i have posted on the cruel and criminal situation that young rex bellotti jnr has been forced to live through the callousness of the wa cops who ran him down in their police car some 3 years ago.
i will allow rex jnr, erica atherton (his soulmate) and gerry georgatos tell the tale in their own words. i do not need to add anything except i agree with every word that allison (the voxpop) has so rightfully expressed.
there are some information posts that will expand what has happened to rex jnr and his struggle for justice, with the full support of his family and many supporters, including isja.
indigenous social justice association
Three years of hell – Rex Bellotti Jnr’s first interview
Thu 12 Jul 2012, by Gerry Georgatos
(This is the first time Rex Jnr has given an interview)
Rex Bellotti Jnr was fifteen years old when a police-four-wheel-drive struck him grievously near midnight on a March night in 2006. In an unfettered debacle since the tragic event the Western Australian police have refused to admit adequate culpability and the now 18 year old is still waiting for the State Insurer’s payout.
I have written over 70,000 words on this young man and of the incident that wrecked many of his dreams.
I have come to know his parents quite well and his five younger siblings however I had never met Rex Jnr. I knew him from the suite of police reports, crash investigation file documents, third party witness statements, affidavits, the Corruption and Crimes Commission report and other information I immersed myself into.
His family have protected him from the glare of public scrutiny and from the news media. They have stood alongside him during tempests of grief, during tortuous mental anguish and at all times they protected him from any prospect of public meltdowns. At all times they have put his welfare first.
I drove to the home of an extended family member Rex Jr has been staying with during the last couple of months, and I picked up Rex Jnr and his partner Erica and we went out for a meal and for some conversation. He was glad to meet me and I was glad to meet him.
“I miss not being able to play football (AFL). I loved football and had hoped to go professional. I can still kick the ball with my right leg but I can’t with my left.”
“I am not allowed to run, if I do run it may cause harm to my left leg and if it starts to bleed the doctors say I have only one hour to get to hospital to save my life. I don’t run,” said Rex Jnr.
I asked Rex Jnr about the events on the night of the incident, after he had left a Wake to walk home along Old Lower King Road in his hometown of Albany.
“I remember what I was doing. I was having a smoke while walking along the road. There were three girls walking along with me. They were about 13 to 15 years old.”
“We began to cross the road, it was dark, and as we were walking towards the middle of the road all of a sudden out of nowhere I saw headlights coming at us. It was split second stuff.”
“They looked like high beams.”
“I pushed the girls out of the way. They would have been hit for sure. I did the right thing in saving them. I didn’t make it out of the way..”
“The car came fast.”
“I remember all that well enough.”
I asked Rex Jnr what he remembered after being hit by the police-four-wheel drive.
“I don’t remember much, I think I was conscious for about ten seconds, I went in and out and then out altogether.”
He doesn’t remember being taken to Albany Hospital nor does he remember being flown by the Royal Flying Doctor to the Perth. He woke up at Royal Perth Hospital.
“The scariest part for me wasn’t the hospital, it was the rehabilitation. It was the toughest time of my life trying to get my leg working again.”
“When the police car hit me they snapped both my legs but my left leg is the worry now. The police car snapped my right leg at the femur and my left leg hung together by an artery. They say if it gets hurt then there’s the prospect of an amputation.”
I asked Rex Jnr how he felt about the police officers who did this to him and how he felt about police in general.
“I hate cops with a passion. I can’t forgive those cops for what they did. I don’t trust them,” he said. “I understand that they didn’t help me while I was lying there. They never came to the hospital to see if I was alright. They have never taken the time in more than three years to check on me or contact me. I don’t know what they look like, they have never given me a minute’s worth. They have never admitted the full extent of what they did to me that night. How can I trust police when they’re like this?”
A week before the interview Rex Jnr and some friends were spoken to by a couple of local police officers. The officers asked questions about ‘a person of interest’ they were looking for. Rex Jnr told one officer of the incident that mangled his legs. “He was shocked when I showed him my leg. He said, ‘Did we do that?'”
I asked Rex Jnr what he thought of that particular police officer. He was taken aback by the question, and while reminding me of his mother’s soulful glances he looked up at me, looked over my shoulder and then flickered his eyes back to me, and then spoke with the odd pause between sentences.
“Actually, I didn’t hate him, he seemed to be quite a good person despite being a cop. He didn’t pack on anything like other smart arse cops looking to get us in trouble. There were none of the usual smart arse comments and smirks.”
Rex Jr began to rub his leg and I asked him if he was alright. “Yeah, I’m alright, it’s just the pins, the screws and rods in my leg – on a cold day like today I feel them more than usual,” he said.
More than a year ago Rex Jr spent a summer with relatives in West Australia’s north west, to try and dissociate the grief. In Carnarvon, he met Erica Atherton, 17, and they have been together ever since. Rex Jnr and Erica are inseparable.
“I like everything about Rex, he’s a good person. What the police did to him, and then not admit it, that’s just wrong. What happened to Rex, that was wrong, just wrong,” said Erica.
“Rex and I have never argued, we are always at ease, he’s a calm guy, he’s cool.” Rex Jr remains solidly close with his family.
“My family is pretty home bound, so I go from time to time to visit them. I am close with all my brothers and sister.” I asked him about the future.
“I have to wait. It’s been more than three years and I haven’t received the insurance and compensation. That’s wrong but I’ll wait. Then I’ll buy a house with the money. I don’t know how long they are going to take but hopefully not as much time as has passed since what they did to me.”
“They took away my football, and I didn’t finish high school because of them. They need to let us get on with our lives.”
“I don’t expect justice, I don’t expect the cops to get honest but I am glad that many people have learned the truth – that you have been writing about what happened to me so cops think twice next time it happens.”
“I haven’t read everything you have written, you have written so much, I get tired but I am glad that my people throughout Australia know the truth and that every corner of Australia has at least heard of what the police did to me. I can’t forgive them but I won’t let them mess me up and get me down.”
This brief clip explains why there has never been any successful prosecutorial outcome against any police or prison officer for any unnatural hand in a custodial death in custody
The Real Facts of Deaths in Custody
The Albany Rally for Justice for Rex Bellotti Jr
“Why was Rex run over by a police vehicle on the wrong side of the road?”
Hear from one of the many on the spot rallies
Hear from the Bellotti Support Group
Hear from Rex’s mother Elizabeth
Deaths in Custody and Rex Bellotti Jr raised during Aboriginal Tent Embassy
“In lieu of the conflicting versions given by witnesses and police, what we need is to have an end to police investigating police,” Mr Georgatos said http://www.indymedia.org.au/2011/12/02/justice-for-rex-bellotti-jr-bello… “Christmas is coming but for us…”
The WA police are yet to accept 100% liability and culpability despite Corruption and Crimes Commission findings slamming the handling of the police investigation http://www.nit.com.au/news/736-bellotti-campaign-continues.html
On March 6, 2008 in the heart of darkness and just shy of midnight, 15 year old Rex Bellotti Jnr was struck down by a police four wheel drive vehicle as he was walking home from a wake http://www.nit.com.au/opinion/212-bellotti-support-group-walk-for-justic… http://www.indymedia.org.au/2011/10/01/i-said-%E2%80%9Cyou-lying-dog-i-s… “I said, ‘You lying dog, I seen what you did with my own eyes’…” http://indymedia.org.au/2011/09/01/justice-for-rex-bellotti-jnr-an-inch-…
There is no question that the police vehicle hit him however the acceptance of responsibility has not occurred – and within this journey various acts and stressors upon the family, are clear acts of various racisms and discriminations and some of these with their origin-of-thinking from within the many inter-generational stereotypes and other premises http://indymedia.org.au/2011/08/03/justice-for-rex-bellotti-jnr
Nyungar-Yamatji Maaman Rex Bellotti Sr and Nyungar Yorga Liz Bellotti, 42 and 40 years old, have spent their lives working very hard to ensure the likelihood of the personal advancement of their children, in the belief that Aboriginal advancement should be achieved by Aboriginal peoples http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/aboriginal/highlight/page/id/198867/t… The Walk for Justice
and the silences and injustices continue…
it only takes human decency and a moral compass to end vacuums of inhumanity…
Yes some justice here
Submitted by Allison
I am glad to read this and see that you haven’t been dragged down Rex like so many others, you are an example to all of us, and justice is your strength to rise above what others do you, to others, to us all, and to Gerry you are just a deeply awesome person, a very good soul who many respect and who others don’t understand, thank you for looking after Rex and the whole family and you are friend not only to Noongar people, for our people, but for all people who need someone to make sure they have been heard With sincere love, Allison
indigenous social justice association
(m) 0450 651 063
(p) 02 9318 0947
address 1303/200 pitt street waterloo 2017
we live and work on the stolen lands of the gadigal people.
sovereignty treaty social justice