Police in WA have launched yet another investigation into their own ranks after a police car failed to stop after running over and seriously injuring an Aboriginal woman in South Hedland.
The incident happened on Thursday evening at around 7.40 pm and has been largely ignored or downplayed by the media with headlines that read the woman “may have” been hit by a police car. However the same reports that downplay the incident later reveal that WA Internal affairs unit will oversee the investigation currently being carried out by the states major crash investigation unit.
Reports also reveal that police officers involved “felt a bump” but thought they had hit a kerb and therefore did not stop to investigate. But many Aboriginal community members are not buying this line from police, especially in the same town that has been plagued with incidents of police neglect and abuse to members of the local Aboriginal community. South Hedland is the same town that made international headlines after the Aboriginal death in custody of Ms Dhu in 2014.
On a positive note, the woman who was run over was actually found by a second police car who stopped and assisted the woman with first aid only a few moments after being struck. She is now in a serious but stable condition with fractures to her legs.
We definitely won’t be downplaying the incident by accepting the officers excuse as fact. We would encourage the investigators, the media and wider public to consider the very real possibility that the incident was not an accident. Covering up or downplaying these incidents with poor (unbelievable) excuses is only helping the police while building anger distrust among the local community.
Update: a Coles Indigenous engagement officer has reached out to us in the hope of contacting family members to offer some support to the family. Please contact our Facebook page so we can pass on his contact details.
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