Officer in Palm Island death case suspended

October 07, 2006 07:17pm

Article from: AAP

THE officer blamed for the death of an Aboriginal man in police custody on Palm Island has been suspended from duties, Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson said.

Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley will be suspended from all police duties with pay, Mr Atkinison said in a statement tonight.

Deputy state coroner Christine Clements last week ruled Sgt Hurley caused the death of 35-year-old Mulrunji Doomadgee in police custody on Palm Island on November 19, 2004.

She ruled the officer had struck Mr Doomadgee several times before police left him in a holding cell where he died.

Sgt Hurley had been restricted to desk duties at a Gold Coast police station as he awaits a decision from the Director of Public Prosecutions on whether to bring criminal charges.

Mr Atkinson said lawyers for Sgt Hurley had requested he be suspended from duty with pay.

"Mr Atkinson considered all aspects of the submission and decided to issue a notice of suspension from all police duties with pay in relation to Sgt Hurley," the statement said.

"It is anticipated that this notice will be served this weekend and will take affect immediately upon service."

Unrest following Mr Doomadgee's death sparked a riot which left the island's police complex burned to the ground.

There had been repeated public calls for Sgt Hurley to be stood down following the coroner's findings.