Back to top

Better training for police

Queensland Advocacy Incorporated (QAI) advocate Nick Collyer successfully raised the need for police and people with a lived experience of mental illness to work together towards better police recruitment and training.  His recommendation was made as part of the Inquest into the death of Laval Zimmer.
 
On 20 October the Queensland Coroner handed down systemic recommendations in relation to the inquiry into the police shootings of five people in 2014.  All the deceased had mental illness.
 
Queensland Advocacy Incorporated (QAI) runs a Mental Health Legal Service, and the Coroner allowed Queensland Advocacy Incorporated (QAI) who runs a Mental Health Legal Service leave to examine witnesses and make submissions in relation to the death of Mr Laval Zimmer. 
 
At the moment of his death Zimmer was making a telephone allegation about police brutality at his arrest a few hours earlier.
 
During processing for the earlier matter, Laval had stated that he had been treated for ‘bipolar, chronic epilepsy, and schizophrenia’.  The information was entered into the police database, but our examination revealed that the five officers sent to his home later did not know this.
 
The Triple-0 call-takers ignored Mr Zimmer’s complaints, bantering with him, teasing, and hanging up repeatedly.   The Triple-0 commander, meanwhile, dispatched QPS officers to the complainants home.
 
When five officers entered the house in darkness, Mr Zimmer produced a knife.  Two officers shot him.
 
At the inquest, QAI’s systems advocate Nick Collyer successfully raised the need for police and people with a lived experience of mental illness to work together towards better police recruitment and training. 
Legal centre: