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Rallies to demand end to police investigating police brutality

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The Indigenous Social Justice Association Sydney (ISJA) is coordinating a number of rallies and actions in a heightened call for inspectorates to be set up to investigate complaints against police.

ISJA President, Ray Jackson said “police must stop investigating police or nothing will ever be done to reduce incidents of police brutality.”

Amid a schedule of rallies and events the ISJA has been able to push NSW Attorney General, Greg Smith to meet with them and the mother of TJ Hickey, Ms Gail Hickey.

“After initially refusing to meet with Ms Hickey in our pursuit for redress and justice from the effectively corrupt police investigation by Redfern police Mr Smith has now found a 20 minute window to meet with Ms Hickey and ISJA,” Mr Jackson said.

Mr Jackson commended this first step by Mr Smith and said he hoped it would lead to “a taste of justice.” TJ Hickey was a 17 year old youth riding home on his bicycle when he sighted a police car it has been claimed was following him and was then pursued by them.

There had been outstanding arrest warrant in his name but police have maintained the patrol car in question was searching for another individual. A little thereafter TJ Hickey was found impaled on a 2.5 metre high fence with injuries to his neck and chest. According to police they were at the scene quickly but could not save him.

But the Hickey family, ISJA and other supporters dispute the police version. They claim witnesses saw TJ’s bike clipped by the police car and this catapulted him onto the fence.

Two Aboriginal Liaison Officers supported this claim with testimony to a NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into TJ’s death but neither of these officers had been present at the scene. Despite the questions raised at the Inquiry the NSW Government decided to not reopen any investigations into TJ’s death.

Soon after on February 14, 2004, riots inadvertently followed at Redfern’s Block where grief turned into hatred for the police.

Police used fire brigade hoses to disperse the crowd. Police and Aboriginal youth were injured. On April 23 a rally in the name of TJ Hickey and in calling for an end to police brutality gathered outside the office of the Attorney-General.

“We  have to support the families, not only of TJ but also of the Bowraville families who have still no justice 20 years later,” Mr Jackson said. “We have to show the Attorney-General that they are not alone.”

This Saturday April 26 the ISJA will be leading another march and rally reminding everyone of another incident alleged as police brutality when a youth was shot and dragged onto the street in Kings Cross.

This incident took place one year ago this week but there has still been no outcome from an internal inquiry by police into the incident.

“We will be rallying outside the Kings Cross Police Station and let everyone know that we have not forgotten the indiscriminate shootings by police on Aboriginal youth last year after a ludicrous car chase,” Mr Jackson said. “It is not likely the police officers from the Kings Cross shooting will be charged. How is this possible? Why are police officers allowed a brutality licence? Where are the legal rights of the victims? Where is it written in the Australian Constitution the police are above the law?

“This is why we will coordinate one Stop Police Investigating Police rally after another,” Mr Jackson said. “We call upon NSW Police Minister Mike Gallagher to make public all reports on this frenzied incident, to get transparent and to regard the public interest.”

http://nit.com.au/news/2765-rallies-to-demand-end-to-police-investigating-police-brutality.html

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