The death in custody of Eddie Murray.
On June 21 1981, Eddie Murray was arrested after drinking under a tree with friends. In the early hours of the morning, he was escorted to Wee Waa police station, and even though drunk to the point of being insensible , he supposedly managed to fashion a complicated noose and hung himself from a barred window. Eddie’s family believe he was murdered. The coroner, strongly critical of the police, found that Eddie died at the hands of unknown persons. The police were found to have lied under oath. No one was ever charged.
John Pat Aged 16.
In September 1983, John Pat was involved in an altercation outside a pub in Roebourne Western Australia. This blue was between off -duty policemen and a group of Aboriginal people.
John was reportedly severely beaten and kicked, and thrown in a paddy wagon with other Aboriginal people. John died an hour later in a cell at Roebourne police station. An autopsy revealed massive head injuries.
No charges were ever laid against the five police officers who appeared in court.
Cooked in a prison oven.
Arrested for a traffic offence in Laverton Western Australia in January 2008, Ian Ward, a 47 year old man died while being transported to Kalgoorlie. Ian Ward was a highly respected â€œ culture man â€œ and an Aboriginal elder. The360km journey was undertaken in a steel prison van in 42 degree heat. He was only issued with a small bottle of water and was not checked on during the journey. His body was found to have suffered third degree burns due to contact with the metal. He died of heatstroke. No one has ever been charged with any offence.
Dead in 45 minutes.
Shortly after being arrested for creating a public nuisance on the 19th November 2004, Cameron Mulrunji Doomadgee became the 147th Aboriginal person to die in custody since the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. His death precipitated the Palm Island riots and led to the first ever trial of an Australian police officer for a death in custody. Ultimately questions were raised regarding the effective implementation by the Government of the Commission’s recommendations.
The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody made 330 recommendations. Very few of these have been implemented. Aboriginal people continue to die in custody.
2.3% of the Australian population are Aboriginal people.
18% of men who died in custody between 1980 and 2000 were Aboriginal.
32% of women who died in custody between 1980 and 2000 were Aboriginal.
Since the Royal Commission in 1991 Aboriginal Deaths in Custody have increased by 150%.