WA police thugs still protected by commissioner, judicial and government

Monotonous regularity of endemic Western Australian unaccountable establishment feeding endemic corruption remains untouchable.

Endorsing decades of kowtowing to their self proclaimed political puppet masters by compliant voters requires warning to all tourist thinking of visiting WA.

You will be traveling to the Wild West where law and order resembles Dodge City of the 21st Century being administered by a compliant public service void to all redress of grievance. Internet research to become aware before you decide.

Below is another violation of people’s rights delivered in Western Australia.


Ms Dhu’s family to use CCTV video of death in custody as international rallying point

Carol Roe, Della Roe and Dennis Eggington in close-up

Photo: Carol Roe and Della Roe, pictured with Dennis Eggington, are still seeking justice. (ABC News: Courtney Bembridge)

The family of a young Aboriginal woman whose 2014 death in custody was ruled preventable has pledged to make her death a rallying point for international racial justice campaigns.

Ms Dhu died in police custody in the remote West Australian town of South Hedland, and coroner Ros Fogliani found on Friday that her life could have been saved by simple antibiotics if police and health workers had not failed her.

Ms Dhu died in police custody in South Hedland.

Photo: Ms Dhu died in police custody in August 2014. (Supplied: Carol Roe)

Her family’s plan for an international campaign was given a powerful tool when Ms Fogliani agreed to their request that CCTV footage of Ms Dhu’s last hours be made public.

Her uncle Shaun Harris, who runs the Justice for Dhu Facebook and Twitter feeds, said he would share the “shocking and disturbing” footage of her last hours with international racial justice campaigns, such as Black Lives Matter.

“We’ll definitely be tapping into our overseas networks and definitely be encouraging everyone to share, share and share as much as they can to make people aware not just of Ms Dhu but Aboriginal deaths in custody, to force custodial and judicial reforms,” he said.

But while Ms Dhu’s family welcomed the release of the CCTV footage, they were unhappy that the coroner did not recommend anyone be investigated for potential criminal charges.

“We still want justice,” her grandmother, Carol Roe, said after the coroner handed down her findings.

The Ms Dhu death in custody case

The West Australian coroner has handed down her findings after an inquiry into the death of Yamaji woman Ms Dhu in police custody in the state’s Pilbara. This is how the case unfolded.

Ms Dhu’s aunt Janine Kelly said the family was “absolutely disgusted” by the findings.

“We really thought that there would be charges laid against the police but we should also remember that we are dealing with a colonial structure here that was never going to represent our people,” she told ABC North West.

“It’s murder. If they are unprofessional and they are not doing the right thing, it’s murder.”

But the coroner’s 11 recommendations — including changing the laws around jailing fine defaulters and establishing a custody notification service — were supported by Dennis Eggington, the chief executive of the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA.

“The recommendations, if fully implemented, will be fine,” he said.

“But it’s too late — this beautiful woman has passed away.”

Many police officers came under fierce criticism from the coroner as being “unprofessional and inhumane”, but WA Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan said he would not take any further action against the officers involved.

A group of people holding placards and banners in support of Ms Dhu.

Photo: Ms Dhu’s family say they will widely share disturbing footage of her final hours. (ABC News: John Sambell)

Dr O’Callaghan said an internal police investigation led to sanctions of four officers in 2014, with seven others failing to meet the required procedures.

But he supported the release of the footage of Ms Dhu’s last hours, saying it was concerning and disturbing.

“That sort of vision always has the potential to damage the WA Police,” he said.

“But I think it’s also a way of all of us moving forward.

“If it helps the family to explain what happened to their loved one, it helps us to account for how we’re going to address the situation in the future.”

Dr O’Callaghan said he had offered to meet privately with Ms Dhu’s family but they had not yet responded.

Call for criminal charges

Human rights lawyer Hannah McGlade said she was disappointed the coroner had not recommended the Director of Public Prosecutions consider potential criminal charges, and that her report had not given enough attention to the status of Ms Dhu as a victim of domestic violence.

“It raises issues of criminal negligence — a woman is dying of domestic violence and she’s being treated in an inhumane way,” she said.

WA Country Health Service chief executive Jeff Moffet said an internal and independent review into Ms Dhu’s treatment at Hedland Health Campus had been commissioned.

He said the service had changed its practices, including a new training system to recognise early sepsis.

“Some of our staff have acknowledged there were some oversights in what they did. That is not uncommon in health care,” he said.

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