Custody death man ‘bashed by police’

Hands in prison celloriginally by: The Australian
published: 21 June 2012

An Aboriginal man who died in police custody had been bashed by officers in the weeks before his death and was fearful of them, an inquest into his death has been told. On Thursday the aunt of Kwementyaye Briscoe, who died at the Alice Springs watch house on January 4, spoke in court about the death.

“He had been attacked by two police offices in the company of his girlfriend,” Patricia Morton-Thomas said. “If he ran on the night he died I would suggest it was because he was afraid.”

Ms Morton-Thomas said things needed to change in Alice Springs, with every single member of her family experiencing police persecution in the past.

The death of Mr Briscoe made headlines after some people arrested with him said police roughed him up while in custody on the night he died.

The inquest has previously heard that police made serious errors on the night he died, including admitting him to the watch house while he was unable to answer basic health questions, dragging him to the cells because he was unable to walk, and ignoring calls from other prisoners to help him.

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