• Ms Dhu died in a WA watch house after twice being told she was medically fit to be in jail. (Julieka Dhu)
GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: The WA coroner has decided to release footage of an Aboriginal woman who died in police custody, granting her grieving family their wishes. Some people may find this video distressing
Source:
NITV News
16 Dec 2016 - 2:11 PM  UPDATED 16 Dec 2016 - 5:05 PM

NITV News has published the video below at the request of Ms Dhu's family. It may contain scenes some readers will find distressing.

Ms Dhu, whose first name is not used for cultural reasons, died two days after being locked up at South Hedland Police Station in August 2014. 

She suffered from acute septicaemia caused by an infection in the bone of two broken ribs.

GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: Watch the CCTV footage of Ms Dhu's final hours

Security footage of Ms Dhu between her arrest for unpaid fines totalling $3622, stemming from charges including assaulting police on 2 August, and her death which was just 44 hours later - was shown several times during an inquest into her death in custody.

The footage captured distressing vision of Ms Dhu being handcuffed, dragged and ridiculed from her cell, less than two hours before her death because she could no longer stand, and was labelled as just another ‘junkie’ by police officers.

Earlier clips capture her crying in pain for more than thirty minutes while waiting to go to hospital, and soon after, being yanked upright by a police officer who soon after couldn’t handle Ms Dhu’s weight and dropped her, causing her head to hit the concrete cell floor.

Coroner: Ms Dhu's death preventable, police 'unprofessional and inhumane'
The West Australian coroner has handed down her findings into the causes of Ms Dhu's death.

Ms Dhu’s grandmother Carol Roe and mother Della Roe recently requested coroner Ros Fogliani to release CCTV footage of Ms Dhu's final moments.

"Our child died a cruel and painful death. The world should see how she was treated," the pair said in a statement.

"For the last two years, we have been suffering alone - everyone should understand our grief and make sure this never happens again."

Ms Dhu's family initially opposed media requests to obtain vision from the lock- up, which was repeatedly played during a coronial inquest.

But their lawyers later said the family had reconsidered their position and believed it was in the public interest.

Marc Newhouse, Chair of Death in Custody Watch Committee, (DICWC) says it is of critical importance that this vision is released.

“It’s in the public’s interest to know exactly what happened behind those closed doors," he said.

“Sitting through the inquest it became apparent to members of the public that not only the police’s version but the hospitals too, were inconsistent. This footage will provide evidence of what actually happened to counter any inconsistencies and that’s why it needs to be seen.”

Mr Newhouse says at a time like this, we need to support the family.

"The family want it released and they want the world to know the truth... It's of critical importance that people are aware of the events that occurred,” he said.

"It has caused the family a lot of trauma … Their view is that she disregarded their wishes but now, they welcome the opportunity for that to be turned around."

Ms Fogliani dismissed the application at the time, saying the footage was distressing and Ms Dhu's privacy outweighed the public interest, but renewed calls for the footage to be released has led to a fresh hearing.

Ms Dhu’s uncle, Shaun Harris recently told NITV News that the vision has been withheld because it will cause public outrage.

“The reason why the footage has been suppressed all this time is because the Government is afraid of the outcry - the deserved public outcry, when they do get to see this footage, because all the normal people out there… have a heart and know the wrongs that have been undealt.”

Ms Dhu was taken to hospital three times in the space of 48 hours after she was taken into custody for non-payment of fines.

The 22-year-old died after being taken to hospital the third time.

Ms Roe said she wants justice.

“They let her die like a dog. We want to see the police, the medical people and the mongrel who hurt her in the first place brought to justice.”

Earlier in the year at an inquest, several police witnesses said they believed Ms Dhu was either faking or exaggerating her symptoms, and said they were shocked when they heard she died.