Protest erupts in Brisbane over woman's death in police custody

·2-min read

Protesters have spilled across Brisbane's CBD as police struggled to control a demonstration over the death of an Indigenous woman in custody.

Several people have been arrested after scuffles between police and protesters broke out following a sit-in outside Queensland Police headquarters.

The march came to a halt at Queen Street Mall just before 12pm after a group of less than 100 Black Lives Matter protesters gathered outside the Roma Street station, blocking traffic in what began as a peaceful rally on Friday.

Brisbane councillor Jonathan Sri, who filmed the event, said the demonstration followed the death of an Aboriginal woman at the Brisbane watch house.

Protesters seen blocking a police van outside the Brisbane WatchHouse.
Protesters seen blocking a police van outside the Brisbane WatchHouse. Source: Instagram

"Residents were protesting peacefully, spaced out safely, and without warning or negotiation police started arresting people, turning a safe situation into a tense one," Mr Sri said.

The woman, aged 49, had appeared in court on Monday on drug and property offences, and been remanded in custody until October 7.

She had been due to be transferred to prison from the Brisbane City Watch House, but was found dead in her cell early on Thursday.

People rallied outside the Roma Street headquarters early on Friday, chanting "let them go" as officers handcuffed a protester and put them in the back of a paddy wagon.

Footage of the protest showed demonstrators gathered around a police vehicle as scuffles broke out between officers and people in the crowd

Protesters also painted their hands red, chanting "blood on your hands" at officers as what looked like handprints were smeared on the walls of the police headquarters and on waiting vehicles.

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