TJ's family issues heartfelt call for justice

TJ Hickey Park, near where the young man was killed, has just had a plaque added to a brand new park bench.

Fourteen long years after young TJ Hickey was chased to his death in Waterloo, his family and the Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) organised a moving rally in Waterloo, along the fence line where the young Kamilaroi man was killed.

No one has been charged with his murder. The family want a parliamentary inquiry, as the coronial inquiry was a whitewash. So far, the Greens have been unable to get support in parliament for an inquiry.

Gail Hickey thanked people for coming and said the struggle was not over until the police who chased her son to his death were brought to justice.

TJ Hickey Park, near where the young man was killed, has just had a plaque added to a brand new park bench. Inscribed on the plaque is TJ's name and loving thoughts from his family. No mention is made of the manner of his death and why the plaque is in that park.

The inquest into TJ's death was full of irregularities, including hand-picked “witnesses” and missing evidence, according to Deborah Campbell from ISJA who was then working in the Attorney General's department

“People lied in court and where they were on the day. The media crucified the victim, making out that he was a hardened criminal”, Campbell said. “That's racism”, she added.

Auntie Bowie Hickey said her nephew was trying to escape from the Redfern police because he refused to be a part of their drugs' racket.

Ken Canning, also from ISJA, said the police needed to clean up their act. He said those in the force who do not bash people need to stop the ones who do, otherwise they are complicit in the crime.

David Shoebridge from the NSW Greens told the rally that his party would be moving for an inquiry into TJ's death and, if they could not get that, they would try for an inquiry into the state government's over-policing of Indigenous communities.

The protesters marched to NSW Parliament, stopping at Redfern Police Station for a few minutes of silence. At least 100 police were deployed along the two-hour march route, including Tactical Response Police. Shoebridge said another protest outside NSW parliament earlier in the day had no police watching over it.

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