Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police apologises to First Peoples
On behalf of Victoria Police, Chief Commissioner Shane Patton APM apologised “unreservedly” to First Peoples for police actions since colonisation and continuing to the present day.
In a hearing at the Yoorrook Justice Commission, the Chief Commissioner said that “as a result of systemic racism, racist attitudes and discriminatory policies of police,’ injustices had “gone undetected, unchecked and unpunished.”
He stated that this injustice had caused “significant harm across generations of Aboriginal families.” Chair of the Yoorrook Justice Commission, Professor Eleanor Bourke AM, responded: “Your apology must bring real change.”
Victoria Police Hearing Shorts
Yoorrook recently completed a month of public hearings during which Commissioners questioned government ministers and senior bureaucrats about injustices against First Peoples in the criminal justice and child protection systems.
These historic hearings marked the first time an Aboriginal-led Royal Commission has publicly held to account the authorities that have exercised power over the lives of First Peoples for generations.
Throughout the hearings, government ministers and senior bureaucrats publicly reckoned with past and present injustice against First Peoples, in many cases responding to harrowing evidence given by Community members at previous Yoorrook hearings and in submissions to the Commission.