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Alleged Assault of Aboriginal Man in Police Custody


Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 25 October 2022

Tags: Police, Aboriginal Tasmanians, Violence

Ms O'CONNOR question to MINISTER for POLICE, FIRE and EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, Mr ELLIS

While the Government you are part of dithers on treaty and truth-telling with the Tasmanian Aboriginal people, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre has issued a statement about the shocking treatment of a 20-year-old Aboriginal man who was taken into police custody over a bail breach. The TAC alleges this young man was thrown into a cell, held face down while his clothes were cut from his body, then an unknown number of police and custodial officers assaulted him. The TAC alleges he was left lying in a pool of his own blood for 12 hours, his calls for help ignored, until his mother arrived the next morning. He was then taken to hospital.

Have you been briefed on this alleged treatment of a young Aboriginal man in police custody? What action will you take to get to the bottom of this shocking allegation of police brutality?

ANSWER

Mr Speaker, I thank my friend for this important question on a very serious matter. I am happy to follow up for the member on the operational details provided and more than happy to do so in writing. Obviously, we want all people to be safe when they are in police custody -

Ms O'Connor - Do you think it is possible to update the House today?

Mr ELLIS - Yes, I would be more than happy to if I can get information in that sort of time frame. Obviously, there are significant sensitivities around a matter of such importance and we want to make sure that there is level of accuracy there, but I am very happy to commit to that. As I say, we want to make sure that all people are safe when they are in police custody. Obviously, our police do a very difficult job but there is a level of expectation in our community that people are cared for when they are in their charge. I can commit to the member to get further details.