15 April 2020

Human Rights Law Centre: “In a landmark decision, the Coroner in the inquest into Tanya Day’s death in police custody has referred Victoria Police officers to the Director of Public Prosecutions for criminal investigation, saying that she believes ‘an indictable offence may have been committed’. The Day family argued from the outset that there was a possible case to answer in relation to negligent manslaughter. … The Coroner’s other important findings include: That the V/Line officer who woke Tanya up on the train and called the police was influenced by unconscious bias and his decision making was influenced by her Aboriginality. That … was not checked on in accordance with police procedures, that she was treated with complacency and that her human rights to be treated humanely and with dignity were breached. … That police should not be investigating other police officers when it comes to Aboriginal deaths in custody.” Remarkably, the coroner also demanded a change in the law to give the coroner more control [$] over the evidence gathered for future inquests, because of “the lack of clarity, both real and perceived, regarding the independence of the coroner’s investigator from Victoria Police.”