Australia: Footage reveals brutal prison murder of young Aboriginal man
23 August 2018
The family of David Dungay Jr, a 26-year-old Aboriginal killed at Sydney’s Long Bay jail in 2015, have stepped-up their campaign for justice after footage was played at the New South Wales Coroner’s Court last month revealing the violent assault that led to his tragic death.
The video was played in the course of an ongoing coronial inquest into Dungay’s killing. It showed that in the moments before he died five immediate action team (IAT) prison officers stormed Dungay’s cell, restraining him and smothering him face-down on a bed. Dungay could be heard crying out 12 times that he “couldn’t breathe.”
The guards attacked Dungay because he allegedly refused to stop eating biscuits. After being smothered Dungay was hauled into another cell. Multiple officers once again forced him face-down on the bed to prevent him from struggling.
Dungay was administered an injection of midazolam, a powerful sedative that also produces anterograde amnesia. A few minutes later he had stopped breathing. The officers were still holding him down.
Dungay reportedly suffered severe mental health issues. Medical reports detailed that he experienced auditory and visual hallucinations. He had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and had been suffering from psychosis at the time of his death. He had been admitted to the mental health unit in the month before.
Many prisoners with psychosis and mental health issues are targeted by prison authorities. Cuts to health services have created conditions where people in need of serious medical attention are shunted into prison.
A corrective services investigation team found no criminal negligence in Dungay’s death. Like other internal…