Warning for readers this story contains the name of an Indigenous person who has died.
The family of a Gungarri man who died in police custody are calling for officers in Queensland to be banned from using neck restraints and chokeholds as a use of force.
Steven Lee Nixon-Mckellar died shortly after Queensland police applied pressure to his neck while getting arrested outside his cousin’s home in Toowoomba on October 7, 2021.
Yesterday marked the first day of an inquest into Steven’s death and his mother Dr Raelene Nixon wants the Queensland Police Service to review it’s discriminatory policies, implement recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, and incorporate Aboriginal cultural obligations into their western law manuals.
The use of the restraint also known as a “sleeper hold” was banned following a 12 month review in April.
However the ban was overturned a month later to be used in dangerous situations to prevent grievous bodily harm.
Before the inquest began about 40 friends, family and supporters gathered outside the Toowoomba courthouse for a peaceful vigil to generate awareness around deaths in custody and to remember the 551 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have died since the royal commission handed down its findings in 1991.
Three Queensland Police Officers are expected to give evidence during the inquest.
Hearings are due to finish on Friday.
13 Yarn offers 24/7 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Support Services 13 92 76