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October 19, 2019
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Are the indigenous people of Australia being “persecuted” by the police and media?

Just last week a 9-year-old aboriginal boy was allegedly beaten, dragged and locked in the back of a Kelmscott IGA by the staff in Perth. It was said that he was later taken to hospital, bleeding all over. The incident was not reported in the main stream media who are often silent on any injustices towards the indigenous people. Only after it was reported and shared on social media, did the police take notice and charge the IGA worker who had beaten the boy.

Today, the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania has stated that a 13-year old girl was arrested and detained overnight for breaching a ‘non-existent’ curfew the evening of Wednesday the 9th of January, not far away from her home. She was taken into custody and stripped naked, then given a hospital-gown type robe to sleep in.

The girl’s aunt claimed during the incident the girl was intimidated and has been left emotionally and mentally traumatised.

“She wasn’t treated appropriately and frankly shouldn’t have been there,” she said. “I’m astounded. This behaviour by police in Tasmania has to be addressed.”

“The adolescent girl was wrongfully arrested”, said Michael Mansell, chairman of the Aboriginal Land Council. “When taken before a Magistrate the next day she was immediately released as it turned out the child was not under any curfew and police had acted unlawfully in arresting and depriving the child of her freedom.”

It is not yet known if the parents of the child will sue Tasmanian Police for false imprisonment, though they do intend to seek legal counsel on the matter.

Mr Mansell said the incident comes just days after police were criticised for locking up two Aboriginal youths in Hobart for two days before they faced court. A joint statement released by the Tasmian and Victorians Aboriginal Legal Services said the incidents further highlighted the need for improved treatment of Aboriginal people by Tasmanian Police. “The delay in presenting them to court is inexcusable and demonstrates a breakdown in police procedure that requires an explanation by Tasmania Police,” the statement said.

These incidents leave us wondering if there is an underlying injustice within the police department that especially targets Aboriginal youth, and the reason why the media is biased when it comes to reporting these cases.