Indigenous Australia knows the cynicism exposed by Michael Brown’s killing in Ferguson
Larissa Behrendt, The Guardian , Tuesday 25 November 2014
Watching the events in Ferguson, Indigenous Australians will immediately draw a parallel with Australia’s response to black deaths in custody‘Watching the events in Ferguson unfold raises similar questions about Australia’s own legal system.’ Riots in Redfern, 2004. Photograph: AAP
After a Missouri grand jury declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown, prosecuting attorney Bob McCulloch said that the decision was based upon physical and scientific evidence, not “public outcry or political expediency”.
This call for objectivity does little in a situation where autopsies show Wilson had shot Brown at least six times, twice in the head. McCulloch seemed to compromise his own objectivity by blaming social and news media for beating up a story, rather than acknowledging that when a young person is shot by law enforcement, people expect a level of accountability.
Watching the events in Ferguson unfold raises similar questions about Australia’s own legal system. The parallel is immediately drawn with the failure to secure a conviction in the case of 36-year-old Cameron Mulrunji Doomadgee, who died in a Palm Island lockup over 10 years ago.