Family of Aboriginal man who died in custody wants meeting with commissioner
The family of a mid-north coast Aboriginal man who died while in custody at Sydney’s Long Bay prison in December say they want a meeting with the Corrective Services Commissioner.
The funeral for 26-year-old Dunghutti man David Dungay will be held in Kempsey on Tuesday afternoon.
Lawyer for the Dungay family, George Newhouse, said a coronial investigation had been launched into the death, but he said the family was “shell shocked” and wanted more action.
“They’re extremely concerned about information that’s being put about that somehow or other, their son’s death is related to any medical condition of his or that he died of natural causes, or in circumstances which were not suspicious,” Mr Newhouse said.
“They are incredibly concerned to get to the bottom of how their son and brother and family member died.”
Mr Newhouse said the family was not satisfied by the explanation he died from natural causes.
He said the family had told him they wanted to know how Mr Dungay died and, if anyone was responsible, that they would be held accountable.
“Right now, they want the coronial process to take its course,” Mr Newhouse said.
“But they are upset that Corrective Services NSW does seem to be sweeping this matter under the carpet by suggesting that he was being treated for his medical condition.
“The family aren’t certain that he was being treated for any medical conditions.”
In a statement last month, Corrective Services said police were not treating the death as suspicious.
“His death is being investigated by police officers working in the Corrective Services Investigation Unit, and like all deaths in custody, will be referred to the NSW state coroner for an inquest,” a statement said.
NSW Corrective Services assistant commissioner James Koulouris said the death was “a very sad event” and extended his sympathy to Mr Dungay’s family.