Coroner goes soft on cops in Ms Dhu killing

The coroner investigating the death of indigenous woman Ms Dhu in Western Australia has decided not to call for criminal charges against police and other officials involved in her killing.

This was despite ruling that the 2014 death was wholly preventable and her life could have been saved by simple antibiotics if police had heeded her calls for treatment. The coroner criticised the police for being “inhumane” and “unprofessional” but, incredibly, ruled out any possibility that they had been racist in dealing with her.

But it is clear from the evidence in the coroner’s report and in the CCTV footage released that the police were recklessly negligent as to whether Ms Dhu lived or died. She had complained constantly of pains due to her fractured ribs from the moment of being taken into custody and had spent most of the night screaming.

Nearly all of the police completely ignored her complaints, assuming she was faking it. One of the cops said to her, while she was lying lifeless against the wall: “You are a fucking junkie, you have been to the hospital twice before and this is not fucking on … you will fucking sit this out. We will take you to hospital but you are faking it.”

The cops later dragged her incapacitated body across the cell floor and when they finally took her to hospital, told the resuscitation team “she’s faking it”.

By Miro Sandev


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