Slain boy’s mom takes case to U.N.


An Australian whose 15-year-old son was killed by police who shot him five times but were cleared of wrongdoing took her case to the U.N. on Thursday, saying they “didn’t even ask him his name.”

Tyler Cassidy was armed with knives, intoxicated and in a distressed state when he confronted four police officers in a deserted Melbourne skate park in December 2008. He was shot dead in little more than a minute. The police, who between them emptied two cans of capsicum spray and fired 10 bullets at the teen, were absolved of any blame in 2011 by a coroner who ruled that they acted within the limits of their training.

But Tyler’s mother, Shani Cassidy, has taken the case to the U.N. Human Rights Committee, alleging Australia breached its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Cassidy said the coroner had relied on the findings of an internal police review of the officers’ conduct, and argued the failure to hold an independent probe breached international law.

“My son died just 73 seconds after police officers first approached him,” she said.