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Murder of Australian aboriginal teen sparks outrage, calls for nationwide protests

The file phoro shows Cassius Turvey, a 15-year-old Australian aboriginal teenager, who was killed in the western city of Perth on October 13, 2022.

The killing of an Australian aboriginal teenager, who was beaten to death in the western city of Perth earlier this month, has sparked calls for nationwide protests against hate crimes and racial discrimination in the country.

Cassius Turvey died in hospital days after a group of men on October 13, shouting racial slurs and armed with metal bars and a machete, jumped out of a vehicle in Perth, chased the 15-year-old, and hit him on the head with a metal pole.

The indigenous teenager was with a group of young peers accused of breaking their car window. Turvey was taken to Perth Children’s Hospital after the attack and succumbed to his injuries 10 days later.

A 21-year-old white man, who is being kept in police custody and not named in media reports, has been charged with murder and will appear in court next month. The man also faces charges of aggravated assault and stealing for attacking Turvey's 13-year-old friend with a pole and taking his crutches.

Western Australian Police Commissioner Col Blanch has ruled out the possibility of a racial motive for Turvey’s murder and said it was too early to determine the exact cause.

“We’re not operating on any principles of racism or motivation at this point, other than to say we believe there was a damage incident that occurred and that’s resulted in the alleged murder of a very young boy,” Blanch said, adding that the police do not believe Turvey and his friends were responsible for any criminal damage.

Blanch stressed that it might have been a "case of mistaken identity,” with Turvey finding himself "in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The police statement on the killing provoked an angry response on social media, with many accounts underlining that a racial motive was highly likely.

Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese expressed his sorrow at the killing of the 15-year-old Aboriginal boy, insisting that the attack was clearly "racially motivated.”

Albanese lamented Turvey's death as a "terrible tragedy". “My heart goes out to the family and the friends," he said.

“Just 15 years old, he was allegedly targeted by someone who shouted racial slurs, told him to run, and then brutally beat him with a metal pole," said Adam Bant, an MP for Melbourne, while censuring the attack. "This is the ongoing reality of racist violence in Australia."

Moreover, Turvey’s family released a statement on his death, saying the attackers knew he was a school-age child.

“On October 13, 2022, our very dear 15-year-old Cassius Turvey was viciously attacked with a metal pole by men who were unknown to him,” read the statement.

“They presumed he was the person responsible for breaking windows in the neighborhood. The men were aware Cassius was underage, as he was wearing his school uniform."

Protest rallies to support the 15-year-old's grieving family are planned for November 2 in Perth and the regional Western Australia towns of Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Broome, Newman, and Tom Price.

Actions are also planned on the same day in Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Townsville, Newcastle, the Gold Coast, and Darwin.

Australia's indigenous people have toiled for generations to win recognition for injustices suffered since European colonization which has had a devastating impact on aboriginal communities and cultures in the country where the natives were subjected to mass killings, forced displacement, separation of families and separation from their traditional lands and beliefs relocated on missions and reserves in the name of family protection, integration, and civilization.

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