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The natives have died in police custody in New South Wales, the fourth in Australia this month.
Anzac Sullivan, a 37-year-old man from Barkindji, was killed in a police chase in Broken Hill on March 18.
“Anzac was a beloved brother, nephew, son and uncle. He was loved by many in his community and passed away,” Sullivan’s sister Donna said Thursday.
A family and their community are mourning the death of Barkindji man Anzac Sullivan, the fourth Indigenous person to die in Australian custody in three weeks. https://t.co/StWx9zd1kS
— SBS News (@SBSNews) March 25, 2021
Sullivan’s death follows the deaths of three Native Americans who were in custody in less than a week earlier this month.
A man died on March 7 at Ravenhall Correctional Center in Victoria and a woman in her 50s died in custody in New South Wales the same day.
Another man in his thirties died on March 2 in New South Wales.
NSW / ACT Indigenous Legal Services said the death toll was a “big red flag.”
“We are devastated and angry that another precious life has been lost,” said lawyer Sarah Crellin.
“For four deaths in just over two weeks, a big red flag is that something is seriously wrong with the police and corrective systems in Australia.”
As the 30th anniversary of the graduation of the Royal Commission into Indigenous Deaths in Custody approaches, the time for action is long past, he said.
“Five hundred Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders have died since the Royal Commission was taken into custody to end the deaths.”
“As we approach the 30th anniversary, it is inconceivable that more lives will be killed without signs of meaningful government action.”
He calls on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to meet with family members whose loved ones have died in custody and to involve state and federal governments in a plan of action to combat the scourge.