Deaths in custody
We provide varying levels of assistance to the State Coroner in conducting investigations into police-related deaths, such as deaths occurring during attempted arrests and deaths in custody.
At present, we attend the initial investigation of all police-related deaths and provide independent oversight regarding the probity and sufficiency of the investigation. Pending determination of any question of police misconduct and who should lead further investigation, we also liaise with family members of the deceased person.
In 2011–12, we oversaw the investigation of 9 police-related deaths.
In May 2010, the Acting Coroner (Deputy Chief Magistrate Hine) delivered his findings in the re-opened inquest into the death in police custody of Mulrunji Doomadgee on Palm Island in 2004. Among other things, Mr Hine made a recommendation about the future investigation of police-related deaths and our role in these investigations. The State Coroner, the Commissioner of Police and the CMC Chairperson reached agreement about the future approach to investigating these matters, and the Queensland Government is currently considering a memorandum of understanding for the proposed arrangements. Detailed protocols are being developed to support the proposed investigative model.