Cassius Turvey, a 15-year-old boy, was tragically killed on the 13th of October on his way home from school in Middle Swan, Perth WA in what was potentially a case of mistaken identity. Although, this is just speculation at this stage. The alleged perpetrator a 21-year-old man has been arrested and small details have been revealed as to what unfolded prior to and leading up to Cassius tragically being killed. Nothing regarding motive, however, has been directly identified by the Police at this stage.
Cassius leaves behind a mother, Mechelle Turvey, completely devasted at the loss of her son and a community deeply hurt by the loss of a young, friendly, and well-liked boy. Vigils attended by thousands have been held across Australia and even as far as Los Angeles and New Zealand. And it’s been fantastic to see a family provided with national and global support in what is arguably the worst possible thing that could happen. I’m a parent and I couldn’t imagine the pain Ms Turvey must be in so the more support the better as far as I’m concerned.
But, unfortunately, as with many things this tragic killing has been racialized already without a single piece of evidence other than the fact (not piece of evidence) that the victim is Aboriginal and the perpetrator White. This dangerous and fundamentally irresponsible way of determining motive isn’t only found in Facebook comments and online forums, it’s actually present in the mind of our Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Who, last month stated the following, “This attack, that clearly is racially motivated, just breaks your heart.” How does he know that when the Police still to this day haven’t put forward a substantiated motive? How irresponsible for a world leader to state something like that. And furthermore, does that not make things worse for Cassius’s already grieving family? I can’t conceive of a way things are made better by such an unsubstantiated claim.
To clarify, I’m not saying that this couldn’t have been racially motivated but at this stage, we don’t know and anyone claiming so must provide factual evidence for doing so. Though, it seems that such trivial details like evidence are simply unimportant in today’s highly politicized climate, a very scary thought.