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The Fight For Justice For David Dungay Jr Marches On

Media Release

The family, friends and community of David Dungay Jr who died in shocking circumstances inside Long Bay Gaol on 29 December 2015 continue their fight for justice this week, taking it to the streets of Sydney.

The family are demanding:

  1. The immediate release of all information that has been suppressed by the government,
  2. A date fixed for an Inquest before the Coroner,
  3. A full independent investigation into the conduct of the prison officers and medical personnel on the night that David died.

David Dungay Jr was a Dunghutti man from Kempsey and died at age 26. His early life was tough but he was very loved by his close-knit family. He enjoyed schooling, music and was an excellent sportsman.

He was about three weeks away from release on parole at the time of his death. He had entered the adult prison system at age nineteen and had nearly completed a seven-year sentence.

On the night of his death, he was overpowered and restrained by at least four prison officers applying force. David yelled out “I can’t breathe.” They were his last words.

The lawyer for David’s mother, Leetona Dungay, George Newhouse of the National Justice Project today said that all the family wanted was justice.

“They want the truth. That’s all they are asking for. And they have been waiting 18 months so far. It’s hard to believe that in modern Australia and 25 years after the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, this is still happening.”

Rally to demand answers from Premier Gladys Berejiklian: Why did David Dungay Jr Die?

Friday 28 July 2017 at 11.30am

Meet at Hyde Park North and March to Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney City.

11 comments

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  1. paul walter

    As with other posts on David

    Dungay here, the (non) response of readers to this brutal death remains puzzling.

    If we changed the pic and called him Justine Damond, would there be a little more pity?

    I suppose Aboriginal deaths in custody or at the hands of police, even brutal ones, are so commonplace as to no longer arouse concern.

  2. Hilda

    True paul, it seems black lives are worth less.
    Why not put a heap of cameras in jails to monitor actions?

  3. helvityni

    We cry in chorus for beached whales (never mind they might want die), for a brain-dead baby in another country, but our compassion is lacking when it comes to black Aboriginal boys or brown-skinned asylum seekers…

    If a boatful blond Swedish women, escapees from a prison, would reach our waters we would be full of empathy… and offer a warm welcome…

  4. jimhaz

    No…it is that violent people are worth less. He apparently had “chronic schizophrenia with acute psychosis” (probably caused by drug and alcohol abuse, I’d imagine) and jail is no place for treating that condition, black or white. Probably untreatable.

  5. helvityni

    We often say Australia is a rich country, why then don’t we have hospitals for mentally ill people…the jails are for criminals not for the sick…
    Mentally ill people staying in hospitals don’t drink alcohol , and only drugs available for them, are the prescribed ones…they also do not kill other people, they are medicated….

  6. diannaart

    @ Paul Walter

    I agree with your point regarding Justine Damond, however, being shot at close range wearing nothing but your PJ’s is on the extreme side.

    Nevertheless, sad but true, white deaths continue to matter more than black deaths.

    Although, along our neo-economic hierarchy, my death as a DSP or AKA “leaner” would receive scant sympathy compared to almost any politician with a large portfolio of negatively geared properties who is a “leaner” with approval. 😉

    @ Helvityni

    Not so long ago Australia had mental health hospitals AKA as insane asylums. They were progressively closed under the ideology of integrating patients back into society. As a former public housing officer I can testify as to how well this went; suicides, valuable properties burned to ground (terrifying for neighbours) and much more. Not so much because these people could not cope in the big world outside, but more because they did not receive regular and consistent support from qualified workers.

    Also, Australia is/was not the only nation to close centralised hospitals, just another part of the much discredited idea of liberal ethos – that the individual requires no help/interference from government and and take care of themselves.

    All part of one rule for the ‘approved’, another for the ‘disapproved’. Not especially Australian but very OECD nations.

  7. Karena

    Good point helvityni, it can only be that the govt has done the maths and prisons are cheaper to run than mental hospitals. But then maybe shutting hospitals and using prisons to house inmates is chosen because it’s the more expensive option. Whatever, send the bill to the ever-patient tax payers.

  8. paul walter

    No one is more outraged than myself at the pointless death of Justine Damond. It is yet another event a long cycle of police violence both here and in the USA, possibly repeated again today in Sydney involving a disturbed young Asian man in Sydney…they could have shot him the legs for the all the real threat he represented.And we remember with a moment’s thought some of the instances involved at detention centres.

    There seems an underlying cultural problem that is at back of my angst.

    I am outraged at what happened to Justine Damond, compounded by the behaviour of the police officer and his legal advisers, but my point that what people see that is so obvious also in the Damond case is not recognised when negro or aboriginal people are involved in not merely stupid or accidental killings bit acts of cold blooded brutality.

    This why I reject that Dungay is somehow less deserving of a fair representation, regardless of his stressed out mental state. It is a very common occurrence these days, a bunch of uniformed thugs working over someone who’s face they don’t like,seems to me.

    With those thugs, wouldn’t you be on edge ,too.

    Justine Damond’s sin, of course, was to believe in human decency in an evil era full of angry brainwashed crims and police.

    Justine made the cardinal mistake of believing other people had the same out look as herself. Who is to say the same hasn’t applied with many other victims?

    Yet governments do nothing to rein in uniformed thugs here, in the USA or other places, even places regarded as “civilised”.

  9. Matt

    I only just got around to reading this – but it does sound outrageous. How can this family’s demands not have been dealt with already a long time ago? But to be honest, it is not a surprise, my impression (based on experience) of authorities in Australia, from Councils, Tribunals, Governments and Courts, is one of self-serving unaccountability and an almost psychopathic behaviour – certainly a fear of the public they are supposed to serve. It is like our institutions regard citizens as the enemy (including people like David it seems) – as the barbarian hordes at their gates; threatening to destroy their imposed ‘civilising’ influence – or maybe it is their privilege we threaten?.

    Matt

  10. diannaart

    PW

    I completely agree. I do not regard Dungay as any less deserving of just and humane treatment. I also agree we are watching the establishment of a thuggish or perhaps more accurately a militia attitude towards whoever happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    I do not see any change for the better any time soon.

  11. paul walter

    diannaart and Matt, both spot on as far I am concerned.

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