• Apryl Day, Belinda Day and Warren Day with supporters in Melbourne outside the Coroners Court of Victoria. (AAP)Source: AAP
The family of Yorta Yorta woman Tanya Day, say they are shocked and hurt at a decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions not to proceed with criminal charges against the two officers involved in her death in custody.
Keira Jenkins

27 Aug 2020 - 5:27 PM  UPDATED 1 Sep 2020 - 12:18 PM

The Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) will not lay charges against the two police officers involved in the 2017 death of Yorta Yorta woman Tanya Day.

Ms Day's daughter Apryl Day said the family is 'devastated and angry' at the decision.

"We were hoping that after nearly three years of fighting for justice for our mum she would get what she deserves and that's justice and recognition of what had happened to her, and that those two police officers would be held accountable for her death" she told NITV News.

Tanya Day fell asleep on a train on the way to Melbourne in 2017, and was arrested for being drunk in a public place.

She was taken to Castlemaine Police Station and placed in a cell where she fell and hit her head. She died in hospital 17 days later.

During the 2019 inquest, the coroner found that the police had failed to take proper care for Ms Day's safety, security, health and welfare.

Following the inquest the coroner referred the case to the DPP, saying an indictable offence may have been committed in connection with her death.

'We'll keep up this fight'

Apryl Day said she and her family had 'put everything into this fight' and are still processing the DPP's decision not to pursue criminal charges.

"We're still shocked and hurt and trying to process what this means," she said.

"We're just taking a step to figure out what our next move will be but we stand strongly in believing that police shouldn't be investigating police.

"There is no way you can have an investigation that's been done in the appropriate manner when it's been investigated by police."

While Ms Day and her family are still deciding on their next steps, she said they will not stop fighting for justice for her mum.

"For the rest of our lives we'll have to keep up this fight for mum because the way Aboriginal people are treated in this country is disgusting," she said.

"The Victorian Government and governments all around the country refuse to acknowledge what's happening in their own country and the rate that Aboriginal people are dying at the hands of police and within the prison system. 

"We just don't want another family to go through what we've gone through because it feels like we've gone to hell and back.

"Mum deserves the justice that she should get, she deserved the respect and dignity that she didn't receive at that time from Victoria Police and so does every other Aboriginal person who has died at the hands of police."

Tanya Day Inquest: Coroner recommends Victoria Police officers be referred to DPP
Coroner Caitlin English made several recommendations including the landmark decision to ask for Victoria Police officers to be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions.