Posted in crime, police | 12 Comments »
Man ‘cooked’ to death in Australian prison van
SYDNEY (AFP) — The family of an Australian Aboriginal elder who died after being “cooked” in the back of a scorching hot prison van may sue after a coroner branded his treatment inhumane.
A coroner Friday described the treatment of the 46-year-old man as a “disgrace” and inhumane, saying he would ask prosecutors to consider criminal charges over his death from heatstroke in Western Australia in January 2008.
The elder, known only as Mr Ward as his first name was withheld for cultural reasons, was transported 360 kilometres (225 miles) to jail in temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius (122 F) in a van with faulty air conditioning.
Ward, who was arrested a day earlier for drink driving, spent four hours in the searing heat between the mining towns of Laverton and Kalgoorlie, suffering third-degree burns where his body touched the metal floor, the inquest heard.
Western Australia Coroner Alastair Hope found that Ward was effectively “cooked” to death and heavily criticised the state prisons department, the private security firm that operated the van and the two guards who escorted Ward.
“It is a disgrace that a prisoner in the 21st century, particularly a prisoner who has not been convicted of any crime, was transported for a long distance in high temperatures in this pod,” Hope said.
The hearing was told that when Ward eventually arrived unconscious at hospital in Kalgoorlie, his body was so hot that staff were unable to cool him down. After an ice bath, which failed to save him, he had a body temperature of 41.7 degrees Celsius as opposed to a normal temperature of 37 degrees Celsius.
Mr. Coroner Alastair Hope has it wrong, of course. The disgrace is that the uniformed gangsters roaming the countryside being paid with money stolen from innocents and kidnapping people, throwing them in chains and metal boxes in order to take them to larger cages made of concrete and steel where they’ll be kept like animals, all without said kidnap victims having harmed anyone, don’t wake up one fine morning to find their severed heads mounted on pikes along the palisades of the free cities.
But, oh, geez, I forgot. That wouldn’t be “civilized”, now, would it?
I’m sure it’s a great relief for the people of Occupied Australia that the two outsourced thugs from G4S aka Group 4 Securicor contracted for prisoner kidnap victim transport, “have now been suspended,” a year and a half later.