Death in Custody: we need signatures and other matters.

please find below a petition from the aunt of mr. briscoe, patricia morton-thomas, and the family call for justice to the northern territory government, and specifically the nt attorney-general, john elferink, and to terry mills as the nt police minister, that the twelve police officers on duty the night that mr. briscoe died be properly and legally charged due to the coroner’s belief that the death of mr. briscoe was, indeed, preventable and that the police officers involved were utterly derelict in their duty of care to mr. briscoe.

i urge everyone who receives this petition to not only sign it but to spread it through your networks. as we have seen with the actions taken against the absolutely disgusting remarks made by allen jones, people power can bring about change.

we need justice for mr. briscoe and his grieving family. and we need it now!

we take this opportunity to remind you of several events that are current and coming up over the next four days, thursday to sunday/

the coronial enquiry into the death of roberto laudisio curti that began on monday continues and should do so until friday 19 october. i managed to attend on tuesday and i hope to attend today also.

some interesting facts have been reported already. roberto had been out with friends that night and he had taken some lsd, as did his friends. tragically for roberto he had a bad trip and his friends attempted to send him home but that never happened. hours later roberto is seen to be shirtless and without his belt or shoes. what circumstances brought this about we do not know but we do know that he was in a drug-induced state and became paranoid whilst wandering the streets of sydney. cctv footage shows him running from some 3 or 4 men but it is not known why, however, roberto believes himself to be in some danger from them and he runs into a convenience store for help and protection.

he jumps the counter but eventually leaves with the two packet of biscuits given to him by the worker in the store. previously police had been informed that there was an attempted break-in to a car but this later proved to be untrue. police were then informed that an armed hold-up had occurred and there was some communication problems involving police calls until it became clear that there was no armed robbery but just a robbery.

the first officers to sight roberto was senior constable eric lim and his offsider. the chase began and the police strength built up to 11 before they brought him down. lim had tasered roberto once and all together the police fired 14 taser shots but only 5 actually hit roberto, 2 in his chest, 1 in his shoulder and 2 in his back. in the pursuit s/c lim had stumbled and fallen but quickly got to his feet and joined the 4 or 5 police that were holding roberto down. 2 police were attempting to cuff his feet whilst another had his knee in robert’s abdomen to make him breathless.

a civilian witness had given evidence that one officer had used his two fingers on the neck of roberto, called a ‘sleeper hold’ whereby the fingers are used to cut off or diminish the blood flow in the carotid artery leading to the brain causing an unconscious state to occur. police had also used capsicum spray on roberto. he was then rolled over on to his chest and he was cuffed with his hands behind his back. in such a position it is most difficult to breath and it was reported that roberto had attempted to move onto his side to aid his breathing.

the reasons for what happened next are strongly contested but there is no argument that s/c lim tasered roberto once more whilst he was cuffed and being held down by police.

the legal team representing the family of roberto claimed that the shot was a deliberate but totally unnecessary act whilst s/c lim described it as being required as he thought that roberto was again attempting to get away. video footage does not substantiate that claim. on another taser-cam video the police were recorded as firing their tasers and laughing at the situation roberto was in. s/c lim heard and seen no such events.

i believe there very well may have been another strong reason why s/c lim acted as he did. for those beings who hold the whip hand, so to speak, there is at times a tendency to emphasise our status of having finalised an action by going that one step further and taking what is known as the ‘fuck you’ shot. this can be evidenced in many forms and is not just restricted to aggressive males or males in an aggressive situation. such a shot is just not necessary but is performed against the hapless victim to finalise the event. this can be brought on by a still hot anger or frustration or just the relief that the event itself is finalised. police also use it because they honestly believe they can and not only do they have the right to do so but they are exempt from any problems arising from those shots. i am well reminded of the use of such a shot by a police officer in the extra-judicial killing of ronni levi on bondi beach some years ago. what really motivated s/c lim to fire his taser just one more time?

it happens all too often i believe and possibly a further example was the police woman who stamped on roberto’s leg. was she attempting to stop him from escaping or merely having a version of the shot? the coroner can work on that one. there are still many many facts to come from this inquest and our thoughts and support are with the family and their legal team.

i also take this opportunity to remind you of our protest rally tomorrow, friday 12/10 to further support the family of mr. briscoe and their call for justice. that starts at 12.30pm outside the central law courts in liverpool street between george and pitt streets. hope to see you there.

due to popular demand we are joining with occupy sydney first anniversary celebrations to issue more of the aboriginal nations passports to those non-aboriginal citizens who missed out on the previous event some weeks ago. we will be present in martin plaza (place) from noon to 6pm on both saturday and sunday and we look forward to your attendance at both events. the relevant paperwork will be available for your signature and we ask that you bring a passport sized photo with you on the day you attend. for more information on the occupy sydney events please go to their site.

we are also on track for our forum, taser! taser! taser!, to be held on the 16 november 2012 at the tom mann theatre, chalmers street (opposite prince alfred park) beginning at 6pm.

of further note is the good news that julian assange has been personally presented his aboriginal nations passport by ms. rihab charida on behalf of isja. many thanks to all involved.


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