Friday, February 27, 2009

Australian cops kill black with pepper spray

If there were four of them holding him down, why did they need to spray him at all?

A man died shortly after being held on the ground by four police and sprayed with capsicum spray, an inquest heard yesterday. Coroner Greg Cavanagh was told the man's friends warned police not to spray him as he suffered from asthma. The man - who cannot be named for cultural reasons - was taken from the Palmerston home where the incident happened on January 1, 2008, to Royal Darwin Hospital but died later that night.

Eyewitness Simon Pascoe told the coronial inquest that people at the house had told police to let the man go and be careful because he had asthma. "Every time we tried to warn them, they said: 'Don't come any closer or we're going to use our spray on you'," he said.

The inquest heard there had been an argument over "grog" at the house, and a woman had called the police and told officers that the man needed to go to the sobering-up centre. An autopsy found he only had a blood alcohol concentration of .035 per cent. [legal to drive]

The inquest into the man's death will run concurrently with an inquest into the death of Alice Springs filmmaker Bob Plasto. He was arrested and ground-stabilised in Darwin on December 22, 2007 after staff at the Cavanagh Hotel called police when he was behaving irrationally. Police took him to Royal Darwin Hospital for a mental health assessment - but not until after he waited in a caged police car at the Darwin watch house for a shift change. He was pulled to the ground by police officers at the hospital and kept in custody while he was in hospital for several days before he died.

Original report here (Via Australian Politics)

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today)

1 comment:

Artfldgr said...

if a woman says it, it must be true, even if it isnt...