Drowning in the Swan River: families mourn amid police accusations & racism & # 039;

<pre><pre>Drowning in the Swan River: families mourn amid police accusations & racism & # 039;

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are informed that the following article contains details of deceased persons.

The grandfather of one of the two teenagers who drowned in a Perth river on Monday after a police chase said he was a "good boy" who made a mistake.

"He had the world at his feet with his sports skills, and he's not going to have a chance to excel now," James Spratt told SBS News.

"He just made a mistake here, and it has cost him his life … I just want to portray him [the teens] like the good young people they were. "

Spratt said he reserved the trial of the actions of the police until more details are known.

"I do not know any of the facts that surround this," he said.

The boys ran to the riverbank on Monday, where police said the four were seen jumping into the river. Two managed to get to safety, while two others were seen fighting in the middle of the river.

After an extensive search of the river in Maylands, the police recovered a body on Monday, while the body of the second teenager was found on Tuesday.

A police boat on the Swan River on Tuesday.


A fifth child was located on Tuesday afternoon and is safe with the family.

In the aftermath, members of the indigenous community have questioned how the police handled the situation.

"The police and government of Western Australia are responsible for the two recent deaths," Herbert Bropho told SBS News.

"If he were a white boy, who was drowning in that water, he would have taken off all his clothes and gone to save him, but at the end of the day, he was an indigenous child, he turned away and observed that young man dies."

While the tensions are high, it is still not clear exactly what happened on the river bank.

Gerry Georgatos of the Human Rights Alliance Perth told SBS News that the community was reeling.

"It's a chilling loss … They're bogged down in pain, they're distressed like any family."

Gerry Georgatos speaks with SBS News.

Gerry Georgatos speaks with SBS News.

SBS News

WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said, "The deaths of these two young children are being treated as deaths in the presence of the police."

"Although with the information I have to date, the police did not physically contact the two children who disappeared underwater in the middle of the river."

The matter will go before the state coroner.