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Indigenous Activists Call Out Channel 9 Over US Protest Report

Rapper Briggs reminded Australians that "we also have our own history of killings at the hands of police."

As America readies for a sixth night of protests over the recent police killing of unarmed Black man George Floyd, the hurt and anger is being felt on Australian soil.

Tens of thousands of people on Saturday took to the streets in the US to protest the death of Floyd, a Minnesota man who died in police custody on Monday, and the others who came before him.

One particular incident on Channel Nine’s Today Show has been called out by Australian rapper Briggs, actor Nakkiah Lui and other Indigenous activists as “embarrassing” and “shameful”.

“I really appreciate you giving your perspective mate, because people in Australia don’t have the understanding of the history of police killings and things here,” Channel Nine’s Alexis Daish told a interviewee from behind a police blockade.

The clip has since gone viral on Twitter with many - including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander activists, academics and artists - calling the coverage ignorant while reminding followers that Australia does, indeed, have a problem with Black deaths in custody.

“How embarrassing,” Briggs wrote on Twitter.

″‘People in Australia doesn’t have the understanding of the history of Police killings here’. No; WE definitely do understand. We also have our own history of killings at the hands of police. What ignorance.”

Lui added: “The way she [Daish] spoke down to & couldn’t intellectually engage with the protestor is shameful.”

The Guardian’s special 2018 Deaths Inside report used 10 years of coronial data to find that 407 Indigenous Australians had died in police care since the end of 1991’s royal commission.

Here are some reactions to Nine’s segment which you can watch below:

The deaths of First Nations people in custody has recently worsened, The Guardian reports.

Cases include 26-year-old Dunghutti man David Dungay who was taped saying “I can’t breathe” 12 times before he died while being held down by five prison guards.

And Kumanjayi Walker who died after being shot in the Northern Territory community of Yuendumu in November 2019. A police officer has since been charged with murder over the death of the 19-year-old man.

And Tane Chatfield a 22-year-old man who died in Tamworth Correctional Centre in 2017. At the time, NSW Police Force said in a statement “it’s not being treated as suspicious” but Chatfield’s family does not believe he took his own life.

HuffPost has reached out to Nine for comment.

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