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Hurley verdict a travesty for Aboriginal people

"Death of justice in Queensland"

"The acquittal of Snr-Sgt Chris Hurley - despite him admitting he caused Mulrunji's death, despite him changing his story, despite overwhelming medical evidence likening Mulrunji's fatal injuries to a high-speed car crash - is the lowest point in Australia's judicial system for Aboriginal people," said Aboriginal leader and Socialist Alliance Indigenous spokesperson Sam Watson, in response to the not guilty verdict in the manslaughter trial of Hurley.

"The police rallied around their own, fixed their story of 'a complicated accident', and the 12-member non-Indigenous jury agreed," Watson continued. "This jury decision has sanctioned the unlawful death of an Aboriginal person in police custody."

"The fact that the life an Aboriginal person was worth less than four hours consideration by the jury reinforces Townsville - named after one of the last slave owners Robert Towns - as a centre of anti-Aboriginal prejudice."

"We extend our sympathy and love to the family and community on Palm Island - they will need healing time. But around Australia, the Aboriginal community and non-Aboriginal supporters will rally and continue the struggle for justice. We make a promise to the family of Mulrunji and all families who have lost loved-ones in custody - Hurley and all police will be held accountable. There must be justice for all - whether you're born in Brisbane or on Palm Island."

"The Jury verdict ended one process, but the struggle for justice continues," said Watson.

An Indigenous rights demonstration planned to march on State Parliament at 1pm this Friday in protest at council amalgamations, will also take up the ongoing fight for justice for Mulrunji, with a minute silence for the 'death of justice in Queensland.'

Watson and other Aboriginal leaders have called for massive national protests on July 14, NAIDOC day.

"At end of day, all we ever ask is that those who are taken into custody come out alive, but in Queensland, this appears to be an impossible ask."
For information or interviews phone Sam Watson 0401 227 443 or Paul Benedek 0410 629 088.

4 Com:

Anonymous | June 21, 2007

I heard a comment that said: "Chris Hurley should be given a new police number -- 007. Licensed to kill

Dave Riley | June 21, 2007

RESPONSES

Melbourne rally
Demand Justice for Mulrunji
Mourn for the death of
justice in Queensland

Rally, Friday 22 June, 12:30 pm
Steps of the old GPO for a speak out and march to State Parliament

Wear black or Indigeno us colours.

? Implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in Custody in full!
? Establish elected community controlled civilian review boards to hold the cops to account ? No justice on stolen land

Called jointly by Indigenous Social Justice Association – Melbourne and Socialist Alliance

For more information contact:
Cheryl: 0401-806-331
Sean: 0428-160-661
Land lines: 9639-8622 or 9388-0062

Brisbane Rally
TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER LEADERS AND ABORIGINAL LEADERS WILL MARCH ON PARLIAMENT HOUSE GEORGE STREET BRISBANE CITY

1PM ON FRIDAY 22ND JUNE


TO DEMAND THAT PREMIER BEATTIE MEET WITH ALL INDIGENOUS COUNCILS AND JUSTIFY THE NEW GOVERNMENT
AMALGAMATIONS OF COUNCILS


WE DO NOT WANT TO LOSE OUR LAND
WE DO NOT WEANT TO LOSE OUR CULTURE
WE MUST STAND AND FIGHT FOR OUR RIGHTS
AND FOR THE RIGHTS OF OUR CHILDREN



COME AND SUPPORT OUR COMMUNITIES
HANDS OFF OUR COUNCILS
PAY THE STOLEN WAGES
GIVE US BACK OUR DEPARTMENT
GIVE US BACK OUR MINISTER

MEET AT JAGARA HALL, MUSGRAVE PARK AT 11AM THEN MARCH TO GEORGE STREET



( all inquiries – Sam Watson 0401227443 )

Dave Riley | June 21, 2007

An Aboriginal activist has urged Mulrunji Doomadgee's family to take civil action after Queensland policeman Chris Hurley was acquitted of causing his 2004 death in custody...Meanwhile, activist Murrandoo Yanner has urged Mulrunji's family to take civil action against Snr Sgt Hurley.

"Hurley is the white OJ Simpson so we might have a civil case to bring him to his knees," he told reporters yesterday, referring to the former US football star who was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife and her friend in a criminal court, but later found liable for their deaths in a civil trial. "I'm not surprised (by the verdict). I know Townsville well. Honestly (it's) the KKK (Ku Klux Klan) capital of Australia, that's no joke."

__________

Mr Boe said civil action could take place in a Supreme Court before a judge or jury.

He said civil courts had a lesser standard of proof than criminal courts.

Mr Boe said Snr Sgt Hurley could be forced to pay restitution to the family if found liable.

"There can be a capacity for punitive damages as well," he said.

"That liability may not just rest with the senior sergeant - it may go to the police service as a whole and to the government in so far as what was involved, if there was any breach of duty."

Doomadgee family lawyer Frederic Cassis compared the case to that of former American football star OJ Simpson.

"You only have to look at the OJ Simpson case where OJ Simpson was found not guilty on the criminal trial, where the jury wasn't satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that he had murdered his wife," Mr Cassis said.

"But on a civil trial which followed, which has a lower standard of proof that's on the balance of probability, he was found to have wrongfully murdered his wife."

Fred Fuentes | June 21, 2007

Sydney rally
Demand Justice for Mulrunji
Mourn for the death of justice in Queensland Rally,
Friday 22 June, 12:00 noon
Sydney Town Hall for a speak out and march to State Parliament
Wear black or Indigenous colours.

* Implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in Custody in full!
* Establish elected community controlled civilian review boards to hold the cops to account
* No justice on stolen land

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