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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Chris Hurley has been found not guilty. Slightly old report before the news below:

Jury retires in Hurley trial


THE jury hearing the trial of police officer Chris Hurley - charged over a death in custody on Palm island - has retired to consider its verdict.

In his closing instructions to the jury, Justice Peter Dutney urged the panel to judge the case against Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley on its own merits and consider their verdict carefully.

Snr Sgt Hurley has pleaded not guilty to one count each of manslaughter and assault over Mulrunji Doomadgee's death at the Palm Island watchhouse on November 19, 2004.

Justice Dutney told the Townsville Supreme Court jury: "This trial is not concerned with police in general, it is not concerned with the riots which occurred after Mulrunji's death was published."

Yesterday, Special Prosecutor Peter Davis, in his closing address, said Senior-Sergeant Chris Hurley had admitted killing Cameron Doomadgee, now known as Mulrunji, after a violent struggle that led to a fall in the doorway of the police station.

Mr Davis told the jury it was up to them to decide if the lethal blow was "deliberate or accidental". "He told a lie," Mr Davis said.

"We know the accused has had time to stand up, pull Mulrunji out of the doorway, and, the Crown says, drop his knee into him.

"We are not trying to rebuild ancient Rome, it is simply as he gets up, he has lost his temper and bang."

Hurley, who has pleaded not guilty to unlawful assault and unlawfully killing Mulrunji, clearly did not intend to kill him, Mr Davis said.

"We don't say he intended to cleave his liver across his spine, probably all he intended to do was wind him and disable him temporarily and put him in the cell."

Mulrunji, who was arrested for swearing, died from massive internal bleeding due to his liver being virtually split in half and his portal vein ruptured by the compressive force, most likely a knee, less than an hour after being taken into custody on the morning of November 19, 2004.

His death sparked riots on the island and led to locals burning down the police station, watch house and barracks.

Mr Davis ridiculed Hurley's claims he was mistaken in his evidence to investigators and the whole incident was a grey area.

"He can't help you with the booming question of this case: How could he so badly injure this indigenous man without noticing?

"What he said was a part of a body must have touched him, well, that must be an understatement when you look at the medical evidence."

Defence barrister Bob Mulholland, QC, told the jury the death was a tragedy and to convict Hurley would be "a double-tragedy".

"Mr Hurley will never forget that he was the accidental instrument of another man dying, that is the cross he will carry for the rest of his life despite what happens here."
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Palm Island officer not guilty
Cosima Marriner | June 20, 2007 - 3:00PM


A Queensland police officer charged after a Palm Island died in his custory has been found not guilty of manslaughter and not guilty of assault.

A Townsville Supreme Court jury handed down its verdict today.

Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley pleaded not guilty to one count each of manslaughter and assault over Mulrunji Doomadgee's death at the Palm Island watchhouse on November 19, 2004.

The death triggered riots on the island.

Last week, the trial heard Mr Doomadgee had died of internal bleeding after his liver was cleaved in two across his spine and his portal vein burst.

The injuries resulted from the application of what was described to the court as moderate to massive force.

Earlier today, in closing instructions, Justice Peter Dutney urged the 12-member jury to weigh the case against Hurley on its own merits and to dismiss all feelings of prejudice and sympathy.

"This trial is not concerned with the police. It is not concerned with any riots that took place," he said. "It is not concerned with any other indigenous issue or death in custody.''

The judge told the jury they must decide whether that force "was intentional or unintentional'' by Hurley.

Medical experts testified that the injuries could have occurred as a result of Hurley falling on top of Mr Doomadgee with his knee protruding as they tripped through the doorway of the watchhouse.

Alternatively, the court was told the officer could have intentionally performed a "knee-drop" immediately after the incident.

Justice Dutney said the jury must decide whether or not the injuries had occurred before or after the fall, and whether or not Hurley had lied in his accounts of the incident.

Hurley initially told investigating police he fell beside Mr Doomadgee.

But in testimony to the court last week the policeman conceded he "must have" landed on top of Mr Doomadgee.

Justice Dutney said if the jury decided Hurley intentionally injured Mr Doomadgee they needed to decide whether "a reasonable person" would have considered his actions could result in the 36-year-old Aboriginal man's death.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Exactly. I just hope everyone accepts the decision now and people don't make a scene of themselves.
 

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Thank goodness, just passed the news around my work and everyone is relieved.

It should never even have come to trial.
It most certainly SHOULD have gone to trial, and I'm glad it did. You can't just dismiss someone in custody getting a burst portal vein and a ruptured liver, as though these things happen spontaneously all the time. And Hurley's 'I accidentally fell on him and maybe kneed him' statements were a bit suss, to say the least. I respect the decision of the court, but I'm glad this went to trial.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm a little annoyed with the reaction. Some Aboriginal leaders (don't know which ones) are calling for people who offend aboriginal law to be trialed under aboriginal law.

There just wasn't enough evidence as it was all hear say. I am not surprised he was not guilty.
 

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I'm not surprised there "wasn't enough evidence". The incident - whatever it was - (and something caused Doomadgee to be fatally injured) could not have been witnessed by anyone apart from the victim and the police officer(s) involved. That doesn't mean nothing illegal happened, it means that it couldn't be proved beyond reasonable doubt, so Hurley was found not guilty.

Considering that someone died of injuries in police custody, with no-one else around, I think the reaction is perfectly understandable. Of course people are going to feel angry, and of course this investigation was justified - the state prosecution certainly seemed to think so, and they've got more experience in pressing charges than you or I.
 

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All Queensland watchouses are now to be fitted with CCTV - this will protect prisoners from abusive coppers and protect good coppers from innuendo. This should be rolled out right across Australia.

And Dilaz, what a fuckwitted comment by you - the issue of Aboriginal policing is extremely complex. Your attitude reeks of *******.
 

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Considering that someone died of injuries in police custody, with no-one else around, I think the reaction is perfectly understandable. Of course people are going to feel angry, and of course this investigation was justified - the state prosecution certainly seemed to think so, and they've got more experience in pressing charges than you or I.
The point the police union was angry about was that originally the decision was made that no charges should be laid, there was a big protest by Aboriginal leaders, and then Beattie appointed an "independant" person to decide if charges should be laid, and voila they duly were, and the result, as the prosecuters knew in the first place was that the officer was not guilty.

It has been a politically motivated prosecution from the start.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/new...ley-go-to-trial/2007/06/21/1182019242945.html
 

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Watch my Chops
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I'm a little annoyed with the reaction. Some Aboriginal leaders (don't know which ones) are calling for people who offend aboriginal law to be trialed under aboriginal law.

There just wasn't enough evidence as it was all hear say. I am not surprised he was not guilty.
What’s that they want a witch hunt to find the racist killer? Oh when someone died because of natural laws they used to light a fire and watch the flames movements towards the "Guilty Person". I expect nothing more than a few elders and family members to cry racism.

The treatment of D&D’s is important because they often are dangerous to themselves; however the larger social issue needs to be rectified. It seems they continue to blame everyone but themselves.
 

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From today's Townsville Bulletin:

Union attacks


22Jun07

CONJURING up images of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, the Queensland Police Union (QPU) yesterday launched a series of radio advertisements attacking the State Government over political interference in the case of Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley.

Sen-Sgt Hurley was found not guilty in the Townsville Supreme Court on Wednesday of the manslaughter and assault of 36-year-old Mulrunji Doomadgee at the Palm Island police watchhouse in November 2004.

Sen-Sgt Hurley, who has declined to comment since being cleared, has been reinstated and is on leave before he takes up a role at the Gold Coast police headquarters.

The police union is concerned that the prosecution only went ahead because the Government sought a second opinion on whether to charge Sen-Sgt Hurley over the death.

It followed public outcry after Queensland Director of Public Prosecutions Leanne Clare decided not to go ahead with charges, declaring the death a `tragic accident'.

One of the union radio advertisements, which aired yesterday, compares Queensland with the troubled African nation of Zimbabwe.

"Zimbabwe is a good example of what could happen where politicians override the laws to suit themselves," the ad says.

Several other ads accuse Premier Peter Beattie of interfering in the justice system and Parliamentary Speaker and Townsville MP Mike Reynolds of lobbying for the prosecution.

QPU president Gary Wilkinson said the decision to charge Sen-Sgt Hurley had been political.

"Politicians should not get involved in the legal system – there's something called the separation of powers that Peter Beattie doesn't understand," Mr Wilkinson said.

But he denied the union was trying to rub salt in the wounds of the Doomadgee family.

"We have a lot of sympathy for the community and the Doomadgee family," he said.

Mr Beattie said the union misunderstood the law.

"I'm not going to be intimidated by the police union ... the ads about (sic) the police union are not true," Mr Beattie told reporters in Melbourne.

Mr Beattie said the Government was not liable for Mulrunji's death and would defend any civil case brought against Queensland police by the dead man's family.

Aboriginal activist and academic Gracelyn Smallwood said she was offended by the ads.

Ms Smallwood said there was a `culture in the police force of thuggery and misuse of power' and the ads would `add fuel to the fire'.

"I pay union fees as a midwife and a registered nurse. If the president of my union behaved like the president of the police union I would not be paying my fees," she said.

"I'm calling on all police officers who say there's no thuggery to not pay the union."

Ms Smallwood said the family of Mulrunji were `horrified' that the ads were released.

"They are absolutely horrified that they called for calm and then there was the arrogance of the police union in putting those out today," she said.

"I see a positive side in all of this, it's gone all around the world.

"Many white mothers have said they're horrified, worried that next time it might be their white son."

Attorney-General Kerry Shine also defended his part in the case, saying the decision to bring a prosecution was purely based on legal advice. Mr Shine also denied that his decision to exercise his independent powers as attorney-general was at odds with the separation of powers.

"Indeed, it is an exercise of the separation of powers for a matter to go to the court and left for the court to decide, free of any interference," Mr Shine said.

"The attorney-general's power to bring an indictment is a power at law and does not infringe on the independence of the DPP."

Lawyer for the Doomadgee family Andrew Boe said there appeared to be grounds for a civil action.
 

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Doomadgee didn't die of "natural laws" as Citystyle said (I think you mean natural causes), even the police officer admitted that he had 'probably' kneed him (and if he admitted that, who knows what he wasn't admitting to), and all the medical evidence suggested he died of injuries sustained in custody. The case centred on whether the injuries inflicted on Doomadgee were deliberate, or if they just happened accidentally when Hurley 'fell on top of' Doomadgee. That alone should tell you that the whole thing was suspicious enough to warrant a thorough investigation. In the end, it was found that there wasn't enough evidence to convict Hurley, which is not surprising considering there were no witnesses apart from the police and a dead man.

For those of you saying the investigation was a waste of time, and just politically-motivated, well, what do you suggest should have happened instead? Do you really think that 'oh well, just another boong dead in custody, let's not worry about it' is good enough? :eek:hno:
 

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^^ No just that, as said above, the prosecuters had originally came to the very same conclusion as the jury, that there was no proof that the fatal injuries were maliciously caused by the officer. The DPP and CMC, independant bodies said there was no case, and as you yourself pointed out,

"they've got more experience in pressing charges than you or I."

the prosecuters never wanted to proceed with the case, yet Premier Beattie appointed a 3rd person, described by the leader of the opposition as a hired gun, to decide that a prosecution should take place.

Perhaps you should actually read some of the information on this subject before you post anymore. You seem to have an agenda that it's a cover up for evil police officers, probably racists anyway, trying to cover something up.
 

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Firstly, don't put words in my mouth, I never said that police officers are "evil" or that they're all "probably racists anyway".

Secondly, you didn't answer my question. What do you suggest should have happened in the wake of a man dying in custody, from injuries he sustained while in police custody?

And yes, the court decided that there was no *proof* that the fatal injuries were maliciously caused by Hurley, but it was always a court that should have decided this, not an internal investigation by the police themselves - hardly an impartial investigation! And just because it was never a guarenteed conviction doesn't mean it shouldn't have proceeded. Using your logic, no cases would be ever be prosecuted unless there is unequivocal CC-TV footage, or the criminal themselves sign affadavits admitting to their crimes!
 

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OK, but you used some terms above that made me think that way.

I can see why there was a trial, I am pulling you up on this original comment,

"the state prosecution certainly seemed to think so, and they've got more experience in pressing charges than you or I."

When in actual fact, they didn't think so, Beattie overrode the DPP for his own political purposes. He has just admitted to also leaking the second report to the media as well, it stinks. That is what the police union is furious about.
 
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