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Chief Commissioner: No public vigil for Laa Chol has nothing to do with racism

The Chief Commissioner says the absence of major public vigils in response to the alleged murder of Laa Chol has nothing to do with racism.

While thousands rallied in Carlton following the murder of Eurydice Dixon, there were no major public gatherings following the alleged murder of the 19-year-old who was killed during a party in the city on Saturday morning.

Graham Ashton told Neil Mitchell there are no public vigils for any of the women killed by domestic violence either.

“Family violence is something that often occurs in the home and people think it’s not happening in my home,” he said.

“Whereas something like what happened in Carlton there is such a random thing, people think well that could be me or my family.

“It strikes much closer to people I think.”

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The Chief Commissioner also discussed a number of other topics, including:

  • Richmond safe injecting facility: CC says it’s “too early to know” if the facility is having an impact on the streets. “We’re just doing the policing work around it, we don’t want people trafficking on the streets. We’re probably not going to know for a while yet, probably a few months before we get a proper assessment.”
  • A decision on whether Labor’s so called red-shirt rort will be investigated further: “It’s certainly within days that we’ll have a decision on that. I had a meeting with a deputy commissioner on it.”
  • Former CC Kel Glare’s comments that police command is too close to government: “I don’t agree with that. We have to work with the government of the day and work with the policies that they roll out.”
  • The investigation into former Detective Ron Iddles conduct during the Silk/Miller murders in regards to Jason Roberts: “We were able to inform Ron that there was no offence committed. It’s not going any further.”
  • Whether police cells are bursting: “Correct. We’re shuffling them around the state. We’re continually working with Corrections. We’ve got people doing entire sentences in police cells which isn’t good for the offender or officers.”
  • Metal straws: “You certainly wouldn’t get on a plane with that. Just because something isn’t an offensive weapon doesn’t mean it’s not a safety risk. I’ll have a chat to the Lord Mayors office about this.”