Four deaths in a fortnight - Blak deaths in custody a national crisis: Greens


The Greens have again called on the Government to act urgently to end Blak deaths in custody, following reports today of yet another death of a First Nations man in custody  - the fourth in the past fortnight.

The Aboriginal Legal Service of NSW and ACT today reports that Barkindji man Anzac Sullivan, 37, died during a police pursuit in Broken Hill on Thursday 18 March

17 April 2021 will mark the 30th anniversary of the handing down of the final report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. The report included more than 330 recommendations that, three decades on, have yet to be fully implemented. Since then, around 500 Blak people have been killed in custody - for which not a single individual has been yet held to account.

The Greens today reaffirmed their calls, as a matter of national urgency, for:

Comments attributable to Greens Senator for Victoria and DjabWurrung Gunnai Gunditjamara woman, Lidia Thorpe:

“On behalf of the Australian Greens, I wish to express our sympathies to Mr Sullivan’s family, friends and community. I know they are hurting today. What they’re experiencing is something that no family or community should ever have to go through.

“As First Nations people, we are sad - and we are angry beyond words. Why does this system continue to kill us off? We know that was the intent from the beginning of the colonial invasion - is this part of the same genocidal agenda? 

“Why should our people keep dying in places where they’re meant to be kept safe? The system is deeply racist.

“As recently as last week, this Government said deaths in custody were a ‘tragedy’, and said they were sorry.

“We’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times. Sorry isn’t good enough. Sorry means you don’t do it again. It’s all talk and no action from these people, and these families deserve better.”

Statement ends