‘Inhumane and unprofessional’: Shocking footage of Ms Dhu released as family fights on – WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned this article contains images, audio and references to deceased persons.
Harrowing footage of the final moments of Ms Dhu’s life has been released after the 22-year-old’s family won their fight to “show the world the truth” about how she was treated before her death in custody.
Ms Dhu inquest: Coroner criticises ‘inhumane’ WA police treatment before death in custody – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) – Ms Dhu had been detained at the South Hedland Police Station lock up for three days for unpaid fines totalling $3,622, but “suffered a catastrophic deterioration in her health” while in police custody, the coroner found.
Ms Fogliani has recommended the law be changed so people could no longer be imprisoned for the non-payment of fines.
But speaking outside the Perth Central Law Courts after the findings were delivered, Ms Dhu’s mother Della Roe said she was not happy with the coroner’s recommendations, because no-one had been held accountable for her daughter’s death.
Ms Dhu had suffered two broken ribs after her partner threw her to the ground in April 2014, but one rib never healed properly and became infected.
Ms Dhu died in police custody in South Hedland.
Photo: Ms Dhu died after being taken to hospital for a third time in 48 hours. (Supplied: Carol Roe)
Show the world how my daughter died | The West Australian – WA Aboriginal Legal Service chief executive Dennis Eggington said that “enough was enough” when it came to indigenous deaths in custody, and said the coroner’s recommendations should be implemented swiftly.
Ruth Barson, director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, said she was pleased with the recommendation to scrap WA’s system of fines payment with prison time.
“That is heartening and really critical … and the introduction of a custody notification system similar to that in NSW is also critical,” Ms Bardon said.
“Categorically, Ms Dhu was treated in a cruel, degrading and inhuman way … and once the nation sees this footage, that will become abundantly apparent.”
The Dhu inquest heard police who transported Ms Dhu — whose first name is not used for cultural reasons — to hospital had told medical staff she was “faking” her symptoms moments before she died.