ONTD Political

Protests and outrage over police shooting of Aboriginal teens

6:11 am - 04/25/2012
APTN National News: In Australia, the shooting of two Aboriginal teenagers over the weekend has police in full damage control mode.

Six youth were in a stolen car when it was driven onto a sidewalk. The car hit a woman and dragged her for several metres. That prompted police officers to open fire on the car.

The 14 year-old driver and an 18 year-old in the front seat were shot.

The video of the incident shows one of the teens who was shot being dragged out of the car and repeatedly punched by one of the officers.

The incident has sparked outrage and Australian police are calling for peace.

The death of another teenager by police sparked riots in 2004. (- Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, National News)

A protester holds up a sign during a rally outside the New South Wales parliament in Sydney on April 24. - Bangkok Post

Angry protesters rallied outside Sydney's Parliament House on Tuesday over the shooting by police of two Aboriginal teenagers arrested in a stolen car in the city's nightclub district.">

Bangkok Post: The 14-year-old driver was shot in the chest and his front-seat passenger, 18, took a bullet in the neck when police opened fire on their car after it mounted a crowded footpath in Kings Cross early Sunday.

Police have said they had little choice after a woman was knocked over by the car and others were forced to leap from its its path.

But mobile phone footage shot by onlookers showing an officer punching and dragging one of those in the car along the ground has prompted accusations of excessive force and fed into racial tensions over the incident.

About 150 people including a number of the injured boys' friends gathered outside the New South Wales state parliament to protest their treatment, waving banners condemning racism and calling for an independent inquiry.

"You got a reason to hate the coppers, you know, when you're a young kid. But this crosses the line. (It's) straight-out racism," said 16-year-old Douglas Martin, a friend of the injured.

"I want them to get punished. Treat them the same as normal citizens. Just because they're coppers, that's just a... uniform, that's just a name."

Renowned Aboriginal boxer Anthony Mundine was among the demonstrators and described the shooting as "brutality at its best".

"There is no justification to just open fire like that, point-blank range, and furthermore bash them," said Mundine.

"There has been no ramifications, there's been no ramifications to the officers. Questions have got to be answered," he added.

Mundine said he had grown up with one of the boys' fathers and seeing the injured teens had been distressing.

"I saw the bloke and it just broke my heart to be honest. It really broke my heart. Fighting for his life you know?"

Police have repeatedly called for calm following the shooting, particularly in the impoverished inner-city Aboriginal district of Redfern, where wild rioting has taken place in the past.

One of Tuesday's rally's organisers, Ray Jackson, called for an independent inquiry into the shootings.

"We don't want police investigating themselves. That's never worked in the past, that's not going to work this time," Jackson told ABC Radio.

"We don't see any value in that. It's time the government bit the bullet and actually did something about setting up an independent investigative body."

Aborigines are Australia's most disadvantaged minority, with shorter life expectancy and much higher rates of imprisonment and disease than the broader population.

Primary Source - Bangkok Post
See also: The Ridge News
(no subject) - Anonymous
ms_maree 25th-Apr-2012 11:39 pm (UTC)
There is a bit more detail here, but it was just after, see the transcript.

(no subject) - Anonymous
ms_maree 26th-Apr-2012 01:27 am (UTC)
Well, this is a news article ona specific event and the ABC usually keeps the news articles to the facts and doesn't really go too much into the background - that's usually kept to opinion pieces or articles which go into the general history.

If you want to get a better idea keep an eye on this tag:

(no subject) - Anonymous
ms_maree 26th-Apr-2012 01:53 am (UTC)
Cool thanks, well I mean history as in the last couple of years really. And there is huge current diparities, someone who worked up in the territories said he's seen people in third world countries with better living conditions then the Indigenous communities in the territories.

Inter-generational problems like alcoholism, and domestic abuse is endemic and it most likely goes all the way back to the stolen generation when people were forcibly removed from their land. It's an area that burns out social workers and public servants at a fast rate, my sister was a teacher up there for two years and she went in with a lot of energy and came out going 'I don't know if there is a solution, it's too vast a problem.' Most of the kids don't attend school and there isn't any way to force them to attend school so a large chunk of the Indigenous population up there has no formal schooling at all.

And as I said, care factor overall in Australia is pretty low, though there isn't an Australian I have met who isn't aware of all the social and economic problems, it's just become background noise. It's pretty depressing.
(no subject) - Anonymous
kaowolfie 26th-Apr-2012 05:28 am (UTC)
There are absolutely parallels between how Australia, Canada, and the US have handled their respective indigenous populations. I have a dodgy memory because of migraines, and sometimes incidents blend together in my head because the root causes, modern and historical, are so much the same. Or I get dates of residential schools and stolen generations mucked up, because it happened in all three countries... you know?

Also, I miss anthropology. I took twelve credits of it from a really awesome dude when I was younger - he'd spent his entire working career helping US Indian tribes fuck the BIA over as much as they could, and get as much aid as they could.
(no subject) - Anonymous
kaowolfie 27th-Apr-2012 08:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I had some familiarity with the fuckery because my mom's dad was half-Creek. He spent his life trying to pass for white for his own safety, and refused to teach my mom anything about her family history from his side. Then he died in his 40s from cirrhosis of the liver related to alcoholism, so now I have a really violent reaction to people who crack "jokes" about those damn Indians and their "firewater" - it's not fucking funny. It's especially not fucking funny when alcoholism killed your grandfather and his father, and they drank to try and cope with living in a racist society that was committing literal and cultural genocide against them.

Cool story, sis, but I'm kinda wishing that we hadn't been raised white, now. While I could pass sometimes in the DC area, and assumed people's static was due to my clothes, I don't pass at all in Missouri. My husband's Cherokee and Blackfoot, and he's been having to teach me to cope, the way his dad taught him. It's been a sobering experience, especially since I know that I've got it *easy*. but I'm still really sad that if we see a lot of cops when we do a drive-by of the state capitol tomorrow, I can't safely go protest. :( He had to explain that to me in small words yesterday, which was a weird reversal since he semi-trusts the city cops to not be constant douchebags and I expect all cops to be potentially violent.
ms_maree 26th-Apr-2012 01:38 am (UTC)
As a depressing extra, this isn't going to get the same attention in Australia as the Martin case is in the United States.

For one, Indigenous people are a very small minority, even amongst the non-white population.

For two, most Australians who aren't Indigenous don't care, and they aren't going to care, most especially since the people who were shot were involved in a criminal activity.

Even when the victim didn't do anything wrong, most Australians don't care and it rarely gets any press. It really is a non-issue in the mainstream here so unfortunately, this event had a news cycle of one day and it barely was on the front page of the major newspaper websites for half a day. I don't see how it's going to change if nobody cares.
(no subject) - Anonymous
ms_maree 26th-Apr-2012 01:57 am (UTC)
One of the problems I think, and this is just an opinion is that the political cycle really throws these group under the bus. One major party starts some positive funding with community consultation, and then just when there are positive results they lose the election and the other party scraps the funding and then implements something else in another area disregarding the wishes of people on the land, trying to look like they are doing something overall with their new shiny initiative that's not tainted by the previous party's icky policies.

And it goes on and on, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat and nothing changes in the long term. And this isn't just Federal level, but the added fun of the State Level.
lozbabie 26th-Apr-2012 05:13 am (UTC)
This isn't going to get the same attention as Trayvon's case because they are NOTHING alike.

Trayvon was walking home from the shop. He'd done nothing wrong. He was targeted because he was black.

These boys were in the middle of a crime and had already injured two passerbys and there was still a very real possibility (almost certainty considering it was Kings Cross on a Saturday night. Place is packed) I don't like the NSW police but in this situation they did the only thing possible to stop anyone getting hurt.

Where they were wrong (and i havent seen video) was punching the injured passenger in the face. That should be what people are focusing on the police brutality after they'd subdued the offenders. Not the shooting which was justified.

It does a great disservice to Trayvonto even compare him to these boys. The situations are not alike.

Edited to change one word (erred to wrong) and correct typo.

Edited at 2012-04-26 05:28 am (UTC)
mahsox_mahsox 26th-Apr-2012 11:36 pm (UTC)
Yep. It isn't nice to Trayvon to compare the incidents in too general of terms. If people want to compare they should be very careful to pick out exactly which bits they are comparing.

Trayvon was buying sugary treats. Zimmerman wasn't law enforcement, also hadn't seen Trayvon do anything much more than just exist, could have just walked away anytime up until the final moments of whatever happened between him and Trayvon, there was zero pressure on Zimmerman to continue to engage the situation.

The Kings Cross kids were packed into a stolen car, which a fourteen year old was driving, and cruising Australia's most notorious party/alcohol/drug/prostitution/organised crime area right when the police were waiting for that area to break out into violence involving organised crime, and surprise sur-effing-prise they attracted the attention of law enforcement. The police have a mission to deal with kids doing stuff like that, get them off the street, into custody then charged, bailed and home with their supervising adults. We expect police to do this as much for the benefit of the kids involved as for the benefit of the rest of us who prefer our cars unstolen. They *had to* make a plan for dealing with the situation, and they appear to have made a plan that went badly wrong from its first moments, for a variety of reasons probably including (but not limited to) racism.

Edited at 2012-04-26 11:38 pm (UTC)
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