CMC statement on QPS response to Palm Island police investigations — 15.03.2011
The Queensland Police Service has chosen to take no disciplinary action against the six officers involved in the investigations into the Palm Island death in custody.
I am astounded at this failure.
How can the police service find that the conduct of these officers does not meet the threshold to even commence disciplinary proceedings for police misconduct?
This means that after six years and two coronial inquiries the case is now closed. The CMC has been prevented from taking this matter any further.
The police service must now justify to the people of Queensland its reasons for taking no disciplinary action against these officers.
It’s almost incomprehensible that the police service has decided that there is no case for these officers to answer.
To quote Deputy Chief Magistrate Brian Hine – six years ago an Indigenous man ‘who was not suffering from any injury’ arrived at the police station and died shortly after of ‘a massive compressive force to the front of his body’ while in the custody of police.
The Doomadgee family, the Palm Island community and the public had a right to expect that the police service would – at the very least – investigate the death rigorously, impartially and thoroughly.
The failure by the QPS to take any action means the CMC’s hands are now tied.
The police service has circumvented the independent review process.
We could never have foreseen that the QPS would find that the conduct of the police officers involved did not warrant disciplinary proceedings.
Currently, the law only allows the CMC to appeal a police misconduct matter in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal if it is seeking to review a decision made in disciplinary proceedings.
We have no power if no decision is made at all.
As a result the CMC is seeking changes to the law.
We will seek these legislative changes to ensure that all QPS decisions are potentially subject to an independent review.
The CMC wants to ensure that people can be held accountable for their actions.
I will now take questions.
Listen to the press conference (WMA, 6.2 MB).