The death of George Floyd in the United States of America (USA) in June has re-kindled the anger mass about incarceration and police brutality against the Aboriginal people in Australia.
Reports confirmed that more than 400 Aboriginal people have died in police custody despite findings and recommendations from a national inquiry back in 1991.
The has led to calls to shift resources away from policing and prisons and towards empowering indigenous people to make the decisions that affect their community, like it has recently happened in the U.S.A.
Keenan Mundine (33), Aboriginal Australian, keeps young people away from prison and help them navigate the often-tense relationship with the police through his project.
Mundina said the only time the ‘blue uniform’ comes into their community is to take away a loved one, confirming fear strikes him whenever he sees a police officer.
While chatting with a journalist, he pointed to different tower blocks, each with a different encounter with the authorities – one
was where his best friend was chased by the police and fell to his death from a balcony.
He said:”I was actually arrested once in that very place we are right now”.
His fear is echoed among thousands of other first nations families, as indigenous Australians make up less than 3% of the population, but represent more than a quarter of adult prisoners.
More than half the children sentenced to juvenile detention in Australia are Aboriginal and an indigenous teenage boy is more likely to go to jail than to university.
Roxanne Moore, executive officer for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services said: “The over-incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people today is a direct legacy of colonisation in Australia.
Massacres and the jailing of indigenous Australians enabled British settlement here from the late 18th Century, with the police playing a big part in forcing people off their land.