Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The Young Man From Kamilaroi

The Fight for the Truth Continues

On Monday, 5 July 2004, the Hickey Family and their supporters will come together in the Glebe Coroners Court with the Redfern Police, the same police, specifically unknown at this time, who pursued the Young Man to his death by impalement.

Since that tragic February day the Redfern Police have been honing and polishing up their statements, the better to allow for a more complete dove-tailing of 'their' facts.

They have found witnesses to support their sanitised view of the events and it has been stated that of the 10 days set aside for the Coronial Enquiry, the first five days will be dedicated to the police and their own witnesses.

For the Family, the times have been one of stress and frustration. At the behest of the Family, legal assistance was found by the Association on their behalf. The Aboriginal Legal Service at Redfern was not considered by Mrs Hickey to be a viable option.

After a couple of strange months, the Family now have a Legal Aid solicitor and two Public Defender Barristers, a junior and a senior.

It is my belief that we, the Family 'team', have wasted too much time in sorting out whether Legal Aid was going to pay the original Barrister and Solicitor or whether the Family would only be funded for the Legal Aid/Public Defender Team.

A further problem is in keeping our Forensic Consultant on the job, so to speak. A lot of evidence in this particular case is relative to matters forensic.

We believe we have good solid arguments that the police wagon did indeed pursue the Young Man to the Renwick Street fence line. We also believe that we have credible witnesses who will truthfully state that the police wagon was seen at the fence-line with lights flashing and sirens on.

>In all Death in Custody cases, but especially with police deaths in Custody, the Family and their supporters are up against the experts in honing and polishing the facts. The police have total control over what is treated as evidence and the arguments that are put to the Coroner. The police have all access to the media to allow for their spin to become a public issue; they have access to all witnesses and in choosing those witnesses that they believe best support their particular line of 'facts'; they also have seemingly endless resources to allow for the honing and polishing of their statements.

Death in Custody Families have none of these. Death In Custody Families only have the trauma of the loss, generally, a most questionable loss. Then there is the Sorry Business that consumes the Family and their supporters. For some Families that continues every day even though the Death occurred some twenty years ago. Whatever the particular Coroner may do, or find, there are always unanswered questions.

I, and many others, have been strongly critical of the police investigating the police, especially in police Deaths in Custody. Everyone, from Premier Bob Carr down knows full well that police investigation only have one end in mind - and that is the total exoneration of the suspect police officers. We all know of the Police Culture that makes the good honest cops accept the corrupt practices of their less professional Brother and Sister officers.

The truth for the Hickey Family can be found by the Coroner, in this instance State Coroner, John Abernathy.

It is up to Gail's legal team and her supporters to argue that truth to the satisfaction of the Coroner. Not always a done thing if we look to History.

By Ray Jackson 23 June 04


Police stalkers set to escape
The real issue was posted it read "Wanted child murderers"!

Payback over Redfern riot after death in custody
A 37 year-old woman will appear in court today charged over her alleged involvement in a riot in Redfern on Sunday night.

Riot in Redfern over death in custody
The reported claim that 50 police were injured during rioting in Redfern over a death in custody is nothing more than a counter claim required to balance the argument that Thomas Hickey wasn't chased to his death by police.

Redfern police 'need to be made accountable'
POLICE have no right to demand increased support to patrol Redfern in the wake of one of the worst death in custody cover-ups by police in Australian history.

"If I Could Turn Back Time" Daily Terror, CH/7
THE real cause of last month's violent Redfern riots was the death of teenager Thomas "TJ" Hickey but perhaps only one element of the racism, harassment and bullying by the New South Wales police force and in this case Redfern police at the Block.

Was Thomas Hickey payback?
Yesterday it was alleged police faced a potentially deadly confrontation with locals of a redfern housing block last week when a gun was grabbed from an officer's holster and held to his stomach.

Gather at the Block at 9am March to Phillip Street Redfern, "Turanga Block" vigial at site of "TJ's" death. March to Redfern Police Station to leave list of demands regarding the enquiries into his death.