The First Step Feb. 2011 - Page 17

There was a comment confirming that Mulrunji’s blood alcohol content indicated he would have been significantly intoxicated. His blood alcohol level wasa 292mg/100mL (0.292). His coordination would have been affected and he would have had less capacity to protect himself from injury in any altercation or fall. Associate Professor Ranson explained; “In my opinion the death occurred from blood loss as a result of the liver being torn. I believe the liver injury was the result of forceful pressure being applied to the front of the upper abdomen or stomach area. This force squeezed the liver by pushing it up against the front of the spine so that it was nearly split in half” Dr Ranson also said: “A complicated fall where the two individuals fall together from a standing position would not usually cause the liver laceration seen in this man unless during the process of the fall a small area of direct crushing pressure was applied to the front of the upper abdomen with the back or posterior lateral aspect of the body fixed against a hard surface... If a large person where to fall in an accelerated or uncontrolled fashion on top of an individual who was lying on their back on the ground such that a small part of their body, for example a knee applied a crushing type force to the upper abdomen, it is possible that such a liver laceration might be caused.” It was put to Hurley that Roy Bramwell had said:“All I can see is Chris’ elbow going up and down and “You want more Mr Doomadgee, you want more? Have you had enough Mr Doomadgee?” Senior Sergeant Hurley said:“I never um assaulted Cameron Doomadgee by punching him um, not once, not twice, not three times” . Mulrunji’s injuries were so serious that even if he had been reached in time, he would not be able to be stabilised for transfer into Townsville. In the mid 1980’s when a number of Indigenous deaths in custody was occurring, a call for a national inquiry was addressed after 22 Indigenous deaths in custody over six months. The Royal Commission Into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC) was set up in October 1987. Performance of police and prison officers was strongly condemned: [G]enerally, there appeared to be little appreciation of and less dedication to the duty of care owed by custodial authorities and their officers to persons in custody. We found many system defects in relation to care, many failures to exercise proper care and in general a poor standard of care. (RCIADIC 1991, vol 1, p 3) Interesting enough, it was not the first time Chris Hurley had been known for being violent. During Mulrunji’s case, the courts heard of another incident: A Palm Island ????????????????????????????????????????)?????????????????????????????????????????????????????)???????????!??????????????????M??????!???????????????)?????????????????????????????????????????????)??????????????????????]??????((