Thursday, June 17, 2021

The freedom of the press still furnishes that check upon government which no constitution has ever been able to provide – Chicago Tribune.

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Briscoe inquest: Alcohol's 'flotsam and jetsam' forever a burden on police?

When Kwementyaye Briscoe died in the Alice Springs police watch house in January it was a tragic event for him, his family and the community.
The coronial enquiry heard evidence that police procedure surrounding the death was inadequate and more appropriate action by several officers may have prevented the death of the extremely drunk man.
Counsel for the Northern Territory Police Association (NTPA) Lex Silvester addressed the enquiry and acknowledged the severity of the events: "That Kumanji’s death occurred in the circumstances then prevailing is a matter for profound regret. The loss of a child, brother, sister, relative or friend causes terrible grief the extent of which can only ever be known to those closest."
However, much of Mr Silvester's address to the Coroner, in its content and significance to the community, went well beyond the events of that night.
It painted a horrendous picture of the trauma, mayhem and tragedy alcohol is causing, and the intolerable burden that is placed on the police, every day. It went further to urge a sweeping independent review of the take-away liquor trade in Alice Springs. 
The Alice Springs News Online has been an important forum for discussion about better management and control of the use of alcohol. It is in this spirit that we publish excerpts from Mr Silvester's submission.

PHOTO: Police CCTV image of Kwementyaye Briscoe in the watch house shortly before his death.

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