Dhu fam­ily footage hope

Pilbara News - - News - Ben Leahy and Re­becca Par­ish

The fam­ily of a 22-year-old Abo­rig­i­nal woman who died in po­lice cus­tody two years ago, hope footage of her fi­nal mo­ments can be pub­licly re­leased now the Se­nate has backed their calls.

The Se­nate to­day passed WA Greens Se­na­tor Rachel Siew­ert’s mo­tion, calling on the WA Govern­ment to re­lease footage show­ing Ms Dhu’s fi­nal hours spent in the South Hed­land Po­lice Sta­tion and hos­pi­tal.

Coroner Ros Fogliani re­fused to re­lease the footage in March at this year’s in­quest into Ms Dhu’s death be­cause she was con­cerned it would cause “long-term dis­tress” to her fam­ily.

How­ever, Ms Dhu’s grand­mother Carol Roe hopes the re­lease of the footage could help speed up in­ves­ti­ga­tions into her grand­daugh­ter’s death.

“(It’s been) two years since my grand­daugh­ter’s pass­ing and we have still got no an­swers,” she said

“(This) footage might (help the in­quest find­ings to) move quicker.

“For around six months, we have been calling for this to be re­leased.”

Ms Roe’s com­ments come as Coroner Fogliani is ex­pected to de­liver her find­ings from the in­quest later this year.

Ms Dhu, whose first name is not used for cul­tural rea­sons, died in Au­gust, 2014, three days af­ter be­ing locked up at South Hed­land Po­lice Sta­tion.

She died from sta­phy­lo­coc­cal sep­ti­caemia and pneu­mo­nia af­ter her third visit to the Hed­land Health Cam­pus in three days.

Ms Roe said she ap­pre­ci­ated the Se­nate’s sup­port and called on Pre­mier Colin Bar­nett to lis­ten.

“It is very good they are step­ping up to the plate, and (we hope) it starts open­ing up doors for us,” she said.

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