Death in custody

Death should have no colour. Both Mr Waterford ("Fact versus indignation" December 27, p17) and Paul Drury ("Deal with the facts" December 27, p16) continue to argue that a Queensland policeman should not be charged with any offence even though a coroner found as a fact that the dead person, an Aborigine, had been assaulted when in custody.

The coroner also found the blow or blows which caused the death probably occurred when the Aborigine was unconscious.

If a coroner found that a policeman had been assaulted by an Aborigine, leading to the policeman’s death, and the fatal blow probably occurred when the policeman was unconscious, civil libertarians would be arguing equally as strongly the Aborigine should at least be charged with assault.

So would the Queensland police, the police association and the Director of Public Prosecutions in Queensland.

The death, after an assault, of a policeman or an Aborigine should be treated equally by the law, which is why the policeman in this case should be charged, at least with assault, and a court should decide guilt or innocence.

Dr Kristine Klugman, Civil Liberties Australia (Canberra Times letter)

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