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Scales of justice still tipped towards police who harm people in their custody

Craig Longman writes in The Conversation (15.4.16) about continuing problems in the treatment and sentencing of Indigenous offenders, and investigations into police actions, twenty-five years after the release of the report from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

‘Accountability for the deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the hands of the state remains absent 25 years after the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody tabled its report.

‘Between January 1, 1980, and June 30, 2011, 203 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians died in police custody or custody-related operations. But the state has only twice sought to bring criminal prosecutions against police officers linked to such deaths.

‘… Until those investigating these Aboriginal deaths can do so without conflict, we can expect the rule of law to fall short for families seeking justice for the death of their loved ones while in custody.’

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