A rally for justice for David Dungay-Hill Jnr, a Dunghutti man from Kempsey, was held in Sydney on December 29.
Dungay-Hill was a 26-year-old Aboriginal man who was an inmate in Long Bay Prison. A sufferer of chronic diabetes, Dungay-Hill ate a biscuit in his cell to restore his blood sugar levels. For this “crime”, eight officers restrained him while another administered a sedative. Seconds later he cried “I can't breathe” and within a minute he was dead.
In a statement at the time, Corrective Services NSW said police were not treating the death as suspicious.
However the family’s solicitor George Newhouse said: "David died at the hands of Corrective Services officers and their contractors. Serious questions must be asked of the NSW Department of Corrective Services about their treatment of David on that day.
"The statement made by the NSW Corrective Services Assistant Commissioner James Koulouris that David was being treated for a medical condition and this matter is not being treated as suspicious really makes the family concerned.
"The facts are very different to that being portrayed by Correctional Services NSW."
In response, a Correctional Services NSW spokesperson said an investigation into Dungay-Hill's death would be conducted by the Corrective Services Investigation Unit. That investigation took eight months to release a toxicology report. No one has been stood down, no one has been charged. A police brief is yet to appear and a coronial inquiry is still to come.
David Hill, Dungay-Hill’s father, posted on Facebook: “On Thursday December 29, 2016 it will be the first anniversary of my eldest son’s life being tragically taken away from us in custody.
“I would like to ask that wherever you are, could you please light a candle in remembrance of my son David Jnr and to all those who have tragically lost their lives in custody.
“In support of this could you please take a photo of you lighting a candle and add to the comments. I'd really love to see the support wherever you are. Thank you."
The struggle for justice will continue.