Guarding against law and order excess
Last year Kumanjayi Langdon, a proud and respected 59-year-old Warlpiri man, died in police custody in Darwin.
His crime? Police suspected he was drinking in a park. He wasn’t causing any disruption, and was polite and cooperative at all times.
Despite the offence carrying a maximum penalty of a $74 fine, he was handcuffed in public and put in the cage on the back of the police van. Police issued him with an infringement notice but still detained him, searching him and placing him in a concrete cell in the watch house with strangers. He died around three hours later of heart failure.