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The Hurley trial begins tomorrow

Here are some chronology you need to keep in mind in the lead up to the trial of Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley for manslaughter and assault over the death of Mulrunji on Palm Island,an aboriginal community off the coast of Townsville, in November 2004.

  • The original coroner's inquest in 2005 was aborted when sabotaged by the Qld Police Union
  • A new inquest by Acting Chief Coroner (Christine Clement) found that the aboriginal man's death was caused by the actions of Hurley and that charges should be laid against him
  • Her report was then sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions ( Leanne Clare) who ruled that there was not enough evidence for charges to be laid
  • This decision was met with massive outrage and under great pressure and a militant street campaign, the public prosecutor --after initially refusing to allow a review to be considered -- changed her mind..
  • The state government announced that there would be a review into the decision of the DPP, but not of the DPP performance.
  • The retired judge (Pat Shanahan) was appointed to undertake the review but had to stand down when it was revealed that he was on the selection committee that gave the DPP her current job.
  • Retired NSW judge (Sir Laurence Street)was then appointed to head the review.
  • Street found that there was indeed enough evidence to prosecute and so after two years, Hurley ceased policing at his lawyers suggestion(he had never been formally relieved of his duties at any time previously) and charged with manslaughter.
  • Since then the Qld Police Union has been issuing wrist bands to be worn while on duty with Hurley's police number on them as a gesture of solidarity, cop assertiveness, and to raise money for his defence. (See LeftClick post here)
Below is audio of the rally the day it was announced that Hurley would be charged.


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Heard on the audio:Andrew Boe, Lyle Monroe, Sister Vicki, Sam Watson, Lional Fogarty, Jenny Monroe, Cathy Jackson, Nunukul Yuggera Aboriginal Dancers,Lex Wotton, etc and the voices of the powerful and confident community of Qld Murris.

Here is a video covering the campaign through 2006:

1 Com:

Dave Riley | June 11, 2007

November 19, 2004 - Mulrunji Doomadgee taken into the Palm Island watchhouse following the arrest of his nephew over the use of foul language. Later found dead in his cell.

November 26, 2004 - A riot errupts on Palm Island after the release of a Coroner's report linking Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley to Mr Doomadgee's death.

December 15 2006 - Director of Public Prosecutions Leanne Clare decides not pursue criminal charges, declaring Mr Doomadgee's death accidental.

January 4, 2007 - Sir Laurence Street is appointed to review Ms Clare's decision.

January 25, 2007 - Sir Laurence finds there is enough evidence to put before a jury and hands his report to Attorney General Kerry Shine.

February 5, 2007 - Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley is charged with manslaughter and assault. The same day, police at a protest meeting on the Sunshine Coast pass a no confidence motion in Premier Peter Beattie. More protests follow.

March 22, 2007 - Four men charged over the 2004 Palm Island riot are found not guilty by a Brisbane court.

April, 2007 - Crime and Misconduct Commission annonces a review of policing in indigenous communities.

June 10, 2007 - Police Minister Judy Spence announces an extra 29 police officers for indigenous communities.

June 12 - Senior Sergent Chris Hurley to stand trial in the Townsville Supreme Court.


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