The Family Of An Aboriginal Man Killed In Custody Is Standing With US Protestors
David Dungay told NSW prison guards "I can't breathe" 12 times while being restrained.
As protests erupt across the US over the death of George Floyd, the family of an Aboriginal man who died after being restrained by five prison guards are pushing for charges to be laid over his death.
David Dungay, a 26-year-old Dunghutti man, was in custody at NSW’s Long Bay jail in 2015 when he died.
He was in the hospital jail when guards stormed in after he refused to stop eating a pack of biscuits. He had diabetes, and was schizophrenic.
He was dragged to another cell, held down and injected with a sedative by a nurse.
He told the officers who had pinned him facedown “I can’t breathe” 12 times before losing consciousness.
Footage captured one officer telling him, “you brought this upon yourself, Dungay”.
If you are an Australian watching the US riots, please remember that our country also has a history of violence against Black & Indigenous People of Colour. One way to help out is by donating to the fund of David Dungay, one of many Aboriginal Australians who have died in custody https://t.co/nFY4GiDTG9
— nina oyama (@ninaoyama) June 1, 2020
Australia media covering police brutality in America without even addressing their deep rooted systematic racism against Indigenous Australians as well as the 400+ deaths of Indigenous Australians in custody is beyond me….
— Saron (@saronneyyy) May 31, 2020
Thinking about Kumanjayi Walker, murdered by a cop just six months ago. I don't think any Australian court will ever deliver justice for him.
— Socialist Alternative Rock & Pop Punk (@MildCuthbert) May 29, 2020
David’s family said footage of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police had been traumatising for them.
They want the NSW director of public prosecution to investigate whether changes should be laid against the prison guards involved. They also intend to lodge a complaint against the nursing staff involved.
Last year an inquest into David’s death found none of the guards should face disciplinary action.
NSW Deputy Coroner Derek Lee found their conduct was “not motivated by malicious intent”, but was “a produced of misunderstanding”.
However, he also found moving David to another cell was not necessary or appropriate, as he “did not pose a security risk”.
Paul Silva, David’s nephew, told Guardian Australia he tried to watch the viral footage showing George Floyd’s last moments, but had to stop the video when he heard him say “I can’t breathe”.
“My thoughts really go out to the family and everyone on the streets in the USA. My solidarity is with them because I do know the pain they are feeling,” he said.
“And as for the Aboriginal deaths in our backyard … it’s not in the public as much as it should be.”
All those living in Australia horrified by police murdering black people in the US – be horrified but also be horrified about the fact that more than 400 Aboriginal and Torres straight islander people have died in custody since the 1991 Royal Commission in to deaths in custody…
— Jenny Leong MP (@jennyleong) May 30, 2020
400 deaths since the end of the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in police custody.
Not a single conviction.
— Sally Rugg (@sallyrugg) May 30, 2020
you’re only ‘sooo grateful to live in australia’ because there is only 2% of the indigenous population left that can’t fight back to systemic oppression on this mass scale because the government has murdered them through institutional racism for hundreds of years
— claire (@cloxic) May 31, 2020
The NSW Safework Commission has rejected the Dungay family’s request for an investigation into David’s death because the coroner had already made recommendations into how to fix “organisational failures” of the Corrective Services.
Australia has seen 432 Aboriginal deaths in custody since 2008.
You can donate to the Dungay family’s fundraiser, Justice For David Dungay Junior, here.
Feature Image: Pxfuel