbian and Gay Mardi Gras and now has to wear a neck and back brace. Wayne Holten was assaulted by arresting police at Port Macquarie and ended up in Port Macquarie hospital. A 17-year-old girl at Gosford was assaulted by police who allegedly tied her shoelaces around her neck. Adrian Cohen was assaulted by Kempsey police, necessitating treatment at Kempsey District Hospital.

"It is a waste of time for the police internal affairs unit to investigate police", said Jackson. "This should be done by a properly funded Ombudsman's office or some other body with no connection to the cops."