Protests across WA over death in custody

Demonstrations have been held across WA to protest the death of a 22-year-old Aboriginal girl in police custody in South Hedland on August 4.

The 50-strong crowd in South Hedland started with a presentation from Nicole Councillor, a family member of the deceased girl, who called for a timely “coronial inquest” into the death of the girl and a Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in police custody, among other things.

The crowd then marched to the Hedland Health Campus and South Hedland Police Station, where the girl was being held when she died.

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Ms Councillor led the crowd in chanting “shame, shame, shame Australia” at both sites, while crosses and memorabilia were laid nearby.

A number of senior figures in the community were present including Town of Port Hedland deputy mayor Gloria Jacob and Bloodwood Tree chief executive Bob Neville.

The march was finished with a moving acoustic song dedicated to the deceased from Youth Involvement Council worker Stan Maurierre.

the protest at parliament house in perth.
the protest at parliament house in perth.

The protest at Parliament House in Perth. Picture: Alex Massey

In Perth, Premier Colin Barnett was mobbed by protesters on the steps of Parliament.

Mr Barnett came to address the protesters but his security team was overcome by the crowd who pushed towards him.

While some protesters shouted abuse at the Premier and Corrective Services minister Joe Francis, the majority called for calm and to back away from Mr Barnett.

A march in Geraldton drew more than 100 people as it passed through the main street and ended with a rally outside Geraldton Courthouse.

During the march, participants chanted slogans calling for justice and an end to deaths in custody.

the death in custody protest march in geraldton.
the death in custody protest march in geraldton.

The death in custody protest march in Geraldton. Picture: Geraldton Guardian