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Byron Shire
May 13, 2021

The crime of being black

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Derek Chauvin, the American cop who continued sitting on the neck of George Floyd as he endured his death cycle mutterering for nearly 10 minutes, ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,’ has been convicted of two counts of murder, and one of manslaughter. His crime? He was a Black man in America.

In Australia, the campaign for justice for young David Dungay continues. Davids crime? He was a Black man who was a diabetic and refused to give the prison guards the packet of biscuits he was eating. This crime ‘justified’ the need for Corrective Services to call in the ‘De-escalating Team’ who pounced on David’s neck. A nurse administered a ‘tranquiliser’: a needle that is used on Death Row in America. A team of four to five ‘De-escalating team members’ maintained this choke-hold on David. He constantly repeated ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe’. Amongst the last words he heard before he departed Earth was one of the choke-hold De-esculating Team stating, ‘You must have breath if you can keep repeating I can’t breathe’. The campaign for justice for David continues.

Approximately three years ago young, innocent, Tane Chatfield, a Black youth, ‘suicided’. Tane was excited about returning home after being found innocent of the crime that led to his incarceration. His body was covered in bruises. There was blood under his nails. His eye-socket was severely damaged. His long plait or ‘ratstail’ had been cut before he ‘suicided’. It was never found at the scene of his ‘suicide’ – never!

At the recent passionate Deaths in Custody demonstration remarkable youths loudly chanted ‘They say accident… We say murder!’ Justice awaits in white supremacist Australia 2021. Never give up!

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