Some­one must take the rap for death in­quiry

Townsville Bulletin - - Voice Of The North -

YOU know there are ques­tions unan­swered about some­thing when Queens­land’s anti-corruption watch­dog is pow­er­less to chal­lenge a de­ci­sion not to take dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against po­lice who botched the Palm Is­land death-in-cus­tody in­ves­ti­ga­tions. Crime and Mis­con­duct Com­mis­sion chair­man Martin Moyni­han said it was ‘‘ al­most in­com­pre­hen­si­ble’’ that the po­lice ser­vice had found the six of­fi­cers did not have a case to an­swer. Deputy Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Kathy Rynders found the of­fi­cers should face only ‘‘ man­age­rial guid­ance’’ for their roles in what the CMC called flawed in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Cameron Doomadgee’s 2004 death. Mr Doomadgee died from mas­sive in­ter­nal in­juries af­ter a scuf­fle with his ar­rest­ing of­fi­cer, Se­nior Sergeant Chris Hur­ley, who was later ac­quit­ted of man­slaugh­ter. Polic­ing is never easy and it is a thank­less job. Keep­ing crim­i­nals on the straight and nar­row is a mas­sive chal­lenge, es­pe­cially in life and death sit­u­a­tions. But the Queens­land Po­lice Ser­vice’s han­dling of the Cameron Doomadgee death in cus­tody has been in­com­pe­tent at best, and suspect at worse. Po­lice should not be in­ves­ti­gat­ing po­lice. It has put Ms Rynders in a ter­ri­ble sit­u­a­tion. She’s damned if she does find against the cops in ques­tion and damned if she doesn’t. Jus­tice re­mains the state’s top pri­or­ity on the Doomadgee af­fair. Loop­hole or not, some­body has to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for how the Doomadgee in­ves­ti­ga­tion was con­ducted. The Premier, Anna Bligh, needs to re-ex­am­ine the case.

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