Search for answers in Aboriginal man’s drowning

Kunmanara Cooper was trying to escape police when he drowned off the Ceduna foreshore in 2017, the Coroner’s Court has heard. Picture: Tricia Watkinson

Kunmanara Cooper experienced been in Ceduna for treatment of an ulcerated finger in January 2017 when he arrived to the consideration of police in relation to many assaults.

He was walking on the foreshore with a eco-friendly plastic bag in one hand, connected by a bandage to his wrist, when police commenced to pursue him.

He was later noticed wading into the water just before showing to wrestle, but a rescue lookup could not come across him.

The future early morning, the plastic bag was noticed floating many hundred metres offshore, major police and SES to his overall body.

Deputy Coroner Anthony Schapel commenced the mandatory inquest into Mr Cooper’s drowning as it is viewed as a death in custody.

Counsel aiding the coroner Stephen Plummer stated the 36-yr-old experienced only been in Ceduna for six weeks just before his death.

“Mr Cooper lived predominantly in Wingellina in WA but experienced invested time dwelling in Yalata and in the APY lands in South Australia,” he stated. “He was described by his sister as a superior swimmer who swam a lot in the rock holes in close proximity to Wingellina.”

Mr Cooper was arrested in Ceduna on January fourteen, 2017 for illegal interference and other assets offences. He was bailed that working day on the problem that he are living in the indigenous camp outside the house Ceduna right up until January 16, when he was to return to Yalata by bus.

He was banned from becoming in Ceduna except if he was there for health-related consideration or court appearances but was noticed on January 19 in the township.

The future working day, he was suspected of assaulting a man but fled police when they tried using to job interview him. He was addressed in medical center for cuts to his hands believed to have been experienced for the duration of the chase but left without observing a doctor.

At 6pm on January 21, police obtained reports that Mr Cooper was walking along the foreshore. A patrol attended and one officer commenced to pursue him on foot.

The officer noticed Mr Cooper walking along a rocky part of the beach just before wading into the water at 6.22pm.

Law enforcement straight away called the SES requesting a boat to aid in the lookup.

Two minutes following coming into the water, Mr Cooper was noticed 200m offshore shouting for help and waving his arms.

An SES volunteer experienced his boat in the water in twenty minutes of the initially call for help but Mr Cooper’s overall body was not observed right up until the future early morning.

Mr Plummer stated blood tests showed traces of hashish and liquor in Mr Cooper’s process when he died.

The court also listened to that the deceased experienced an intensive prison background masking 423 offences.