Coroner releases Tanya Day footage - Family to address media

Coroner releases Tanya Day footage - Family to address media

The Coroner investigating the death in police custody of Yorta Yorta woman Tanya Day has released the CCTV footage of the moment when Tanya Day fell and hit her head when she was locked in a police cell in Castlemaine.

Members of the Day family said watching the footage was incredibly confronting, but the coronial process is needed to help start the process of addressing the systemic racism that plagues the police force and the justice system.

“This CCTV footage shows the last few hours that our mum was conscious. It shows her being denied her basic humanity and dignity. Imagine having to watch your mum die in this way, with nobody held responsible. We want the world to see this footage because it is what our mum would have wanted. When you watch this harrowing footage, know that it is of a strong, proud and loving Yorta Yorta mother, grandmother, auntie and activist,” the family said in a statement.

MEDIA EVENT
WHEN: 11.30am 6 September 2019
WHERE: Coroners Court of Victoria - 65 Kavanagh St, Southbank VIC 3006
WHO: Members of the Day family.
WHAT: Members of the Day family will read out the following statement they have prepared and may want to take questions from the press.
Media contact: Ruth Barson, Legal Director, Human Rights Law Centre: 0417 773 037

Full statement from Day Family:

Our family have sat in this court for days now watching the CCTV footage of our mum, Tanya Day, dying in police custody. It has been, and continues to be, unbearably painful.

When you watch this harrowing footage, know that it is of a strong, proud and loving Yorta Yorta mother, grandmother, auntie and activist.

Our mum died because Victoria Police targeted her for being drunk in public, and then failed to properly care for her after they locked her up in a tiny police cell.  

This CCTV footage shows the last few hours that our mum was conscious. It shows her being denied her basic humanity and dignity. Imagine having to watch your mum die in this way, with nobody held responsible.

We want the world to see this footage because it is what our mum would have wanted.

We want the world to see this footage because our mum deserved to be treated with dignity and care, but was instead ignored and left to die on the floor of a police cell.

We want the world to see this footage because Aboriginal deaths in custody must end. Because no other family should have to suffer the heartache that we are living through.

Our mother should be alive today, enjoying her children and grandchildren.

There is no question in our minds that Victoria Police should be held accountable.

No police officer has ever been held criminally responsible for an Aboriginal death in custody in Australian legal history. Only accountability will ensure that the full truth of the deaths of our People is exposed and ended. 

Photo credit: Charandev Singh