A Young Indigenous Mum Is Fighting For Her Life After She Was Hit By A Police Car In Perth

young indigenous woman colleen calgaret was hit by a WA police car in Perth on Saturday morning.

A young First Nations woman has been hit by a WA police car in Perth’s CBD. According to the state’s police minister, it was her own fault for not seeing the car coming as a pedestrian — which is straight up not how road rules work.

Colleen Calgaret, 20, is fighting for her life with serious head injuries in intensive car after she was struck while crossing Welling Street in the early hours of Saturday morning. Her partner and baby boy are at her side at Royal Perth Hospital while her family demands answers as to what happened to her.

“We don’t even know ourselves, from the moment we found out, what exactly happened,” Calgaret’s sister Mariah said per National Indigenous Times.

“If anyone has footage we would like to see it ourselves.”

According to a WA Police statement, the police vehicle that hit Colleen was “travelling east on Wellington Street and a pedestrian was walking south on Wellington Street when they collided”.

Meaning the car was turning left, even though it is actually illegal to turn left on Wellington Street.

PEDESTRIAN.TV reached out to WA Police and asked whether the police officer driving the vehicle made an illegal turn, or whether they were responding to an emergency in which case they would have been allowed to break that road rule. However, police media declined to clarify this issue or answer our questions.

Police Minister Paul Papalia said in a press conference that while he couldn’t comment much on the case, he reckons there was no wrongdoing on behalf of the police. Of course.

“It is a terrible thing to have happened,” he said.

“But you have got to remember ultimately as a pedestrian you are the one responsible for your own safety… If you are crossing the road you have got to watch out because vehicles are much bigger and faster than you.”

Uh, okay, except that is not how road rules work. Like, at all.

According to WA’s road rules, drivers are required by law to give way to pedestrians crossing the road the vehicle is turning into. So no, pedestrians are not solely responsible for their own safety on the road. And even if they were, the circumstances would be a little different if an illegal turn was involved.

Colleen Calgaret’s critical condition is the latest in a string of tragedies involving police and First Nations people in Perth.

Noongar boy Jayden Abraham was mauled by WA police dogs in November and suffered severe injures to his face, back and arm.

Despite his innocence of any crime or untoward activity (not that this would justify mauling him), Deputy Police Commissioner Kylie Whiteley defended the use of police dogs on the 13-year-old as “appropriate”.

“In the middle of the night, in the dark, it’s unknown who you’re chasing, and so in those circumstances, a police dog may be deployed,” she said.

Ah yes, so we’re just supposed to be okay with a kid being attacked because police assumed he was a criminal?

In October, 15-year-old Noongar boy Cassius Turvey was allegedly murdered by Jack Stevens over suspicions Turvey had smashed a car window. Turvey was walking home from school and was wearing his uniform at the time.

Despite the fact police were investigating claims from multiple witnesses that Stevens — who is white — had hurled racial slurs at Turvey before allegedly attacking him, Police Commissioner Col Blanch told Perth radio station 6PR in October that police were “not operating on any principals of racism or motivation at this point.”

“It may be a case of mistaken identity, it may be a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said.

As most of us should know, an Indigenous kid is never “in the wrong place at the wrong time” on his own land, especially as a school kid walking home. He was exactly where he was meant to be.

The overwhelming pattern here is a refusal on WA Police’s part to acknowledge any responsibility or race politics potentially at play between its officers and Indigenous people.

Anyone with information about the crash which injured Colleen Calgaret is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at www.crimestoppperswa.com.au.

If you’re feeling affected by this content, help is available. There’s no shame in talking about it.

If you’re in distress, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat online.

You can also get in touch with Headspace Yarn Safe online.

Or you can speak with your NACCHO community health service – find your local member online.