On October 13, a 15-year-old Noongar schoolboy from Perth was allegedly beaten by a group of white men, his name was Cassius Turvey.
He was assaulted on 13 October 2022 in Perth, Western Australia, and died ten days later of his injuries. His death sparked vigils and rallies across Australia and internationally. A 21-year-old man was charged with his murder. Turvey was allegedly beaten to death with a metal pole in Perth earlier this month.
Cassius Struggle to Live
Ten days later, on October 23 and after spending almost a fortnight in and out of hospital undergoing several surgeries and being placed into an induced coma, Cassius succumbed to his injuries and tragically passed away.
Who Is young Cassius Turvey?
Cassius Turvey was a 15-year-old Noongar-Yamatji boy. His given name was Cassius Clay, the birth name of boxer Muhammad Ali because his family wanted him to be named after a strong black man. He was concerned with negative stereotypes of Aboriginal people and was well-liked in his community.
Cassius Turvey was a year nine student from Perth. His friends and family described him as a “vibrant, caring, jokester with a beautiful smile”, with his mother, Noongar-Yamatji woman Mechelle Turvey, telling ABC Radio Perth that Cassius “loved all the young fellas around him. Loved getting out in the community to youth centers.”
As per NITV, Cassius ran a lawn mowing business in his spare time, and rather than charging his neighbors for services, used the after-school activity as a means to provide “community service, build trust and change perceptions”.
“He just wanted to let people know that the youth in our community, we’re not bad,” Mechelle told the publication.
Tragically, Cassius’ death came a mere month after his father passed away after a battle with cancer.
Cassius Turvey Age
Cassius Turvey was born in Perth, Western Australia. He died on October 23, 2022, at the age of 15 years.
How Did Cassius Turvey Die?
On October 13, Cassius and a group of his friends, including his 14-year-old best friend and his two 13-year-old cousins, were reportedly walking to the local shops in Middle Swan after school.
At around 4:30 PM, it is alleged that a black Ford Ranger full of men pulled up and threatened the boys. The group then split up, with some fleeing to the local Tafe campus. However, Cassius was caught and beaten with a metal pole.
As per Detective Senior Sergeant Stephen Cleal, there is no clear indication that Jack Steven James Brearley, the man currently facing murder charges, knew Cassius or the other alleged members of the group.
Sergeant Cleal also advised that police believe a metal pole was involved in Cassius’ death.
“We believe that a metal pole was used in the assault. At this stage, we haven’t seized a metal pole. It’s still subject to investigation and searches,” he said in a press conference.
Brearley will face court on November 9 to face his murder charge, however, he’s not the only suspect being investigated in the crime.
“There is an investigation of another assault that occurred very similar to the time, for another young boy who was with that group,” Cleal said.
“Those investigations are ongoing at the moment about any further charges that may arise from that.
“The two people that we believe were subject of an assault within that group, which includes Cassius, just happened to be the two people they managed to catch up with.
“So there’s no indication that they knew them personally or singled them out. Following the incident, Cassius was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. He had a serious brain injury and suffered from two brain bleeds.
Cassius spent five days in the hospital before being discharged, yet hours later suffered a seizure and several strokes and returned to the hospital.
Cassius died on Sunday, October 23. The alleged perpetrator of this heinous crime, Brearley, was initially charged with unlawful wounding before the charges were upgraded.
WA Police claim they do not know the motive for the attack.
“At this stage, we’ve not established the motivation for why this occurred,” Cleal said.
“He’s seen the group of kids walking along and approached that group.”
Speaking to The Australian, Cassius’ mum Mechelle Turvey said: “How are we supposed to raise our young youth to be leaders and take on our next generation when we’re just pounding them into the ground, traumatizing them, making them feel that they are absolutely nothing?”
She continued: “This is just wrong; you don’t just go bashing our kids … I don’t care if they are black, white, or whatever. Even children who have different faiths are being attacked verbally and physically.”
Ballard on the Njaki-Njaki woman, Donna Nelson, also echoes McGlade’s and Turvey’s sentiments.
“Take away the race or color, if you’re not outraged that a child has lost their lives to thugs then you seriously need to take a good long look at yourself,” she said in an interview.
A GoFundMe has also been started by members of Cassuis’ family, seeking “funds to cover his funeral, legal costs for criminal compensation and justice”.
In just two days, the family has raised $262,307, with more than 6,400 donations.
Turvey’s alleged murderer will face court on November 9. Police are calling for assistance from locals to report any information they may have about the incident to Crime Stoppers.
The Dust his Death has Risen
Turvey’s family said on 24 October that it could be a case of mistaken identity and that he was targeted by the assailant thinking he was someone else.
His death sparked candlelit vigils and rallies across Australia on the evening of 2 November, as well as in New Zealand and Los Angeles. Turvey’s mother, Mechelle Turvey, appealed for calm at the rallies, saying that she wanted no violence in her son’s name and that she was the only person who could get justice for her son. An ongoing vigil was set up at a tree near the site of the attack, dubbed “Cassius’ tree”.
Western Australian Police and premier Mark McGowan discouraged public speculation about the reasons for the attack. Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese described it as an attack that was “clearly racially motivated”.
Human rights lawyer Hannah McGlade, a member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, said that the death reminded the community of other deaths of Aboriginal teenagers, including Elijah Doughty and Thomas “TJ” Hickey
May his young soul rest in perfect peace! Amen.