Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Many Aborigines are their own worst enemy

A case in point. He paid the ultimate price for his foolishness.

If you want the police to be civil to you, you have to be civil and co-operative with them. And running away is the extreme of non co-operation

The police have an important job to do and we must expect them to do what it takes. And in this case they clearly followed their rules

Dwayne Johnstone was handcuffed, shackled and running away when he was shot in the back and killed by a corrections officer outside Lismore Base Hospital, an inquest has heard.

State Coroner Teresa O'Sullivan will take submissions on Wednesday on whether the threshold has been met for her to refer the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The inquest into Mr Johnstone's 2019 death, which began on Tuesday at Lismore Court House, heard the 43-year-old Aboriginal man had been taken to hospital while on remand after suffering an epileptic seizure in the cells of Lismore Court House, where he'd been denied bail on assault charges.

Counsel assisting the inquest, Peggy Dwyer, said Mr Johnstone had a history of drug addiction and involvement in the criminal justice system – mostly over property theft, minor assaults and possession or trafficking of drugs. He had twice been convicted of escaping lawful custody.

Because of his history of escape, Ms Dwyer said he was classified E1, meaning "an inmate in those circumstances was to be handcuffed and ankle cuffed and treated as high risk at all times".

Ms Dwyer told the inquest Mr Johnstone, described as "a much-loved partner, son and stepson", had been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and had been sexually abused as a child by the principal of his primary school, and again at the Burnside boys home.

A nurse who treated Mr Johnstone at the hospital described him as "compliant" and "appreciative of hospital care", Ms Dwyer told the court.

But as he was escorted back to the van on March 15, 2019 by two corrections officers – one of whom was armed with a revolver – he "elbowed" the unarmed officer who had a grip of his pants, throwing him off balance, and started running. The officers cannot be named for legal reasons.

Ms Dwyer said the inquest would hear multiple accounts, including from the corrections officers, that Mr Johnstone was moving fast despite being shackled and handcuffed.

The officer carrying a revolver told police in an interview that he called out "stop, stop, or I'll shoot" before firing a warning shot into the bushes, Ms Dwyer said. Mr Johnstone kept running, so he said "f---ing stop" and fired again.

The officer told police he aimed a second shot "in Dwayne's direction but not at him". When he still didn't stop, the officer aimed a third shot "at the centre of mass". The bullet entered the middle of Mr Johnstone's back and went through his aorta, liver, and diaphragm, Ms Dwyer said.

The officer who fired the shots told police he was surprised at how fast Mr Johnstone could run, and didn't think he or the second officer would be able to catch him.

But Ms Dwyer said the second officer told police his partner had told him to "get out of the road", and asked if he thought he could have caught up, he said he "didn't know" and hadn't been given the chance.

Ms Dwyer told the inquest that armed corrections officers carry guns but unlike police, are not equipped with non-lethal weapons, such as Tasers, extendable batons, or capsicum spray.

She said corrections officers may legally discharge firearms in a number of circumstances, including "to prevent the escape of an inmate" – with a number of provisos, including that a warning must be given and there cannot be reasonable grounds to believe the shot could hit another person.

However, she said the use of force must be the "option of last resort" and officers "may use no more force than is reasonably necessary in the circumstances".

Ms O'Sullivan said the question of whether the threshold for the matter to be referred for criminal prosecution had been met "is certainly a live issue".

She adjourned the inquest until Wednesday, when she will hear submissions from the parties before making a decision as to whether to continue or have the matter referred to the DPP.

TV star-turned Perth Lord Mayor, Basil Zempilas, has been condemned for his 'insensitive' opinions about transgender people

The breakfast host, 49, who was elected in mid-October, told listeners of his radio show on Wednesday that it was 'wrong' for a person to identify as a gender that was not the same as their physical anatomy.

'If you've got a penis mate, you're a bloke. If you've got a vagina, you're a woman. Game over,' he said.

Mr Zempilas, a former Weekend Sunrise host, was encouraged to undergo transgender awareness training to assist in his role serving the broader community.

Hunter Gurevich, who chairs TransFolk WA, described the comments as unacceptable and 'repugnant'.

'These comments are repugnant, bigoted, narrow minded, parochial and fundamentally deny contemporary science,' he said. 'Further, it puts LGBTQIA+ people at increased risk of harm, when we are already a vulnerable group in society.

'It is especially disappointing when The City of Perth has long supported the LGBTQIA+ community of Perth. 'For Mr Zempilas to now betray not only the community, but our relationship with the city, is beyond inexcusable.'

Curtis Ward, from Pride WA, suggested Mr Zempilas hadn't quite grasped the difference between sex and gender. 'It is possible to appear one way and feel another and when someone says they're transgender, they are simply saying they feel differently to how they appear,' he said.

'[That is] sex being your physical appearance and your biology whereas gender is how you identify psychologically, whether you're feminine or masculine.'

Mr Ward said Zempilas' comments only fueled stigma surrounding the LGBTQIA community and perpetuated misinformed, hurtful and damaging opinions.

'I think people need to be educating themselves about what they're speaking about and if they do have that stage, and they are commanding such a large audience, they should be making educated statements,' he said.

During the segment, Mr Zempilas encouraged 'any women with a penis' to ring the radio station to win a $100 voucher.

Mr Zempilas told Out In Perth he would apologise if his comments had caused offence, and insisted that was not his intention.

But Mr Gurevich already said it would be difficult for members of the community to accept the apology. 'No apology will be accepted until Mr Zempilas confronts the damage his comments can and have done,' he said.

He will quit his presenting role on the radio show at the end of the year after stepping into the role of Lord Mayor.

The latest controversy came after he wrote in a column piece in August that he would 'forcibly' remove homeless people from the city centre if he was elected. 'I make no apologies for this, the homeless need to be moved out of the Hay and Murray Street malls and the surrounding areas,' he wrote.

'Forcibly, if that's what it takes. I'm sick of being told by people who don't live and work in the city like I do that it's not that bad — actually, it's worse. 'The look, the smell, the language, the fights — it's disgusting. A blight on our city.'

Mr Zempilas was forced to apologise after copping widespread backlash over the comments, with critics accusing him of being 'disconnected from the city'.

'Those comments were made in frustration over nine months ago after an incident with my wife and my six year old daughter and a man exposing himself at 11am on a Sunday,' he told Daily Mail Australia. 'But the comments weren't appropriate and I have apologised.

'I've spent a good deal of the last six months educating myself by speaking with people who are homeless, trying to understand their situation better and by speaking with service providers. '

Mr Zempilas is a famous face in West Australia, and in March 2018, he was co-host of Weekend Sunrise, replacing Andrew O'Keefe. In September 2019, he stepped down as regular host of Weekend Sunrise, however continued to appear as a fill-in presenter.

The TV star is has been married to longtime partner Amy Graham since 2009, with the pair tying the knot in Greece. They share two daughters and a son.

‘Hermit nation’: World’s astonishment at Australia’s response to COVID-19

The world is flabbergasted by our response to COVID-19, but one major newspaper reckons strict rules have turned us into a “hermit nation”.

Articles published internationally over the weekend highlighted our monumental success, reporting that Saturday was the first day of no community transmission cases of virus in 145 days.

The New York Times ran a piece saying Australians now embrace the isolation they tried to escape for so long, but that our rules are so strict they’ve essentially turned us into a “hermit nation”.

The author wrote that our rules were so strict they “seem like something out of China or North Korea”.

“The virus has turned this outgoing nation into a hermit. Australia’s borders are closed, internationally and between several states.” the author wrote.

“Rather than chafing against isolation, though, Australians these days are more willing to smile in the mirror. Island living looks like a privilege when the world is pestilent. “

American current events opinion website Business Insider said we had an advantage over most countries from the start.

“It’s an island with relatively low population density,” they wrote. “But its rules were still far stricter than in many other countries.”

With Victoria reporting another day of zero cases on Sunday, it appears the state is on track to easing restrictions this coming weekend.

More rules are set to be scrapped on November 8, including the 25km travel radius for Melburnians, and now it has been revealed that even more restrictions could be eased than previously thought.

Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said on Sunday that some of the rules around gatherings could also be changed on November 8.

“We can always make consideration of what the caps might be in certain settings, what the density quotients might be and some of the specific industries that might come on board in terms of being able to operate,” he said.

Australia’s success comes amid sharp rises across the rest of the globe.

The US reported 99,321 new Covid-19 cases today – the highest single day number of cases recorded for any country to date. It marks an alarming jump of almost 11,000 more cases compared to yesterday.

Meanwhile the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a national lockdown after passing one million coronavirus cases, and France is recording around 50,000 new cases daily.

Conservative Daisy Cousens on social media trolls, Q+A and a Trump win

Less than four years ago, Daisy Cousens was firmly embedded in the performance arts community. As the daughter of music theatre royalty Peter Cousens and film and television actor Suzanne Roylance, it was only natural that her friendship circle comprised theatre thespians.

But then came a huge falling out, and long-time friends disappeared overnight. Her crime? During a highly-publicised appearance on the ABC panel program Q+A in February 2017, for which she was heavily trolled afterwards, Cousens revealed she was a staunch conservative.

“I was so terrified of how my friends would react,” she tells Stellar.

“I didn’t tell any of them that I was going on the show because I knew they were massively left wing – and not informed left wing, either. They’re the type of people who read a two-line headline from The New York Times, and make an opinion based on that and think everyone who disagrees with them is a hateful bigot.”

The subsequent backlash stung. “I don’t really care about what people I don’t know say about me online, but I really care about friends who will just completely delete you from their universe if you say something they disagree with politically.”

Whatever the appearance on Q+A may have cost her personally, it gave back tenfold professionally. In the years prior, Cousens had been feeling directionless. She had left university with “a bunch of ultimately useless arts degrees” and after discovering there was limited work available in the industry, she went back to school to get her masters in creative writing..

That led to a writing position with an online women’s magazine and her spot on Q+A, which, in turn, led to a several television appearances, a successful YouTube channel that now has almost 200K subscribers and, ultimately, her current role as a Sky News contributor.

“I’d aligned my whole sense of self from [when I was] a little kid to being a musical theatre performer and a singer, and I had to let that go,” Cousens says. “Also, my fiancĂ© and I wouldn’t have met had I kept doing the theatre route.”

She met her partner, Calum Thwaites, at a book launch in Sydney in early 2017. Since he lived in Brisbane, and Cousens in Sydney, they dated for 10 months by long distance. “I figured that doing long distance would get easier because we’d get into a routine, but actually it gets harder as you get more attached,” Cousens says.

Given the nature of her work, it was easier for her to make the move interstate to join him in Brisbane. “I count my lucky stars every day,” she says. “We try to keep politics separate from our day-to-day life. Sometimes he’ll change my opinion, sometimes I’ll change his. What’s great is that it never gets personal.”

The same can’t be said for the comments online. “Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. You have to not care what other people say or think about you, particularly anonymous people on Twitter,” she tells Stellar. “I mean, who really cares if XYZ Bot with two followers said Daisy Cousens is a racist Nazi white supremacist?”

Cousens may dress in uber-feminine clothing (“I’ve always been really, really girly”) but that doesn’t mean she’s in any way a shrinking violet.

She admits to poking the proverbial bear – like the time she said, “I called myself a feminist before I started, you know, thinking”, or the time she pointed out there were reports stating that “people on the right are on average better-looking than those on the left”.

And while she admits that politics is particularly “grubby” at the moment, that hasn’t deterred her from getting into the boxing ring.

“I’m hoping for Trump to win,” she says of the upcoming US elections. “I have faith he can, and I picked his victory last time. But I’m not betting on any horse just yet.”

So with her propensity to shock people, is Daisy Cousens the public persona the same as Daisy Cousens the person?

“I think the best way to describe a commentator is that it’s the same person but with the volume turned up,” she says with a laugh. “You’re a bit more theatrical and provocative. The way I am in The Bolt Report or in my YouTube videos is very me. I try to stay really true to who I am.”


Also see my other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com (TONGUE TIED)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

https://heofen.blogspot.com/ (MY OTHER BLOGS)


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