Police blasted in Island report

Bl;ack deaths in custody:Queensland's deputy state coroner in a damning report says the initial investigation into the Palm Island death in custody of Mulrunji Doomadgee failed to meet appropriate guidelines.

Christine Clements told a packed court at the Townsville Law Complex today that the coroner's report into the death of the Palm Island man failed to meet deaths-in-custody guidelines.

Mulrunji, 36, was found dead on the cement floor of his cell about 11am on November 19, 2004.
  • Read the rest of this newspaper report

  • Inquest into the death of Mulrunji in the Palm Island Police Watchhouse. Death in custody. Recommendations concerning arrest and policing, assessment and monitoring of health upon arrest, supervision and care in custody, investigation into deaths in police custody, diversionary centres and community patrols. This inquest was presided over by Ms Christine Clements, Acting State Coroner. 1.1MB MSWord doc or 145kB Acrobat pdf. 27.09.06
  • "I find that Senior Sergeant Hurley hit Mulrunji whilst he was on the floor a number of times, in a direct response to himself having been hit in the jaw and then falling to the floor,....There was no attempt whatsoever to check on Mulrunji's state of health after the fall and its sequelae...The so called checks on the two intoxicated prisoners in the cells was woeful, even excluding the possibility of serious injury having occurred...Neither officer remained in the cell for more than seconds on each occasion they entered to check the prisoner....It was not until Sergeant Leafe suspected that Murunji might in fact be dead, that any close scrutiny was made...No attempt at resuscitation was made by any police officer even when there was a degree of uncertainty about whether Mulrunji had died...I find that Senior Sergeant Hurley avoided the issue and sent family members away from the station after knowing that Mulrunji was deceased," she said.(From ABC report)