Thursday, June 17, 2010

Killer cop promoted

I suppose it's kind of appropriate that he is now working on the Gold Coast -- where thug cops are notorious. I guess his bosses want to keep him away from blacks. There are few blacks on the Gold Coast

THE police officer at the centre of the Palm Island death-in-custody saga has been promoted while fellow officers who protected him face demotion or dismissal. Senior-Sergeant Chris Hurley, now based on the Gold Coast after being charged and acquitted in 2007 of manslaughter over the death, has held the rank of Acting Inspector when filling in for senior colleagues.

As many as six officers face discipline for misconduct in a scathing 194-page Crime and Misconduct Commission report on the handling of the investigation into the 2004 Palm Island tragedy, to be released today.

The multimillion-dollar report into the investigation of the death in custody of Cameron Doomadgee, known as Mulrunji, found evidence of officers protecting colleagues and bias. The report is expected to recommend action against the officers.

In contrast, Senior-Sergeant Hurley, who has been based on the Gold Coast after being charged and acquitted in 2007 of manslaughter over the death, has held the rank of acting inspector when filling in for senior colleagues on high profile events such as Schoolies Week.

The death of Mulrunji after his arrest by Senior-Sergeant Hurley led to riots in which the police station and courthouse were burned down.

But the subsequent investigation was "deeply flawed", according to the CMC's report, which offers damning insight into a police culture of "double-standards". In a top-secret draft obtained by The Courier-Mail, the CMC named nine former and serving officers for action but last night the CMC indicated fewer officers had been included in the final version.

The two-year CMC probe uncovered evidence of police bias, police acting above the law, officers protecting fellow officers from blame and "obfuscating" evidence when police investigated police.

But criminal charges have not been recommended against the investigating officers. The penalties they face include reprimand, fines, demotion or dismissal. The police union has vowed to fight any sanctions against the officers, including seeking a judicial review of the CMC findings.

Mulrunji's family and the Palm Island community said the failure to lay criminal charges amounted to "little more than a slap on the wrist". "This multimillion-dollar witch-hunt has produced little more than a wrap over the knuckles," Palm Island mayor Alf Lacey said.

"How can they spend all this time and money not to come up with any criminal charges. If those police did wrong, they should be put in jail just like the rioters. "Black or white, what do you say when the system (that is) supposed to protect you, fails you? What do you say when the system ordinary Queenslanders trust, betrays that trust?"

Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson is urged in the report to act immediately to restore public trust in the Queensland Police Service. It says the QPS needs to rebuild the damaged image and repair the integrity of police. CMC officers will fly to Palm Island today to give the report.


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