WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the following article contains descriptions of people who have died.
On Saturday, tens of thousands of Australians swept the streets of the nation to protest against racism and Aboriginal deaths in custody. On the same day, it was announced that a 40-year-old Indigenous man had died while in police custody at a prison in Western Australia.
The inmate died on Friday after collapsing at the Acacia Prison in Wooroloo, an hour east of Perth. Western Australia’s Department of Justice said in a statement that the man could not be revived upon being found, and was pronounced dead at hospital.
Police say there does not appear to be anything suspicious, but they will be investigating the death, and confirmed there will be an inquest.
The Department of Justice will also conduct an internal review.
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In Australia, there have been at least 434 Aboriginal deaths in custody since the royal commission into the issue ended in 1991. In that time, close to 30 years, there have been zero convictions as a result of these deaths.
An analysis by Guardian Australia of Indigenous deaths in custody in the 12 months between August 2018 and August 2019, found the proportion of deaths where “medical care was required but not given” had increased from 35.4 per cent to 38.6 per cent.