published: 6 December 2019
Six Immediate Action Team (IAT) officers stormed the cell that Dunghutti man David Dungay Junior was occupying in the hospital ward of Long Bay prison on 29 December 2015. The riot squad officers had been called in because the 26-year-old diabetic refused to stop eating a packet of biscuits.
The officers then dragged Mr Dungay into an observation cell and placed him face down on a bed in the potentially-fatal prone position. The young Aboriginal man called out a total of 12 twelve times that he couldn’t breathe, whilst some of the officers continued to kneel on him.
The IAT guards then called in a nurse to administer David with a 10 milligram shot of midazolam: a fast-acting sedative. And about a minute before he took his final breath, one of the officers piped in with the line, “If you can talk, you can breathe.”
The inquest into the death of David Dungay began in July last year. However, two weeks in, the family was told that the proceedings had to be postponed as the court had ran out of time. So, the final hearings were held in March this year.