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Coroner refers Jai Wright’s death to DPP for potential criminal charges

Giovanni Torre -

NSW State Coroner Teresa O'Sullivan has suspended the inquest into the death of Dunghutti teenager Jai Kalani Wright, and has referred the matter to the Department of Public Prosecutions to consider whether a criminal charge should be laid.

Jai died on 20 February 2022 after an unmarked police car collided with the trail bike he was riding in Eveleigh, inner Sydney. He was 16 years old.

In a statement issued Tuesday, his parents Lachlan Wright and Kylie Aloua said: "Almost two years ago, we received a call, one of the calls that as a parent you never want to receive, about Jai having an accident. We rushed straight to the hospital and we were by our son's side as he passed away. Ever since then, we have been searching for the truth. We need to know the truth so that we can live our lives and move forward."

"This referral has given us a lot of hope, we have faith that we will get justice for Jai," they said.

"I would just ask all our family and friends to let this process play out because negative comments could hurt future legal proceedings, and believe that at the end we will get our truth and get our justice."

Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) chief executive Karly Warner said the ALS "is proud to stand alongside Jai Wright's family and community".

"We share their immense grief and determination to ensure what happened to Jai never happens again," she said.

"Jai is one of at least 558 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have died in custody and police operations in a little over 30 years since the Royal Commission. Scrutiny and accountability are essential in stopping this national shame."

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