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Wups, our bad

14 June 2009 by Mike Gogulski
Posted in crime, police | 12 Comments »

Via ABC News and AFP-via-Google-news:

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.

His shirt in this photo reading "Zen - Awakening - Mind", and looking like a terrible menace, we can all rest easier that the criminal Mr. Ward was dispatched promptly by our overlords

His shirt here reading "Zen - Awakening - Mind", and looking like a terrible menace, we can all rest easier that the evil Mr. Ward was dispatched promptly by our overlords

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.

  1. 12 Responses to “Wups, our bad”

  2. By NickyTheHeel on 14 June 2009

    Jesus. How fucked up is that?!?!?

  3. By George Donnelly on 14 June 2009

    Judge, jury, executioner.

  4. By Denmorin on 14 June 2009

    I’m waiting for the comments from people saying he got what he deserved and shouldn’t have broken the law… 5…4…3…2…1…

  5. By Stephanie on 14 June 2009

    That’s pretty bad. I can imagine ‘cooking’ to death after spending the last month constantly sweating in Southeast Asia.

  6. By Ethan Lee Vita on 14 June 2009

    It is times like this you are greatly reminded of the state’s evil. Its times like this when your passion burns bright.

  7. By Mike Gogulski on 14 June 2009

    @Ethan: Maybe… but why do I feel like I’d like to hide under a rock?

  8. By George Donnelly on 14 June 2009

    I just feel incredibly sad for this man.

    Ethan’s younger than we are, Mike, so perhaps he is not as conscious of his own mortality as we are?

  9. By Mike Gogulski on 14 June 2009

    I dunno, George… the “hide under a rock” bit refers to me just being incapable of watching much news these days. I’ve had to turn the horror input filters way up just to maintain sanity.

  10. By Rebekah on 14 June 2009

    Wow. I’m so utterly disgusted by this I want to vomit. They were SUSPENDED?!?!? A year later? WTF????

  11. By Ryan on 14 June 2009

    I think your post title is pretty damn accurate. Whenever the State messes up, it just kind of ‘eh’s and moves on. After all – it has the might; it has the right.

  12. By Ethan Lee Vita on 15 June 2009

    It comes more from the stoicism I’ve slowly built up within myself George. I was always conscious of my life, but now I’ve come to the point where I don’t fear death. It is merely non-existence. There is no need to fear what is not here and I’m not here when death is here. It would be as if fearing the period before life, for that is non-existence as well.

  13. By George Donnelly on 15 June 2009

    Kudos. Because I’m terrified of death. The party ends and I won’t even be aware of it.


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