No charges over Palm Is death in custody!!!

Do you believe it?!
Item:The Director of Public Prosecutions has announced that no charges will be laid against the police officer at the centre of a death in custody on Palm Island in far north Queensland.

This decision following on from the contrary evidence tabled in the Deputy Coroner's report is simply beyond political, medical, physiological, and practical belief. We circulated a press release earlier today suggesting that this may indeed be the finding from the DPP. Now here is the SA' sna dthe community's response:

Aboriginal leader calls community rally:

‘Sack racist DPP! Justice for Mulrinji!’
14 December 2006
“Today will live on in infamy, as the day that the Director of Public Prosecutions, an officer of the court that is supposed to act for all people regardless of race, gender, religion or politics, has caved in to the thuggery of the Queensland police service,” said Queensland Aboriginal community leader and Socialist Alliance spokesperson on Aboriginal rights Sam Watson today.

“While Deputy Coroner Christine Clements found that Senior Sergeant Hurley had beaten an innocent man causing his death, a man who Clements says never should have been in custody, DPP Leanne Clare has failed to lay one charge against the police involved. We ask the DPP: ‘What value do you place on the Coroner’s findings and many witnesses and evidence that helped produce them?’

“Indeed, Clare’s report merely echoes the police excuse—that Mulrinji died from a ‘fall’. Yet Mulrinji was a fit young man who died in his cell with four broken ribs and a liver split in two, after witnesses saw him being repeatedly beaten by Hurley. Expert medical advice was clear that this could not have been an accident.

Everyone knows it—Mulrinji didn’t fall, he was killed”, said Watson.

“This is pure racism. DPP Clare is telling Aboriginal people on Palm Island, across Queensland and Australia, that their lives are of no value. Mulrinji’s only ‘crime’ was to live as an Aboriginal man on Palm Island. The police officer who bashed him to death will go free. This is a green light to police to kill Aboriginal people with
utter impunity.

“Ironically, Aboriginal Palm Islanders who understandably rose up in the wake of the brutal killing of their brother are facing serious charges, yet the white copper who killed our brother is being let off scot free,” Watson noted.

Watson stressed that this racist denial of justice should be opposed by everyone who supports justice and equality—regardless of their skin colour. Aboriginal people and many others are furious about this.
“Premier Beattie told us to let justice run its course. We ask him—where is the justice? Would he accept this if it was his child, his brother?” Watson asked.

“We will rally next Wednesday (December 20), and march on Parliament, to demand:
• That the DPP be sacked;
• That Queensland cops stop protecting killers in their ranks and Hurley be brought to justice;
• Justice for Mulrinji and his family; and
• The full implementation of the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody.”
For info or interviews, phone Sam on 0401 227 443 or email

Rally 12 noon Wednesday December 20
Queens Park (Cnr George/Elizabeth Sts, opp casino)
March on state parliament
All Aboriginal people and supporters are invited, to help prepare for and organise the rally and march. All hands needed!

This Saturday, December 16, 4pm. Brisbane Activist Centre, 74B Wickham St (in Metro Central), Fortitude Valley. Phone Sam on 0401 227 443, Paul 3831 2644 / 0410 629 088