Urgent action needed on Indigenous deaths in police custody

Prisoner In Jailsource: Griffith University
published: 19 December 2019

Recent high-profile deaths of Indigenous people in police custody show a lack of meaningful progress despite over 25 years since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody says a Griffith University law professor.

Professor Elena Marchetti says while a recent Australian Institute of Criminology report shows deaths of Indigenous people have declined proportionally and are fewer than non-Indigenous deaths in prison, there was less certainty about police custody deaths.

“While the report is unable to note trends because of a lack of data, there are concerning patterns emerging that in my view show a lack of proper care taken by police that could prevent these deaths from happening,” Professor Marchetti said.

The Griffith academic is lending her support to calls for examining police culture following Kumanjayi Walker’s death which sparked protests around Australia and the remote Northern Territory community Yuendumu, where he died.

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