Past Episodes

Palm Island death in custody

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Queensland's deputy state coroner, Christine Clements in a damning report has criticized the initial investigation into the 2004 Palm Island death in custody of Mulrunji saying that it failed to meet appropriate guidelines. Clements also found that Senior Sergeant Christopher Hurley caused Mulrunji’s death, and accused the police of failing to investigate his death fully. Mulrunji, 36, was found dead on the cement floor of his cell about 11am on November 19, 2004. Since the report has been handed down there has been a campaign by the Queensland Police Union, the Police Commissioner and the state government minister to disparage the report’s findings and recommendations. Clement’s conclusions have now gone before Leanne Clare, the state’s director of Public Prosecution for consideration as to whether charges will be laid.>>

What the media labeled as a ‘ riot” erupted on the island on November 26, 2004 after the results of the inquest in to the death were revealed to the local aboriginal community. During this event the local police station and some other government buildings were burned to the ground. The Queensland Police Service flew in approximately 80 additional police officers to restore order.

The case and its consequences were addressed by Murri activist and Socialist Alliance electoral candidate, Sam Watson, at a Alliance meeting on October 4th.