The Queensland Police Service has suspended an officer over the recent death in custody of Birri Gubba woman, Sherry Fisher-Tilberoo at the Brisbane City Watch House.
Ms Fisher-Tilberoo who was on remand, was found unresponsive in her holding cell in Brisbane on the 10 September. Immediately after her death the Ethical Standards Command launched an investigation.
At a media conference late yesterday, Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd said the watch house officer has been sent a suspension notice.
"On the basis of interim advice provided by investigators, the QPS has taken decisive action including suspending an assistant watch house officer from duty, pending the outcome of that investigation," he said.
“This suspension relates to allegations of failure of duty in relation to regular physical checks on prisoners in the watch house and related record keeping.
"My understanding is that the last known movement of Ms Tilberoo was somewhere around the midnight mark, or shortly after midnight, and of course she was located deceased shortly after 6:00am.
“So there's a period of somewhere between five and six hours that we're talking about where the issue around the appropriate combination of viewing what's occurring in cells from CCTV footage is married up with protocols around the physical checking that happens in cells. And that’s the matter that’s under particular scrutiny.”
The Assistant Commissioner also revealed that the Queensland Police Service has appointed a senior superintendent of police to the role of State Custody Officer, who will be responsible for reviewing all watch house processes.
Last Friday night, hundreds gathered in Brisbane outside the Brisbane Watch House to remember Aunty Sherry, who has been described by her family as a loving woman.
Her death brings the number of Indigenous deaths in custody since the 1991 Royal Commission to 441.