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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Watch house officer suspended over death in custody

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) has suspended a watch house officer for alleged failure of duty in relation to the welfare of Birri Gubba woman, Sherry Fisher-Tilberoo (pictured) who died in police custody this month.

Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd said the staffer had been suspended due to alleged failure of duty “in relation to the performance of physical checks” of Ms Fisher-Tilberoo and “related record keeping”.

It’s understood Ms Fisher-Tilberoo had not been checked for up to six hours before her body was found.

Asst Comm Codd said he understood she had been discovered deceased in her cell around 6am, with early police investigations revealing she was checked on at around midnight.

The suspended female watch house officer, who is not a sworn police officer, has been stood down on full pay.

Ms Fisher-Tilberoo was being held in remand, pending transfer to a correctional centre at the time of her death.

Her death prompted Black Lives Matter protests in Brisbane and calls for action to address indigenous deaths in custody.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal body, NATSILS, has described the situation as a “national emergency”.

An investigation into Ms Fisher-Tilberoo’s death is being overseen by Queensland’s State Coroner and the Crime and Corruption Commission.

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