University of Newcastle PHD candidate and Wiradjuri woman Taylah Gray said "actions are what we need" after another Indigenous death in custody this week.
A 37-year-old man was found unresponsive in a Cessnock Correctional Centre cell about 10am Tuesday. Paramedics were called, but the man was declared dead about 11.15am. The man's cause of death hasn't been publicly confirmed.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Indigenous deaths in custody was "an issue that concerns me deeply", the ABC reported.
"These are issues that we need to deal with, and it takes more than one answer for me to be able to provide [that] comprehensively, but can I say it's something I feel very strongly about and something I think we need to address," she said.
But Ms Gray, 24, said feelings weren't enough and authorities needed to act. There have been seven Indigenous deaths in custody in the past two months.
"Feelings aren't good enough, actions are what we need," Ms Gray said.
"Australia is a crime scene. My people are dying, we are the sickest and the poorest people in this country."
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Ms Gray said she "just sighed" when she heard there had been another black death in custody, while adding that she paid her deepest condolences to the deceased man's family.
"Whilst I won that case, nothing has come from that," she said. "No one has been held criminally responsible for any black death in custody.
"No police commissioner has come forward to say 'hey we're going to do better Australia, we're going to do better to protect the black bodies in this country'.
"No government official has stepped forward to meet with the families."
Ms Gray said she believed the issue started with the number of Aboriginals being held on remand.
"I think the first step is letting our mob out on bail," she said. "Police in NSW pursue more than 80 per cent of Aboriginal people found with a small amount of cannabis through the courts while letting others off with warnings.
"Start with bail and stop locking black people up, let our children home. Bailey Mackander whose inquest was happening today was a 19-year-old boy in prison.
"But at the end of the day, all of these problems stem back from one thing and it's because Indigenous people were dispossessed of their land in 1788 and from that rippled all these problems that came with it - the dispossession of land, the dispossession of black bodies."
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