Thursday, April 12, 2007

Deaths in Custody – the silence and complicity must be challenged

Deaths in Custody - Justice for Karl Woods

11th April, 2007 marks the first anniversary of the terrible death of Karl Woods in police custody. Karl was arrested at the scene of a home invasion on April 11th, 2006. Police report that he struggled and had to be ‘subdued’. Once arrested he was placed in the back of a police van. According to initial reports when checked ‘a short time later’ - Karl was dead. What happened?

Mr Woods' family members – and others who have seen post-mortem photos – are horrified by the obvious physical injuries he appears to have sustained. Yet it seems the WA police admit no fault, and no officers have been stood down.

INTERVIEW APRIL 10 2007 - Deaths in Custody Watch Committee, Marc Newhouse - MP3

Nearly a year on, and the WA police have still not finalised reports into Mr Woods' death for the Coroners office. And no Coronial Inquest has been carried out. Why?

This has many parallels to the Palm Island case and the silence, inaction and injustice must be challenged, say the Deaths In Custody Watch Committee. [2004 Palm Island death in custody.]

Deaths In Custody Watch say that deaths such as these must never occur. 99 Indigenous deaths in custody around the 1980’s led to the Royal Commission Into Aboriginal Deaths In Custodywhich took nearly four years with hundreds of recommendations - yet carries no real legal weight. Most of the recommendations were never properly implemented.

In WA where Indigenous people make up around 3% of the general population, our prisoner population is over 40% Indigenous, and a new report indicates that in juvenile detention centres this figure rises to a staggering 74%.
The Woods' family and many other concerned West Australians will mount a public rally and letter of demand to the Premier this Black Friday. "Support the call for justice - for Karl, the Woods’ family, and all those who have died in custody..."

We must change the systemic racism and inequality which imprisons so many indigenous people. We must hold to account all those involved in deaths in custody. We must stop deaths in custody... JUSTICE FOR KARL WOODS

DEATH IN CUSTODY RALLY – CALL FOR JUSTICE FOR KARL WOODS - BLACK FRIDAY, 13TH APRIL, 12 NOON, CORNER OF ST GEORGES TCE AND BARRACK ST. Rally and speakers, followed by a march on the Premiers office... READ MORE/Contact/Comment...

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