The mother of an Indigenous man who died in custody in Adelaide has told an inquest she hasn't seen video of her son's altercation with prison officers because it's "too painful to watch".
Caroline Anderson gave evidence at the inquest on Tuesday into the death of Wiradjuri man Wayne Fella Morrison in 2016.
Mr Morrison was in custody on assault charges and was being taken for a court appearance by video link when he became involved in a scuffle with officers, with a video shown to the court of him being restrained by up to 14 officers.
The 29-year-old man was placed in a prison van but was "blue and unresponsive" when he was pulled out shortly after.
The inquest was told there was no video from inside the van and prison officers inside the vehicle had refused to give statements.
Despite resuscitation attempts, Mr Morrison did not regain consciousness and died in hospital several days later.
Ms Anderson said she was concerned that officers involved had "blatantly refused to come forward".
She also told the inquest that as her son lay in a coma in hospital family members were never allowed to have time alone with him.
Only two visitors were allowed at a time and guards remained present at all times, the inquest heard.
"We were never left by ourselves. You couldn't be yourself around him," Ms Anderson said.
"We were always being watched."
She said at one stage a female officer used her body to continually block her children from getting close to him.
"Wayne's dying at this time. He's taking his last breaths," Ms Anderson said.
The inquest heard previously that a crucial aspect of the inquest would involve what happened during the three minutes Mr Morrison was held in the prison van after the initial altercation.
"Precisely what occurred in the van is unknown as seven of the eight prison staff who accompanied him have declined to provide police with statements," Counsel Assisting Anthony Crocker said in his opening address on Monday.
'They want the truth'
George Newhouse, the lawyer acting for Mr Morrison’s family, said the video evidence showing Mr Morrison’s restraint by more than a dozen guards resembled a “pile on”.
“This a person’s life that’s at stake,” he told NITV News.
“I understand that guards have a job to do but this look liked an uncontrolled scene.”
He said that Mr Morrison’s family simply wants to find out what happened.
“They’ve been saying right from the start, they want the truth to be told,” he said.
“At the moment there’s some question whether some critical witnesses are going to appear in court and Wayne’s mother Caroline made a plea today from the witness box that they do give evidence so that she can understand what happened to her boy.
“They also want anyone responsible held accountable.”
The inquest is continuing.