Ray Jackson provides an overview of the 'TJ Hickey' injustices

There is extreme resistance by the NSW police and two Aboriginal 'Leaders' to allow the grieving Hickey family respect and the chance to honour the death of their only son and brother. Late last year the WA parliament made an apology to Mrs Mavis Pat for the death of her son, John Pat, who was killed by Roebourne, WA, police in September, 1983. Gail Hickey and her daughters are more than worthy of such an apology by the current NSW parliament.


TJ Hickey's mother Gail at the 2014 protest rally
Pic: ABC News

As the attached article by Sam Clark of the South Sydney Herald shows the world is indeed an amazing place. We of course need to localise our focus somewhat so we shall paraphrase by saying that Redfern-Waterloo is indeed an amazing place.


Ray Jackson, President
Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA)

On Friday 14 February, 2014 the Hickey family and their supporters called again for justice on the 10th anniversary of the death of 17 year old TJ as a result of a police chase by the then police officers at Redfern police station. Police (again) investigated their own and they prepared a brief of 'evidence' that hid the truth and factual details of what really happened on that day 10 years ago.

Then Premier Bob Carr instructed then state coroner, John Abernethy, to bring the inquest on quickly and then bury it whilst Gail was pressured into accepting a government-appointed legal team that done nothing during the inquest to find the truth of the events of that day. The brief of evidence from the investigating police allowed the then state coroner to exclude both important witnesses and serious evidence as not being relevant to his inquiry.

To sum up, the whole series of events was shaped to fit the forgone conclusion that no police were involved in the death of TTJ. Another bald face lie to add to so many other death in custody events involving the police.

The document below, produced in October, 2008, reflects only some of the legal anomolies from that travesty of justice, the original coronial inquest. I have made a deletion and added some items to bring it up to date with our current knowledge of those events in February, 2004

Items missing from 1st Coronial Inquest and needing to be presented in a 2nd Coronial Inquest into the death of Thomas J. Hickey:
  • Exact cause of death was not fully explored;
  • First aid implications were not pursued;
  • Bioengineering aspects of the mechanism of injury were not fully pursued;
  • 'Bystander' witness evidence was not fully pursued;
  • All witness evidence MUST be heard;
  • The arrival of a police rescue van at the incident scene was not investigated;
  • The forensic scene examination was incomplete. The evidence obtainable from the fence and pathway was not obtained and the area was steam-cleaned with undue haste. Within a matter of days all 5 police vehicles involved in the event had been steam-cleaned, repairs made and had been repainted thus destroying any possible vital evidence.
  • Detailed examination of the deceased's clothing was not made in reference to the deceased's injuries
  • The bicycle was not presented at the Coronial Inquest (it has been stated that there was interference to this crucial piece of evidence by investigating police and a Redfern Police Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer following instructions from senior Redfern police officers). MUST be presented at new Inquest
  • VKG records for the 14/2/2004 NOT presented, MUST be presented at new Inquest.

Personal mobile phone records between all 5 officers alluded to by Counsel assisting the Coroner but not actually brought into evidence. transcripts of all calls made by these 5 police officers between 0900 to midday on 14th February, 2004 must be produced.

Additionally the following people MUST take the stand in a new Coronial Inquest:

  1. 1. Constables Hollingsworth, Rocha, Rimmel and Reynolds to be recalled.
  2. Ms. Virginia Hickey.
  3. Ambulance Service personnel who attended the incident scene.
  4. Police Rescue personnel who attended the incident scene but who were sent away by Constable Hollingsworth.
  5. Aboriginal Police Liason Officer, as above.
  6. Aboriginal Detective very much involved in the events of that day but moved by police from Redfern Station on the day that TJ died. Also moved quickly from the Inquest by State Coroner Abernethy.

Error of Law
It was stated on SBS-Television's program "Living Black" (21 March 07) that Coroner Abernethy committed "an error of law" when he controversially excused Hollingsworth from giving key evidence at the Inquest. Hugh Selby (ANU Law School) stated on "Living Black" that the Coroner has the right to require any witness to answer a question even if that question could provide information that incriminated the witness but in that situation the Coroner gives the witness a certificate. That certificate means that what the witness says cannot be used against the witness in any other NSW court. In this case the Coroner declined to issue Hollingsworth with a certificate under the Coroner's Act on the grounds that his evidence could be used in disciplinary action against him by the NSW Police Commissioner.(.In fact Hollingsworth was promoted to Senior Constable and lauded by Commissioner Moroney for his 'bravery.')

The Coroner's "error of law", together with the huge list of other evidence withheld from the original inquest, is grounds for a new Coronial Inquest. Furthermore not only is a new inquest essential but as a second Coronial Inquest into the death of Australian soldier, Jake Kovco, has recently been granted and will be held before a jury, so too a second Coronial Inquest into Thomas' death should now also occur before a jury.

A full reading of the transcript of the Inquest also raises other anomolies of a legal nature.


TJ Hickey's mother Gail speaking at the 2014 protest rally
More images from this Rally

Returning to the Clark Report we are informed, once again, of the attitude from Commander Luke Freudenstein at Redfern as he echoes again the opinion that this 10th anniversary march will be the last.

I am not surprised by this view as it matches his view at least over the last 4 years. Every year that he has been at Redfern he has made his argument that Gail does not want to rally nor march; 'Gail is, in fact, being pressured by ISJA and Socialist Alliance to continue the lie of how TJ died'; He would endorse the plaque on the fence line but only if 'police pursuit' was removed and replaced with 'tragic accident'. This is his unchanging view. And he has a right to do so regardless of its lack of truthfulness.

I, of course, put the opposite case, the truthful case, but he is deaf to the words I use. As I have noted previously Gail and her family, ISJA and the rest of the supporters for Gail's cause and calls for justice, consider the rally and march held on 14th February, 2014 to be everything we could have asked for. With one exception and that exception is recognised by Luke and his team but they are so obsessed with stopping the TJ anniversary rallies and marches that they will grab and use any argument that they can use against ISJA. The 'other factions' that entered the march with their own banners and agendas has given the police that opportunity. Whilst the wording of the banners were not particularly offensive to me and others I was, however, offended by their use. Such banners seriously detract from the ultimate goal of the march and rally whilst deliberately exciting those police present.

Gail and ISJA have always called for non-violence as an integral platform of the march and the intrusion of these other banners fly in the face of that call. I was only told of the 'Fuck the Police' banner when we were travelling up Macquarie Street to Parliament House. I informed the senior officer that whilst I did not find the wording to be offensive, if he did then he should do something about it. They only attempted to remove both banners when the rally outside of parliament house officially ended, when I called for a minutes silence to honour Ms. Letty Scott and her fight for over 30 years for the murder of her then husband, Douglas Bruce Scott, in Berrima gaol in Darwin. Letty left us on St. Valentine's day, 2009.

It is quite easy for Luke to espouse his views on what happened during the march but I wonder if his concern stretched to the attitude and actions of his own police. I have several statements from individuals who witnessed the aggressive behaviour of two police officers on bycycles during the walk down Chalmers street. Both officers used their bycycles in a most aggressive and dangerous manner by forcing marchers to get out of their way. It was these actions that I believe led to the fracas that occurred whilst in Chalmers street. But of course this will not concern Luke one whit! He will believe what they tell him. Luke has his constituents, ISJA have theirs. Excluding the "other factions."

What is of concern to the Hickey family and ISJA is the report that both Mick Mundine and Mick Gooda attended the Redfern police station to "reaffirm their support to the police." and to "assure them (the police) that the offensive views of those in the march were not a reflection of the wider Aboriginal community." both Mick's are described as being 'local aboriginal leaders.' I absolutely refute those sentiments by Mundine and Gooda.

Mick Mundine is an absolute apologist for the Redfern police and he makes no attempt to hide that fact. It was during preparations on the third or fourth anniversary of TJ's death that Mick, in no uncertain words, told both Gail and I that Gail needed to move on, get a life, etc. Whilst I was accussed of lowering the 'tone' of Redfern! I was astounded by this outburst against Gail whose loss was relatively recent. Such an uncaring attitude from a man who had lost a son to drugs was just unbelievable. Mick, to me, is more driven by land values rather than a mother fighting for justice. I find Mick to be particularly arrogant, uncaring and lost in his own unfulfilled dream of the Pemelwuy project in which he wants to have built 62 housing units and to then sell 40 of them. In this he was stopped by the federal Labor government but perhaps the Abbott government will make his dream come true. That will be a nightmare for Aboriginal people with an historic connection to the block.

Luke Freudenstein continues to heap praise upon Mick and another redfern identity as the 'natural leaders of the redfern community.' I refute that claim as such leaders are not appointed by governments or their police forces; that is the pure role of the Aboriginal community only. Mick will not change and as long as our encounters are very brief and far apart then I can live with that. ISJA has nothing to do with the Aboriginal housing company (whatever happened to the original co-op that it was set up as?) although we were approached some years ago by a NSW Labor government to take over from Mick with their full assistance. ISJA declined their offer.

Mick Gooda is a different entity however. This Mick is 'our' Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner. He is in that well paid position to look after the human rights of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. He also has a responsibility to monitor and make a case for advancement in the social justice area of land rights. When looking at his social justice and land rights reports for 2013 I was disappointed to find only 19 pages of custodial concerns. A very brief scan found no emphasis on death in custody issues. Incarceration yes but not the more tragic outcome. The emphasis of the reports fall within the four arms of Howard's 'positive reconciliation' issues. Health, housing, education and employment. Whilst these are most certainly very important issues they are peripheral to the custodial issues that now wrack our young people and adults.

The article describes both Mick's as being 'local Aboriginal leaders.' I know Mundine has his office here but I am told he does not live in Redfern. I am totally unaware that Gooda is a Redfern local. He has certainly never attended any ISJA event or even a Watch Committee event before it. I would have much more respect had Gooda made himself known to the Hickey family to at least give Gail a chance to put forward her reasons for marching. Gooda has never approached either Gail or ISJA yet it seems he is more than willing to stand up and go public to support the Redfern police lies. Shame, Gooda, Shame.

I invite both Mick's to join Gail and her supporters outside of parliament house at 12.30 on Wednesday 19th March, 2014 to allow them to be made aware of why Gail and her family are still seeking justice. Come join us, you have nothing to lose except your ignorant biases.

Gail will be at parliament house to make herself available arising from the invitation that ISJA had sent previously to the attorney-general, Greg Smith and the police minister, Mike Gallecher on her behalf. The original invitation was totally ignored and we are giving both ministers the opportunity to apologise to Gail face to face for their initial disrespect to her by issuing that invitation once again via this form.

Gail wants Mike Gallecher to overturn the Redfern police resistance to the placing of the TJ memorial plaque on the fence line. This resistance has been quite evident since 2005 and surely the time has come to allow a grieving family to respect and honour the death of TJ as an only son and an only brother to his six sisters. Gail also wants to talk to Greg Smith about arranging for a parliamentary apology to her and her family for the death of TJ. Late last year the WA parliament made an apology to Mrs Mavis Pat for the death of her son, John Pat, who was killed by Roebourne, WA, police in September, 1983. Gail, and we, clearly recognise herself as being worthy of such an apology to be given to her and her family by the current NSW parliament.

We all hope that before the 11th anniversary rally and march is required real justice will be allowed to be given to Gail and her family. That outcome relies very heavily on the two ministers named above. The first law man of this state. An ex DPP exponent. A man sworn to uphold the law and the protection and access to that law for the citizens of this state. Whatever their station in life. For the police minister he too swears to uphold justice without fear or favour to his portfolio constituency, the nsw police force. Regardless of his previous life as a sworn officer of that force. The decision for justice is not theirs alone to give. It requires a court of law and legal argument. Not ministerial opinions. Justice needs much more than that.

Of God and Ceaser? Interesting times indeed!

fkj

Ray Jackson
President
Indigenous Social Justice Association

2013 Laureate
Prix de l'Homme de Francais
(French Human Rights Medal 2013)

isja01@internode.on.net
(m) 0450 651 063
(p) 02 9318 0947

1303/200 Pitt Street Waterloo 2017

www.isja.org.au

We live and work on the stolen lands of the Gadigal people.

Sovereignty - Treaty - Social Justice

ATTACHMENT
Rally for TJ marks ten years of protest

Samuel Clark · The South Sydney Herald · Wednesday, March 5, 2014

REDFERN: The cries for justice over the tragic death of Aboriginal teenager TJ Hickey on February 14, 2004, have been undermined by the actions of an outside group with its own agenda. The future of the commemorative rally, it seems, is now in jeopardy.

Nikki Hickey, TJ's sister, with protestors on February 14 (Photo: Claire Mahjoub)
Nikki Hickey, TJ's sister, with protestors on February 14
(Photo: Claire Mahjoub)

Nikki Hickey, TJ's sister, with protestors on February 14 (Photo: Claire Mahjoub)

Rally organiser Ray Jackson, president of the Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA), was “offended” by a small group of protestors whose members “were not there to support the Hickey family in any way”.

Up to 200 people attended the rally and march from Waterloo to Parliament House commemorating the tenth anniversary of the death of TJ Hickey and calling for an independent coronial inquest. However, offensive banners, abusive language, and misconduct directed at police from some in the march violated an agreement between the organisers and police.

While Redfern Commander Luke Freudenstein admitted there were “other factions who like to come in and cause trouble” he said that “this year we were going to try and stop it and go to the Supreme Court but I had a mediation meeting with Ray Jackson and he gave me his word that a number of things wouldn’t happen which happened last year.

“The word was broken and he dishonoured his signed agreement. It would be extremely difficult to negotiate and to trust Ray Jackson or a member of the Indigenous Social Justice Association again,” he said.

While Mr Jackson agrees that there were some issues during the march, he believes that “the events arising from [the] march have been grabbed by police and mutated into a reason for shutting the march down”.

The events led local Aboriginal leaders Mick Mundine and Mick Gooda to visit Redfern police station to reaffirm their support for the police and assure them that the offensive views of those in the march were not a reflection of the wider Aboriginal community. “I just went there to show that the relationship between the police and the Aboriginal people is much better than it was before,” Mr Mundine said.

Protestors were unified in their support for the Hickey family, as TJ’s mother, Gail Hickey, continued her call for justice. “I will not stop till I get what I want. I want the plaque on the fence [in Waterloo where TJ was thrown from his bicycle and fatally injured], I want a new inquest … and I want an apology.”

The family has been denied the installation of a memorial plaque because the police object to the mention of a “police pursuit”. The Coroner’s inquiry found that there was no police pursuit, however many are unsatisfied by the findings as they feel vital evidence was overlooked and key witnesses not called.

“We need to stop police investigating police,” Greens MP David Shoebridge announced to the protestors. “What other organisation in any part of our society would we accept [that from] … when an organisation you believe is at fault is the organisation that does its own investigation? We won’t get justice while we have police investigating police.”

Despite police views, Mr Jackson remains strong in his resolve, declaring that the march will go ahead next year. “As long as Gail Hickey and her family wish to march, we will march with her,” he said.

Ten years and no justice for TJ
Gayle Hickey, TJ’s mother said she will not stop until there's a plaque on the fence, a new inquest re-opened and an apology from the NSW government

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A major French human rights award has been given to the ISJA
Ray Jackson, along with the Indigenous Social Justice Association, will receive a major French human rights award.

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