Indigenous Australian television host Brooke Boney has spoken about her own familyâ€™s experience with police brutality after Black man George Floydâ€™s death in the US, and recent footage of a whiteÂ Sydney police officer slamming an Aboriginal teenagerÂ to the ground.
The â€˜Todayâ€™ show presenter, who is a proud Gamilaroi woman, told viewers on Wednesday that she has â€œseen stuff like this my whole lifeâ€ after growing up in a housing commission in Muswellbrook in NSWâ€™s Hunter Valley area.Â
â€œWhat we are seeing there is the lived experience of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. There wouldnâ€™t be an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person who hasnâ€™t been affected by this sort of violence, by deaths in custody and been deeply affected by the pictures coming out of the US,â€ she said.Â
The media personality recalled an incident a few years ago where she saw her grandfather approached by police with physical force.Â
â€œI know that sometimes police are heavy-handed when it comes to Aboriginal people. One of the experiences that I had at the footy a few years ago…â€ she said on the Channel 9 breakfast TV show.
â€œThe police frogmarched my 72-year-old grandfather out. Every single one of us thought he was going to die, either of a heart attack or they would do something to him.
â€œThey said he was being drunk and disorderly. My grandfather doesnâ€™t drink. Tell me if that would happen to any of your grandfathers? It wouldnâ€™t,â€ she said, addressing some of her non-Indigenous co-stars.Â
â€˜Studio 10â€™ television presenterÂ Narelda Jacobs, whose father is a Whadjuk Nyoongar man, said many Indigenous Australians have placed trust in police, but â€œon a number of occasions, itâ€™s not gone to planâ€.Â
â€œAs much as we have had those trust issues with police, I think Aboriginal people really do still respect authority because at the end of the day we expect them to make us feel safe and we do call upon them to make us feel safe,â€ Narelda told HuffPost Australia on Monday.Â
â€œBut on a number of occasions, itâ€™s not gone to plan and on a number occasions when family have phoned police to help out the situation, people have ended up dead.â€
The Guardianâ€™s special 2018Â Deaths Inside reportÂ used 10 years of coronial data to find that 407 Indigenous Australians had died in police care since the end of 1991â€™s royal commission.
A junior constable is being investigated by police after footage went viral of him using force to arrest a 17-year-old in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Surry Hills.
Speaking on 2GB radio on Tuesday, Commissioner Mick Fuller said the police could haveÂ â€œhandled the situation betterâ€ but the officer, to his knowledge, has not had prior blemishes against his name.Â Â
â€œThe fact that this officer doesnâ€™t have a chequered history and heâ€™s been in for three and a half years,â€ he said.Â
â€œYou would have to say heâ€™s had a bad day and Iâ€™m sure most of the community wouldnâ€™t want to see someone sacked after making such a commitment to the community.â€
Since George Floyd, a Black man, died in Minnesota after a white police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes, cities across the US and world have protested against police brutality and racial inequality.Â
AÂ Black Lives Matter protest in SydneyÂ saw a turnout of thousands on Tuesday, as Australians rallied in solidarity with protesters in the US but also to raise awareness of Australiaâ€™s own history with police killings.Â