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Enforcing assimilation, dismantling Aboriginal families: a history of police violence in Australia

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Police power Deaths in custody Indigenous incarceration Police brutality Stolen Generations Australia
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In July 2018, Western Australia’s Police Commissioner Chris Dawson formally apologised for the mistreatment of Aboriginal people at the hands of police, acknowledging the “significant role” the police played in the dispossession of Australia’s First Nations people. Dawson made particular reference to the way:

"forceful removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families and communities, the displacement of mothers and their children, sisters, fathers and brothers, the loss of family and resulting destruction of culture has had grave impacts."

“Forced removal” references the unique role played by police in many settler colonies such as Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, the United States and Canada in relation to First Nations peoples: executing assimilationist policies designed to dismantle First Nations families.

A closer look at the history of policing in Australia helps explain some of the dynamics at play in the Black Lives Matter and First Nations Deaths in Custody movement in Australia and a growing push for alternative models of policing.

Read the full article at The Conversation.

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