Upper house

The ban on spitting the hood passes the upper chamber of the SA | Manning River Hours

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Legislation banning the use of balaclavas in South Australia was passed by the state’s upper house, five years after a man died in an altercation with prison guards. Wayne “Fella” Morrison died in 2016 after being tied up in handcuffs, ankle cuffs and a spat out hood and placed face down in a van in Yatala Prison, north Adelaide. An investigation into his death revealed that he was in custody for assault and was shown in court via video link when he was involved in a fight with officers. The 29-year-old was transported to the prison van, but he was blue and unresponsive when he was taken out a few minutes later. Despite attempts at resuscitation, he did not regain consciousness and died in hospital a few days later. Mr Morrison’s family have called for a royal commission on his death, but have also campaigned for a permanent ban on the use of balaclavas. Legislation to impose such a ban was introduced in state parliament by SA-BEST MP Connie Bonaros and was passed unanimously by the upper house on Wednesday evening. It must now pass the lower house to become law, but it should be a formality with the support of the Liberal government and the Labor opposition. After the vote, Mr Morrison’s mother Caroline Anderson said the family’s hard work had finally paid off. “At least I know no one else is going to suffer from wearing this inhuman torture device like Wayne did,” she said. “I hope from here that other states and territories will understand this with us and collectively implement our calls for a national ban.” The last time I heard Wayne’s voice, it was a week before his image became synonymous with these barbaric devices. “I welcome this step towards accountability.” Ms Bonaros said the ban was long overdue. “There is absolutely no place in our society for the use of balaclavas in any environment, whether in prison, in a police cell, in a mental health facility or in a hospital,” she declared. “Their use is barbaric and draconian and has resulted in the deaths of people all over the world, including Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. Anti-spitting hoods have been used in custody situations to prevent people from being bitten or spat on. But they have also been criticized for violating guiding human rights principles with opponents describing them as primitive, cruel and degrading. The investigation into Mr. Morrison’s death is expected to resume for final submissions next week. Australian Associated Press


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Jacob C.

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