SIX officers must face disciplinary action over their roles in two investigations into the death of Cameron Doomadgee at the Palm Island watchhouse in 2004.Yesterday the Crime and Misconduct Commission handed down the findings of its review into the handling of Mr Domagee’s death and was scathing of the Queensland Police Commissioner, Bob Atkinson, and his leadership.However, the police union says the commission neglected its moral responsibility to take over investigations into the indigenous death in custody.Mr Doomadgee died from internal injuries after his arrest for drunkenness and a scuffle with the arresting officer, Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley, who was later acquitted of manslaughter.The Queensland Police Union president, Ian Leavers, lambasted the commission and its chairman, former supreme court judge Martin Moynihan, attacking the organisation’s credibility and independence.Three days after Mr Doomadgee’s death, Mr Atkinson wrote to the commission asking it to handle the investigation, but nothing was done, Mr Leavers said.”This … letter indicated that due to the complexity, the racial issues and the seriousness of the matter … that the CMC should consider taking over the investigation, and nothing was done,” Mr Leavers said yesterday.”The CMC not only had the power, as well as the authority, but they had the moral obligation, too, of taking over this investigation.”The CMC has given the commissioner two weeks to say what action will be taken against the six officers – four involved in the first investigation and two others who carried out an internal review.Mr Doomadgee’s death on November 19, 2004, sparked riots and saw the local police station burnt to the ground, amid widespread local perceptions of a police cover-up.AAPArts – Page 20
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