Justice for Roberto Laudisio Curti

The death in custody of Roberto Curti at the hands of 6 NSW police officers early on Sunday 18 March 2012 is one that cannot be allowed to pass without a strong response.

Having watched the video of a part of the chase it is quite clear that the alleged “biscuits thief”, as he was described at the time of the chase, was running away from the 6 police officers and thus is proven to have not caused any danger to those officers. One officer is seen to be smashing his head against the frame of the shop window. There is no logical conclusion why he was then tasered in his back, THREE TIMES, as he staggered away. Also, it has been said that the victim had already been sprayed with capsicum spray and probably his eyes were burning, so he was running to get away from being sprayed again.
Sign the online petition calling for Justice for Roberto -- Solidarity Rally at the Brazilian Consulate Sydney April 2nd
Related:Footage of Tasering

This logical conclusion, however was never accepted by the police. Also, the fact that 6 police officers could have quite easily caught Roberto without using a taser has never been mentioned.

Ray Jackson, one of the more committed campaigners against Death in Custody, said: “I know that police around Australia, with the single exception of Tasmania, all swear that the taser is a required weapon and continue to falsely argue that tasers do not kill. They, of course do kill as was shown in Queensland in 2009 and now here. There are multiple deaths by taser recorded overseas but still the manufacturer believes that tasers do not kill. That is a bald-faced lie. Tasers must be withdrawn from frontline officers before any more citizens are killed unnecessarily by them. The use of tasers or guns must be restricted only to more senior police or specially trained units."

Ray continued, "Unlike the USA we do not have a culture of guns and I do not understand why our frontline officers, especially those new recruits still in their teens, need to be so heavily armed when they do not have the maturity to use those weapons. I know they are trained to whatever level of expertise they can attain but you cannot train for panic or frustration at the circumstances of the events that they are involved in. Police at all ranks and time in the force will forget whatever training they may have had and will kill, whether by taser or hand gun”. And last Sunday 25th, the NSW police supported this statement by killing an unarmed man in Parramatta Shopping Centre by shooting him at least 5 times. There were different circumstances however with this death.

"So, we are witnessing still another police Death in Custody, like TJ Hickey in Redfern, or Mulrunji in Palm Island, or Terence Briscoe in Alice Spring where the truth must not be allowed to be a casualty of a corrupt police investigation. And how do we know that it is a Death in Custody? Because the police, and the classic allies of the police: the radio verbal vomit, the Daily Terror, the tv current affairs programs together with the politicians, ministers, even the Premier Barry O’Farrell, are only talking about tasers and the needs of their use by 'their' police and not apologizing to the family about the killing of their loved one. Where is the statement of any of these about the terrible tragedy of the killing of an innocent person? The only things that you can hear from them are all the innuendos; maybe he stole a pack of biscuits, or he was on drugs, or he was sick, or any other slur that could confirm that Roberto had done something wrong. And he had. He had just passed through a group of frustrated police totally committed to finding the person responsible for the “terrible robbery” committed against a convenience store", said Raul Bassi.

Solidarity Rally April 2nd

So it is time to act. The Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) is calling to all Latinos and their Organizations to come together with the activists of the Deaths in Custody campaign, the defenders of Refugee Rights, and all the Human Rights campaigners to the Brazilian Consulate, 45 Clarence st, Sydney, at 12.30 on Tuesday 3rd of April, to present a letter to the Consul that we fully support them and Roberto's Family in their demanding of a full and open investigation and for real justice to occur in the killing of Roberto.

Contact all your friends, networks, bring your flags, your banners and join us. Don't allow JUSTICE to become JUST US!

For more information contact Ray Jackson at 0450651063 or Raul Bassi at 0403037376
Messages of support can be sent to isja01@internode.on.net.

Independant Media Coverage

World Socialist Web:Taser death in Australia: A warning to youth
World Socialist Web:New evidence emerges on Brazilian student’s death in Sydney
World Socialist Web: Australian police Taser attack kills Brazilian student
Green Left Weekly: Deadly weapons: We must ban Tasers
The Conversation: Why the taser related death toll is rising

Human Rights and Legal Articles

Human Rights Law Centre: Tasers are a potentially lethal weapon in the hands of those charged to protect us
Law Institute of Victoria: Taser roll should be suspended
Smart Justice Press Release

Mainstream Press Coverage

ABC: Brazilian student identified as taser death man
SMH: Death after tasering: Brazilian who died in Sydney named
SMH: Victim tells of loss after taser death
ABC: Taser death yet more family tragedy
Herald Sun: Taser outcry after topless man zapped by police dies
Herald Sun: He was no thief: Uncle of Taser victim Roberto Laudisio Curti hits out at police



the above media release outlines the action that isja and other groups and organisations will be holding next tuesday 3rd april outside the brazilian consulate at 12.30. further details in the attachment.

as has been explained earlier isja is now part of a national group that, whilst still focussing on aboriginal deaths in custody, we have extended our concern to now include non-aboriginal deaths in custody. we have also accepted the deaths of asylum seekers who die in the federal government's detention camps as being worthy of inclusion.

21 year old roberto laudisio curti was studying here and living with his sister. on sunday morning, 18 march 2012 roberto became involved in an altercation with 6 nsw police officers who firstly were close enough to spray him with capsicum spray, at least once, to chase him further and then ram his head into the wooden window frame of the convenience store as can be seen in the video of the event. he then breaks away again, we are told, and he is then tasered 3 times by the officers involved. roberto then collapses on the footpath and dies.

this is the bare facts as reported by the media but there is much speculation on the peripheral issues and some of those include the question of roberto's state of mind at the time of the confrontation. some reports suggest that perhaps roberto was having some form of psychotic event, other reports talk of roberto having a 'bad trip' after using drugs, still others find it very hard to understand how 6 police officers could not easily have overpowered roberto without the use of capsicum spray or tasers.

whatever the real truth of the circumstances we are left with the unprofessionalism of police investigating police. such powers that this places upon the investigating police to mutate the investigation so that the 6 officers will be protected is just further abuse and no real justice for the curti family and roberto's girlfriend. this warped ethic of police investigating police has been clearly highlighted by the showing of the documentary 'the tall man', the chris hurley/mulrunji doomadgee killing on palm island, and the 4 corners expose of the corruption by the police acting in unison to protect the police sergeant who shot adam salter in the back. these criminal actions of investigating police must be stopped and a truly independent body to be formed to do the investigation without police involvement. it has been suggested that such investigations could quite competently be entered into by the independent commission against corruption (icac) or even the police integrity commission (pic). it is probable that either body would require extra funding and/or legislative changes to be made to do so. or a new team of investigators and forensic experts be formed and properly funded to allow truly independent investigations to be done.

it is up to premier barry o'farrell, attorney-general greg smith and to police minister, mike gallacher, to seriously contemplate the required changes and bring them to fruition as soon as possible.

on the sunday that roberto was killed premier barry o'farrell came out publically and stated that any investigation by the police would be open and honest (an impossibility in my opinion) and that any police investigation will be overseen by the nsw ombudsman's office. well, with all due respect to the current ombudsman, bruce barbour and deputy ombudsman, ms. linda waugh of the police complaints unit, i just do not see that overview power to be adequate. it is my understanding that when the investigating police have done their job, whatever that entails, the evidence is then given to bruce and his team to consider the veracity of the investigation. this is too little and too late.

ample opportunity has been given to the investigating police to come up with the evidence that is best suited to their interests. that brief of evidence is then given to the coroner who generally considers it to be the facts, the full facts and only the facts. this, of course, is not always true as can be shown by many many examples, egg. the killing of tj hickey by redfern police, the killing of terrance briscoe by police in alice springs, among too many others to mention. it is up to the legal team for the family, if they have one, to negate these so-called facts and introduce their own.

what bruce and his team of investigators need is to have the power to second one or more of his team, including himself if he wishes, to the police investigation from day one. he and his officers must have all the required powers to attach themselves to the police team whilst investigations are ongoing. at the conclusion of the investigation then an independent report from his office is to be supplied to the coroner for his knowledge and consideration. the present system, to my view, needs to be strengthened up to make sure that the police corruption of police investigating police is discontinued.

isja will be writing letters to both the brazilian consul and the curti family, including roberto's girlfriend,offering our sincerest condolences at their tragic loss and explaining to them the more than possible corruption that will be involved in the police investigating police event.

if you can, please do join us and make your contribution to justice and not leave it to just us.


ray jackson
indigenous social justice association

(m) 0450 651 063
(p) 02 9318 0947
address 1303/200 pitt street waterloo 2017


we live and work on the stolen lands of the gadigal people.

sovereignty treaty social justice

there will always be victims but must they be over biscuits?