The Dungay Family supported by the Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) has invited all to attend a rally on December 29, the third anniversary of David Dungay’s death in Sydney's Long Bay Jail.
David Dungay was a 26-year-old Aboriginal man who was killed when under the control of Correctional Services Officers (CSO) and Justice Health (JH) nurses, just four weeks before he was due to be released. Dungay died simply because he ate a biscuit he wasn’t supposed to.
Dungay’s death has been shrouded in mystery; his family have spent the last three years fighting for information and some kind of justice.
"David’s death has highlighted many inadequacies of our correctional, justice, and health systems," an ISJA statement said. "There have been clear breaches of policy and procedure littered throughout the case, including the cleaning of the crime scene before any investigation, the alleged pressuring of JH nurses by CSO, and the restraint of David in prone position for more than double the legally permissible time (so as to administer a second dose of forced sedation)."
The people responsible rely on the defence of inefficient training, the ISJA statement explained.
"Not only is this an inadequate defence for murder, there is clear evidence that the training has not improved in the years since David’s death, leading to fears that this could happen again at any moment.
"From the information released at the first half of the coronial inquiry it is clear that David’s death was avoidable.
"It is clear that all people who had a duty of care to David failed him with apathy, inaction, or an active involvement in the situation.
"It is clear that if the officers and nurses present had done nothing, or stopped and backed away from David, he would be alive and with his family this Christmas.
"What is unclear is if anyone will be held accountable for this waste of life. We can see there is no way around it: David Dungay is dead because he was Aboriginal," the statement said.
According to an investigation by the Guardian, since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody was completed in 1991, more than 400 Aboriginal people have died in custody, yet not one police, prison or health officer has ever been convicted as being responsible.
“It is absolutely clear that had those involved taken a more human approach to David Dungay, he would be alive today,” said Faith Black, a spokesperson for ISJA.
“He was not treated as a human being and he died in a lesser way than any human being deserves. David and his family deserve justice. We cannot let this matter be pushed under the rug and swallowed in bureaucracy."
The inquiry into David’s death will be reopening in March 2019.
For more information contact Faith Black on 0418 672 522 or Raul Bassi on 0403 037 376.
The rally starts at 11am on Saturday December 29 at the corner of Anzac Parade and Bilga Cresent and marches to Long Bay Prison. The FB event is here.