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Palm Island: CMC Report « Previous | |Next »
June 30, 2010

Recall that Mulrunji Doomadgee was found dead in his Palm Island cell on November 19, 2004 from injuries inflicted by arresting officer, Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley that the police service in Queensland has a closed, self-protecting culture that looks after its own.

The legal system was seen to be complicit. Full and fair discussion of all the details of this case is being suppressed; full disclosure, disallowed. The police abuse, the lies and the cover-up indicate that Queensland's endemic racism weighs heavily on the present.

Two subsequent coronial inquiries have established that Hurley fell on Mulrunji on the concrete floor of the Palm Island police station, and that horrific, fatal injuries resulted: Mulrunji had four broken ribs, bruising to the head, a torn portal vein and his liver was torn in two. The finding by coroner Brian Hine last month was that Hurley's actions caused the injuries, but the coroner was unable to establish whether they were inflicted accidentally or deliberately.

A good question was asked by Palm Islander Brad Foster:

If Hurley and Mulrunji scuffled on the floor of the police station and it was Mulrunji who got up and walked away, and the police officer who died with four broken ribs and his liver torn in two, do you think we would still be waiting for justice?

What has been confirmed by the recent
Crime and Misconduct Commission report into allegations of police misconduct is that the initial police investigation and the internal police review were seriously flawed in that they did not meet the standards required, by set operational procedures or community expectation.

More specifically, there have been double-standards, an unwillingness to publicly acknowledge failings on the part of the police, and a culture within the QPS that the best way to protect its reputation is to hide its shortcomings.

The investigations were characterised by double standards and an unwillingness to publicly acknowledge failings on the part of the police...he Police Commissioner has tolerated these self-protecting aspects of the culture and must be held accountable for the flawed Palm Island review. He supported and defended the police review process including the spirit and intent of the findings.

The inference is that the police have been evading the truth, protecting their own, and covering up the circumstances surrounding the violent death of an innocent man.

Unfortunately, the CMC findings will have little effect on the police service or the state government. That's because it has few powers. Its negative findings against police have been ignored before.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:33 AM | | Comments (2)


They let off those clowns in WA that had a guy locked in a paddy van in fifty degree heat, which killed him, as well.

Palm Island might be a good place to build a detention centre. It would change the dynamic of the island and provide jobs and training.