Jus­tice not yet served: Lacey

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Nathan Paull

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.

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