The Death of John Pat


Manage episode 268221544 series 2321268
By Zane C Weber and That's Not Canon Productions. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

WARNING: This episode discusses Aboriginal people who have died.

In 1983, a sixteen-year-old Yindjibarndi boy named John Pat died in police custody after sustaining injuries in the course of a fistfight with the police. His death was one of several Indigenous deaths in custody that caused an uproar amongst Indigenous Australia who believed, quite rightly, that the police were unfairly targeting, using excessive force, and ultimately causing the deaths of a disproportionate number of Indigenous people in police custody. John Pat’s death was one of several deaths of Aboriginal people in custody that caused sufficient outrage to spark a Royal Commission


With the Black Lives Matter movement gaining more ground than ever, it’s important to remember that police brutality doesn’t only happen in America. Australia has a long, dark history of heinous treatment of Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal deaths in custody is sadly only a part of the institutional racism that Indigenous Australians face. The death of John Pat, and of other Indigenous people we’ll be discussing in this season, was tragic, unnecessary, and was allowed to occur due to the systemic violence against Aboriginal people that has occurred virtually unchecked since colonisation.

You can read the Commissioner’s report into John Pat’s death here

This article discusses John Pat’s death within the larger context of Aboriginal deaths in custody and the Royal Commission here

30 years after John Pat’s death, not much has changed. Read more here

To learn about the Raise the Age movement, go here

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70 episodes