Dhu family footage hope
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.