The family of an Aboriginal woman who died in police custody wants footage of her final moments to be made public at an inquest into her death.
Tanya Day, a mother, grandmother and Yorta Yorta woman, was taken off a train and arrested for being drunk in a public place in December 2017, hitting her head five times while in custody and eventually dying from a brain haemorrhage.
Before a three-week inquest into her death starting on Monday before coroner Caitlin English, Ms Day's family and friends took part in a traditional smoking ceremony at a nearby park to honour her and other Aboriginal lives lost in police custody.
They are calling for CCTV footage of Ms Day's time in custody to be made public.
"Our mum should be alive today. We know that racism played a role in mum's death and that Victoria Police failed her. We want truth and accountability through this coronial inquest," her daughter Belinda Stevens told reporters on Monday.
"Our mother had so much more love and life to give - to us, to her grandchildren and to the broader community."
After the smoking ceremony, the group marched to the Coroner's Court for the start of the inquest, which will look at whether racism was a factor in Ms Day's treatment and ultimate death - a first for a Victorian coroner - after successful campaigning by Ms Day's family.
Aboriginal women are more likely to be targeted by police for being drunk in public than non-Aboriginal women, Ms Stevens said.
In December last year, the coroner called for the state government to abolish the offence of being drunk in public and the government finally announced action on Thursday to abolish the law.
Australian Associated Press
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