#BanSpitHoods. Stop Black Deaths in Custody.

#BanSpitHoods. Stop Black Deaths in Custody.

5 May 2021
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Confirmed victory
This petition made change with 26,793 supporters!

Why this petition matters

Started by Latoya Rule

My brother Wayne Fella Morrison was a 29-year-old Wiradjuri, Kokatha and Wirangu First Nations man. He was a loving father, an artist and a fisherman. We love him, we miss him, and we want justice.

In September 2016, officers forced a spit hood over Fella’s head and cuffed his wrists and ankles in Yatala Labour Prison. Cuffed and hooded, officers laid Fella face down in a van. We know little of what happened, there’s no CCTV footage and - at this stage - officers are refusing to give evidence. What we do know is that Wayne was pulled unconscious from that van and died three days later from causes including asphyxia.

We cannot bring Fella back, but we know there is at least one thing we can do to prevent other families from experiencing a tragedy like ours - ban the use of spit hoods. We know how dangerous spit hoods are. A spit hood is a mesh-fabric device that conceals your mouth, face, and often head – making it difficult to breathe. They are often forcefully pulled onto a person’s head and secured with an elastic band around the neck.

Spithoods are torture devices. We will never forget the image out of Don Dale Youth Detention Centre of 13-year-old Dylan Voller, strapped to a chair and hooded by prison officers.

Similarly, we will never unsee Fella being held down by up to 12 officers as he was forced into a spit hood, cuffed, and then put into the van.

Around the world, international human rights organisations have called for an end to police and prison officers using spit hoods. Many people have died or been seriously injured. Spit hoods are a threat to human life, dignity and safety.
If spit hoods were banned, Fella might still be here.

We want these torture devices permanently banned. We want every single prison and police station in this country, every state and territory government, to choose to treat people as humans. People in government can decide to save lives by banning spithoods.

Our lives will never be the same. There have been seven Black deaths in custody since March this year, and almost 500 Black lives taken since the Royal Commission in 1991. It hurts us, and we will not stop fighting for this injustice to end. For every person that died in custody there are families and communities who are affected forever.

Please, get behind our family by signing and sharing this petition to ban spit hoods.

#BanSpithoods #JusticeForFella

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This petition made change with 26,793 supporters!

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