International Day of Solidarity for Indigenous Australian Woman Ms Dhu

International Day of Solidarity for Indigenous Australian Woman Ms Dhu

[TW violence] The tragic and preventable injustices suffered by Indigenous Australian woman Ms Dhu deserves urgent international attention.

Earlier this week, the West Australian Coroner found that the death in custody of 22-year old Indigenous woman Ms Dhu was preventable. She was imprisoned for petty fines that White Australians are not jailed for, let alone ultimately die over. The police abuse includes denying Ms Dhu medical attention as she lay dying.

Ms Dhu died of respiratory complications due to infection.

Racism in policing

The footage below, which her family wishes to be shared widely, shows how police dragged her body as she lay dying. She was denied medical attention by police officers until long after she lost consciousness. The police insisted that they acted lawfully and dared to emphasise the “distress” of the 16 police officers and one assistant police commissioner in front of Ms Dhu’s grieving family (

Unwarranted concern for the police officer’s feelings was shamefully echoed by Western Australian Premier Colin Barnet, who said: “there was a difficult situation that the police were facing then, a lot of aggression,” despite the evidence showing Ms Dhu showed no aggression (

The footage and other evidence from the Coronial Inquest shows Ms Dhu was the only person in distress at the hands of police brutality.

Social science shows that police accept racist stereotypes of Black and Brown people, which affects their excessively violent treatment of people of colour.

Indigenous Deaths in Custody

It has taken two years for the Coronial Inquest to be finalised. If this was a White woman, not only would she never have ended up in jail, this case, and the footage would have led to swift national reform of police practices. Australia’s national racism is evident in the relative lack of public action on this case.

Indigenous deaths in custody has been a shameful ongoing problem for Australia, even 25 years after a Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody made recommendations to end practices that lead to systemic racism in the justice system. Indigenous Australians continue to have poor health, educational outcomes, lack of access to basic services and basic justice due to our ongoing colonial practices.


Ms Dhu’s family are asking for national and international solidarity today, 22 December 2016 ( Please watch the video and spread Ms Dhu’s story. Demand justice for Ms Dhu and justice for Indigenous families who continue to see case after case exonerated, excused and ignored.

Credits and learn more

Footage of CCTV released by The Guardian, posted by Ms Dhu’s family.

Research on police racism:

Royal Commission:

Incarceration rates: and and

More research, links and background on the case on my blog:

#sociology #msdhu #australia #indigenous #indigenousaustralian #blacklivesmatter #socialjustice #socialscience #woc

20 thoughts on “International Day of Solidarity for Indigenous Australian Woman Ms Dhu

  1. Ignorance and Indifference the two mainstays of how we fail to understand why we fail. If you have no respect for yourself, you’re likely to show zero respect and concern for others. If there are no consequences for this behavior, it persists. Seems to me that we are losing the best qualities of being human behind.


  2. jim potter That’s incorrect and it has nothing to do with this case. The Coroner found the police were responsible for Ms Dhu’s death.

    Mark SM It’s clear you have nothing to contribute to the discussion, so not sure what you’re doing here other than displaying disregard for the life and death of a disadvantaged woman.

    Veera Pulavar Not sure what you mean here but clearly you’re not here to discuss the topic at hand, which is the death of Ms Dhu, an Indigenous Australian woman who died due to the actions of police and neglect of medical staff.

    There are references on this post for those who want to learn more about the social injustices linked to this case.


  3. Susan Yost I hope there will be follow up on the police responsible! It’s a shame it’s taken this long to get to this point at all (two years is a long time for coroner’s findings especially given the nature of the crime), but hopefully the family will see justice soon.


  4. Jim Armstrong I agree there needs to be consequences and reform of the system. The coroner has made numerous recommendations for the justice system but not about the individuals involved, despite finding them responsible for Ms Dhu’s death. A travesty of justice.


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