120921 – “Coronial report highlights systemic flaws” ANTaR & National Police Accountability Network

* ANTaR & National Police Accountability Network:
Coronial report highlights systemic flaws
* CAAMA: “Death in custody of Kwementyaye Briscoe”
* “Community members call for the resignation of
Constable Gareth Evans”
* “Lay charges for Briscoe death”
* ABC 7.30 Video:
Coroner delivers scathing report on death in custody
* SMH Editorial: Death in custody damns our indifference
* A Personal Response: Rest in Peace Kwementyaye Briscoe
* Living Black: Young People Walk For Country


– Media Release

Joint Media Release: Coronial report highlights systemic flaws
ANTaR: http://www.antar.org.au/joint_media_release_coronial_report_highlights_systemic_flaws
“Responding to the release of the coronial report into the
death of Kwementyaye Briscoe, ANTaR and the National Police
Accountability Network highlight the need for major changes
to prevent future deaths in custody.
“The coronial report highlights the fact that, 20 years
after the Royal Commission’s report, its key
recommendation that arrest should be a measure of last
resort is still being ignored. Too many people are being
taken into protective custody too often, with tragic
“Far from providing protection, Kwementyaye Briscoe died
in custody hours after his arrest after “multiple failings”
by police, who showed extraordinary neglect and
callousness towards a very sick and vulnerable man,”
said Jacqueline Phillips.
The Coroner found the number of Aboriginal people taken
into protective custody in the NT to be a “national
shame”. At 235,000 people in the last five years, the
number exceeds the NT population. … ”


– Audio

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:

20 Sep 12: “Growing condemnation of a culture within the
Northern Territory Police which has allowed aggressive
behaviour displayed by some officers against Aboriginal
people to go virtually unchecked sometimes with disastrous

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
19 Sep 12: “* Australian Lawyers for Human rights have
called on the Commonwealth state and Territory governments
to put structures in place which would allow independent
investigators monitor protocols where people are being
detained to stop any future deaths in custody.
* Alice Springs community members have also voiced their
concerns following the death in custody of Kwementyaye
Briscoe in the Alice springs police watch house.”

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:

18 Sep 12: “* Emotional and angry scenes outside the Alice
Springs Courthouse on Monday when the Northernt Territory
Coroner announced that the death of an Aboriginal man in
custody was due to a catalogue of errors by police and
could have been prevented.
* Coroner Greg Cavanagh said police errors were “extensive
and that the care, supervision and treatment of the
deceased while being held in custody was completely
inadequate and unsatisfactory and not sufficient to meet
his medical needs.””

– Related Audio

The Wire: Stopping Aboriginal deaths in custody
Produced by Wade Stephens
19 Sep 12: “This month marks 25 years since the
announcement of a Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths
in Custody; their 1991 report becoming all the more
prevelant this week now that a Coroner’s report on the
death of Kwementyaye Briscoe was released. The 29 year old
is the latest Aboriginal man to die in custody, after
losing his life to a combination of asphyxiation,
drunkenness and police error in January this year. But do
the unutilized recommendations in the 1991 report stand the
test of time?
Featured in story:
Ralph Bonig – President of the SA Law Society”


– Media Release

Community members call for the resignation of
Constable Gareth Evans
Rollback the Intervention: http://rollbacktheintervention.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/mr-briscoe-17-9-2012.pdf
17 Sep 12: “The coroner released his findings into the
death in custody of … [Kwementyaye] Briscoe today,
stating that “I find that the care, supervision and
treatment of the deceased while being held in custody by
the NT Police was completely inadequate and unsatisfactory
and not sufficient to meet his medical needs. This lack of
care resulted in his death, that is to say, his death was
preventable, and it should not have occurred.”
However community members believe that the recommendations
of this inquiry are inadequate, and are calling for
Constable Evans’ resignation. … ”

– Related News

newsTracker: NT govt defends top cop over custody death
19 Sep 12: “NORTHERN TERRITORY: The Northern Territory
government has ruled out sacking its top cop after damning
findings over police treatment of a man who died in
custody. … The North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency
(NAAJA) called on Mr McRoberts to fully implement the
coroner’s recommendations. “Acting on these recommendations
to address systemic problems is essential if there is to be
lasting change to police culture and a restoration of
public confidence in our police,” said Jonathon Hunyor,
the agency’s principal legal officer.”

Koori Mail: NAAJA: Police must be transparent
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
19 Sep 12: “NT Police should report publicly every six
months on their progress in implementing coronial
recommendations made in relation to an Alice Springs death
in custody, the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency
(NAAJA) says. Coroner Greg Cavanagh found on Monday that
Kwementyaye Briscoe’s death in January – most likely from a
combination of being very drunk, positional asphyxia and
aspiration – was preventable and followed an extensive
‘catalogue’ of police errors. Mr Briscoe, who had committed
no crime, was found dead in a cell five hours after police
took him into custody for drunkenness. … NAAJA Principal
Legal Officer Jonathon Hunyor says a restoration of public
confidence in the NT police rests on openness.”

Koori Mail: Mills to act on Briscoe inquiry
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
18 Sep 12: “NORTHERN Territory chief minister Terry Mills
has promised to work with police to bring about a ‘cultural
change’ in the way prisoners are dealt with while in police
custody. Mr Mills was commenting following the coronial
inquiry into the death in custody of Kwementyaye Briscoe in
the Alice Springs watch house last year. He said the
government accepted the findings regarding the need for a
nursing presence and improved medical rooms in Territory
watch houses, and would work to improve protocols between
the watch house and the hospital.”


– Media Release

Lay charges for Briscoe death
Rollback the Intervention: http://rollbacktheintervention.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/lay-charges-for-briscoe-death/
20 Sep 12: “Prominent human rights lawyer George Newhouse
is calling for charges to be laid against NT police for the
death of Kwenentyaye Briscoe in an Alice Springs watch
In his findings delivered on Monday, NT Coroner Greg
Cavenagh found that police negligence was responsible for
Mr Briscoe’s death, but did not recommend charges.
Mr Newhouse is acting for the Briscoe family in the
aftermath of the coronial inquest. He says that charges are
essential, both for ensuring basic justice and to send a
message that this conduct is unacceptable and will be
He has briefed a QC in Sydney on the case, seeking an
opinion on appropriate criminal charges and potential
civil action. … ”

* ABC 7.30 VIDEO:

– Video

ABC 7.30:
Coroner delivers scathing report on death in custody
17 Sep 12: “An Aboriginal man who died in custody in Alice
Springs earlier this year was the victim of police errors
and mismanagement according to the coroner, who also
labelled Central Australia’s alcohol abuse as a national
disgrace. … The Northern Territory Coroner has handed
down a damning report on the death of an Aboriginal man in
custody in Alice Springs this year.”


– Analysis / Opinion

SMH: Death in custody damns our indifference
19 Sep 12: “The Northern Territory coroner rightly condemns
the failure to end this tragedy. … THE findings of
Northern Territory Coroner Greg Cavanagh into the death
earlier this year of 27-year-old Kwementyaye Briscoe are a
devastating indictment on us all. While Mr Cavanagh rightly
castigates police for a litany of abject failures that led
to Mr Briscoe’s death, a death he says “should never have
happened”, it is our whole community that needs to take
notice. Australia has failed, and continues to fail, to
look after some of the most vulnerable among us.”


– A Personal Resonse

Fieldnotes & Footnotes: Rest in Peace Kwementyaye Briscoe
20 Sep 12: “This is an especially long post. It details the
circumstances surrounding, and leading up to the death in
custody of Kwementyaye Briscoe. Kwementyaye Daniel Briscoe
was only 27 years of age when he died on 4 January 2012,
alone in a cell in the Alice Springs Watch House. At the
time of his death, Kwementyaye was being detained in the
Alice Springs Watch House. He had committed no crime. I
have chosen to reproduce large sections of the Coroner’s
report in the text that follows, because I think much of
the detail speaks for itself. … ”


– Audio Interview

Living Black: Young People Walk For Country
By Michelle Lovegrove
14 Sep 12: “The pride of The Walkatjurra Junior Rangers,
and the people who love them. … The Walkatjurra Walkabout
has arrived in Leonora, after a 270 kilometre trek across
Wangkatja country. They’ve been led by elders and the
Walkatjurra Rangers, who are a group of people committed to
sustainable living through actively managing culture,
heritage and natural resources. One of its members is
Vicky Abdullah who says her 17-year-old son Nathan and
large groups of young Aboriginal and non-indigenous people,
have kept the walk positive with their energy and ideas.
She’s speaking with Michelle Lovegrove.”


Living Black: Walkatjurra Walkabout

Living Black: Walkatjurra Walkabout In Leonora!

– Past Event

Event: 20 August to 14 September 2012: Yeelirrie-Leonora, WA
Walkatjurra Walkabout – Walking for Country
A one month walk from Yeelirrie to Leonora
” … is a celebration of Wangkatja country, a testament to
the strength of the community who have fought to stop
uranium mining at Yeelirrie for over forty years, and a
chance to come together to continue share our commitment to
a sustainable future without nuclear. It is a chance to
reconnect with the land, and to revive the tradition of
walking for country.”
“This walk will be lead by the Walkatjurra Rangers,
in partnership with Footprints for Peace,
Western Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (WANFA),
the Anti Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia (ANAWA)
and the Conservation Council of Western Australia (CCWA).”
Event details: http://walkingforcountry.com/
Event details: http://www.nuclearfreefuture.com/
Event details: http://nffcampaign2011.footprintsforpeace.net/?p=69
News: http://www.nit.com.au/news/1703-walkatjurra-walkabout-a-journey-to-stop-uranium-mining-of-our-land.html

– – –

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