Chauvin Conviction shows that Australia Lags Behind USA

Last Updated on 21/04/2021 by National Justice Project

Today we have heard that the police officer that kneeled on the neck of George Floyd for over nine minutes while George Floyd called out “I can’t breathe” has been convicted of second-degree manslaughter for his death.

In Sydney’s Long Bay Prison on 29 December 2015, David Dungay Jr called out 12 times he could not breathe while he was being held face down in a similar position by NSW Corrective Services officers and yet his family are forced to continue their fight for justice.

Leetona Dungay, the mother of David Dungay Jr said today:

We have seen some kind of justice in the USA – when will we see justice in Australia? One of Sydney’s most senior criminal barristers has looked at my son’s case and he says that charges could be laid.

“Why won’t the DPP even investigate charges in my son’s case? Why won’t the Attorney-General and the NSW Premier take action to fix this injustice? If six Aboriginal men had held a white man down until he died, they would have been charged immediately!”

On the day he was overpowered by prison guards, David was alone in his cell, eating rice crackers he had purchased at the prison shop. Some of the nurses were concerned about David’s high blood sugar.

Instead of allowing the clinical care he needed unhindered, prison guards took over. The guards created a security crisis and the Coroner concluded that their actions that day were totally unnecessary. One guard called the Immediate Action Team (IAT). The IAT is like SWAT for prisoners. Over a packet of biscuits.

Last year over 113,000 people signed a petition calling for action in David’s case but nothing has been done by NSW Government authorities. The families have pleaded with the DPP, Safework NSW and the NSW Police to take action but they have been rebuffed at each stage.

The lawyer representing the family, George Newhouse (CEO and Principal Solicitorof the National Justice Project), has said:

“We pay our respects to the family of George Floyd and all families that have lost loved ones in custody here in Australia. The failure of the NSW government to take any action on David’s case highlights that Australia is lagging behind, even the USA, when addressing systemic racism in this country. After 30 years since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody, there is still no accountability.”

To speak with George Newhouse for further comment, or to request contact with Leetona Dungay, please call: 0422 255 109 or email at gnewhouse@justice.org.au