A 27-year-old Aboriginal man has died after a “violent struggle” with Queensland Police in Toowoomba.
Police were called to Stone Street in Wilsonton just after midday on Thursday after reports of an attempted vehicle left.
Assistance Commissioner Mike Condon addressed media about the incident, saying officers, upon arrival, identified the Subaru was stolen.
Police attempted to detain “the occupants of the vehicle” however, two men fled and the third died at the scene.
“Police attempted to detain the occupants of the vehicle… during an altercation with police a 27-year-old male person became unconscious,” he said.
“Police immediately provided first aid, QAS officers attended shortly after, and continued to provide first aid, and sadly that 27-year-old male person has passed away.”
The Assistant Commissioner did not elaborate on how the man had become unconscious however, suggested due to the “violent struggle” it would seem “they were fleeing from the scene as they were in a stolen vehicle”.
The event is being treated as a death in custody and the Ethical Standards Command is launching an investigation which will be overseen by the Queensland coroner Crime and Corruption Commission.
“The mere fact it was involved in an altercation will necessitate that we investigate the use of force used by our officers,” Condon told reporters.
The event also saw two officers suffer minor injuries; they are expected to be interviewed for investigation in the following 24-hours.
“The normal process is that they will stand down for a couple of days to regather themselves, but it really depends on the individual,” he said.
“But we are here to support them.”
Condon said that the family of the man who died has been notified and police are working “to ensure there are no concerns that may cause any unrest”.
Currently the only information available about the man is that he was a 27-year-old Aboriginal man born Western Downs town of Mitchell.
“We always try to expedite these matters to ensure the community have complete confidence in the investigation. We don’t have all the answers at the moment,” said Condon.
“Until those investigations are complete, I would hope that common sense applies within the community, and we work together to ensure that once the outcome is known that people will understand completely what’s occurred.”
The event took place on Stone Street in Wilsonton around 12pm. Police are calling for anyone with CCTV footage, mobile or dashcam recordings to come forward.
By Rachael Knowles