Justice not yet served: Lacey
I NDIGENOUS l e a d e r s are outraged but determined to keep fighting after a report into the investigation of the death in custody of Cameron ‘‘ Mulrunji’’ Doomadgee found officers involved would not be disciplined.
Deputy Commissioner K a t h y R y n d e r s , a p - p o i n t e d b y C o mmi s - sioner Bob Atkinson to head the review, instead found the officers should face ‘‘ managerial guidance’’ over the handling of the investigation of fellow officer Senior-Sergeant Chris Hurley.
The ruling contradicts a Crime and Misconduct Commission recommendation last year that the officers should face disciplinary action.
Palm Island Mayor Alf Lacey said he and his community were disappointed in the outcome of the report, but not surprised.
‘‘ Palm ( Island) has been through so much in the past seven years and we haven’t seen any fair outcome,’’ he said.
‘‘ This will now go down in the history books as Que e n s l a n d ’ s s a d d e s t moment i n t e r ms o f Aboriginal and police relations in this country.
‘‘ But the people of Palm are so resilient in terms of this matter and we have just copped another blow, justice has not been served, but we’ll keep m o v i n g f o r w a r d . ’ ’
A b o r i g i n a l a c t i v i s t G r a c e l y n S m a l l w o o d called for a royal commission into the incident and investigation, while she and Cr Lacey both c a l l e d f o r l e g i s l a t i v e change as recommended by the CMC to stop police investigating other officers.
CMC chairman Martin Moynihan said it was ‘ ‘ almost i ncomprehensible’’ the police service had found the six officers did not have a case to answer.
He said t he service must now explain itself to the family of Mulrunji Doomadgee, who died on the floor of the island’s watchhouse, and to all Queenslanders.
‘‘ Six years ago an indigenous man ‘ who was not suffering from any injury’ arrived at a police station and died shortly after of ‘ a massive compressive force to the front of his body’ while in the custody of police,’’ Mr Moynihan said.
‘‘ The Doomadgee family, Palm Island community and the general public had a right to expect the police service would – at the very least – investigate Mulrunji’s death rigorously, impartially and thoroughly.’’
In June last year, a CMC report found there had been serious flaws in the initial investigation, conducted by four offic e r s who f r a t e r ni s e d wi t h S e n - S g t Hu r l e y w h i l e t h e y w e r e investigating his actions.