Blue wrist bands to support Sgt Hurley

ALL Queensland police officers may soon be wearing blue wrist bands in a show of support for a colleague charged over the death in custody of a Palm Island man.

Gold Coast officers already are wearing the bands stamped with the number "6747" - the official police registration number of Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley.
The officer was this week charged with manslaughter over Mulrunji Doomadgee's death in the island's watchhouse in 2004.

Queensland Police Union vice president Denis Fitzpatrick said the bands would not only help raise funds for Snr Sgt Hurley's legal costs, but show a "silent protest" against his treatment.

"It's not a significant amount of money we're trying to raise. It's more an issue with regards of support and solidarity of our member," Mr Fitzpatrick said today.

"As I understand it, everyone on the Gold Coast is now wearing them and I foresee every officer in the state of Queensland wearing one in the near future."

The bands, which retail for $5, are currently available only at Gold Coast police stations. They will be distributed to police stations across Queensland in the coming days.

"Yesterday we rolled out 4,000. They are now sold out and we're arranging the manufacture of a further 5,000 in the very near future," Mr Fitzpatrick said.

"We are now receiving overwhelming public demand from members of the community wanting to purchase the wristband as well."

Meanwhile, 143 police officers have met in Rockhampton in central Queensland in one of a series of statewide meetings in support for Snr Sgt Hurley.

"That meeting has clearly called for significant upgrades in police numbers in the local Aboriginal community of Woorabinda, (west of Rockhampton)," Mr Fitzpatrick said.

"We still do not have the commitment for significant upgrades in terms of police numbers in remote Aboriginal communities."

Mr Fitzpatrick said there were no plans for further meetings.

"What we'll do now is consolidate the thoughts and sentiments of the members right around the state and we'll plan a course of action in the very near future," he said.

The union is considering staging an unprecedented police march on parliament house in Brisbane.

Mr Fitzpatrick said Snr Sgt Hurley had been "overwhelmed" by support from colleagues and the community.
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