Aboriginal death in custody

Four years after the death in custody of Wiradjuri, Kookatha and Wirangu father-of-one Wayne “Fella” Morrison, the SA Ombudsman has asked corrective services to apologise to his family, writes Rachel Evans.

The family of Tane Chatfield have rejected the coroner’s finding that the Gamilaraay, Gumbaynggirr and Wakka Wakka man died of self-inflicted injuries, reports Rachel Evans.

As Australia and the world took to the streets in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protests in the United States, prisoners at the Bandyup Women’s Prison saw a Yamatji woman prisoner slammed to the ground by prison guards, writes Deborah Green.

The investigation into the death of 36-year-old Wiradjuri woman Rebecca Maher concluded that the police were at fault, but stopped short of sentencing those responsible.

An Aboriginal man has died five days after attempting suicide at Casaurina prison, 35 kilometres south of Perth, just two months after another Aboriginal man killed himself at the same prison. He was found in his cell on October 28 and was taken to nearby Fiona Stanley Hospital, but died on November 2. His is the fourth Aboriginal death provisionally put down to be suicide by hanging at the prison since 2013. The families of each of those men are still waiting for the coroner to set the date for their respective inquests.
Activists in Melbourne braved rain on October 31 to remember Shaun Coolwell, who died after being restrained by police in Kingston, south of Brisbane, on October 2. His brother died in similar circumstances four years ago. The rally called for an end to deaths in custody and for the Deaths in Custody Royal Commission's recommendations to be implemented. The rally noted that not a single police officer or prison officer has been convicted for any of the 99 cases of Aboriginal deaths in custody between January 1, 1980 and May 31, 1989 that were investigated by the Royal Commission.
Subscribe to Aboriginal death in custody