source: CGTN News
published: 3 October 2021
When the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement swept across the United States over the death of George Floyd in the summer of 2020, the message resonated deeply in Aboriginal Australia.
In 2015, 26-year-old indigenous man David Dungay Jr died in police custody at Long Bay prison hospital. His final words, exactly like Floyd’s, were “I can’t breathe.”
For decades, indigenous Australians have protested discrimination in Australia’s criminal justice system, with little success. There have been more than 400 indigenous deaths in police custody since a royal commission investigated into the issue in 1991. No prison guard or police officer has ever been convicted.
In such cases, families had no way of finding out what happened to their loved ones or what their last moments were like.
Indigenous Australians are the most incarcerated people in the world. Statistically, a teenage Aboriginal boy is more likely to go to jail than to go to university.
Keenan Mundine was locked up in juvenile detention for the first time at 14 for theft. The young Aboriginal man from Sydney then spent much of the next 15 years behind bars. Mundine says the justice system unfairly targeted people like him.
“I live in constant fear of my children being put in the same position as I was. And having things happen to them that were out of their control, and traumatizing them for the rest of their lives,” he said.