Justice for Mulrunji
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.
After this occurred, I find there was no further resistance or indeed any speech or response from Mulrunji. I conclude that these actions of Senior Sergeant Hurley caused the fatal injuries.
Sergeant Leafe returned from opening the cells and Mulrunji was dragged away and deposited in cell number two. Patrick Bramwell was then similarly brought in and dragged to the cells.
There was no attempt whatsoever to check on Mulrunji’s state of health after the fall and its sequelae. The so called checks on the two intoxicated prisoners in the cells was woeful, even excluding the possibility of serious injury having occurred. Neither officer remained in the cell for more than seconds on each occasion they entered to check the prisoner. It was not until Sergeant Leafe suspected that Murunji might in fact be dead, that any close scrutiny was made. No attempt at resuscitation was made by any police officer even when there was a degree of uncertainty about whether Mulrunji had died. “