Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Palm Island

who let the dogs out?

November 19 2004
drunk and happy Cameron Mulrunji Doomadgee
who! who! who! who!
swinging down that Palm Island road
barking out that jump up song
who let the dogs out?
who! who! who! who!
yapping out that happy tune

down comes the tall man
Senior Sergeant Christopher Hurley
mounted on his four wheel drive
grabs Doomadgee - hey mate!
… arresting me for nothing!!

spears tackles him into the back of the slammer van

Cameron’s a proud Palm Island man
first chance he gets he punches Senior Sergeant H
and they fall 'through a door' says Hurley
when he changes from saying “down the stairs”
anyways that concrete floor is hard
knee-dropping Hurley a tower of power
Doomadgee gets four broken ribs
and a liver split in two against his spine

says the coroner
massive force say three medical experts
then Hurley drags him to a cell
and the video shows him writhe and moan
where he is left to die

and the people no!
and the people burn
the copshop
cophouse down
Palm Island 40 languages a mass of confusion

July 31 2006
Eric, Doomadgee’s only son, 18

Patrick Branwell
was locked up in Doomadgee’s cell
the day died

January 15 2007
Patrick suicides too

or looks like it …

see somehow that night after the cops drive
the witness 10 minutes out of town to ‘cool
down’ his grandma finds him at midnight
right in his own front yard
more than cool
he’s cold
hanging there
at the site of the inciting incident
right where his cellmate Mulrunji was nicked

Sir Laurence Street arrives
in his white hat, investigating
calls Branwell a witness not indispensible

February 5 2007
Senior Sergeant Hurley
becomes the first cop in Australia
ever to be charged with assault and manslaughter
for the death of a prisoner
but it’s a cop’s against a dead man’s word
Noby Clay saw Doomadgee taken - hard
heard him being slammed around
but who can say if they aren’t called?
just another blackdeathincustody
the whitejuryrules
and sure enough
Hurley’s rap won’t stick

so … who let the dogs out?

next time you sing
a drunk and happy song
remember Cameron Mulrunji Doomadgee
swinging down that Palm Island road
yapping out that happy tune
who! who! who! who!
who let the dogs out?
who … who … who …