Closing arguments set to begin at inquest into death of Indigenous teen Devon Freeman
The family of an Indigenous boy who died after being left alone in a hot car are hoping for a different result in a hearing next week in his wrongful death case – as they make the case for a second inquest into his death.
Devon Freeman, 14, died on October 16, 2016, after a motor vehicle accident in Sydney’s southwest.
The NSW Supreme Court heard Freeman died in the back seat of a van driven by his 18-year-old brother and two others, while the vehicle was heading to a McDonald’s drive-through.
The inquest will be concluded on Friday in the Supreme Court of New South Wales after a two-week hearing.
The family of 13-year-old Devon Freeman.
Inquest process begins
Freeman’s death shocked many in the community, not least because of his Aboriginal heritage.
He was the younger son of an Indigenous mother and father and was the third child.
Freeman’s father Michael Freeman was a high-profile Aboriginal activist, and was the former Indigenous rights commissioner for NSW.
His partner and mother, Nalicia Freeman, was also Indigenous.
While Nalicia, who was originally from a remote community in NSW, lived in a traditional Indigenous area and spoke Aboriginal languages in her home, the couple also lived in a middle class area of Redfern.
Freeman joined a school in Redfern a couple of years ago and was known as an active and well-liked member of the school.
He was also popular on his school’s basketball and cricket teams.
“A lot of us in the [community] really loved him and loved hanging out with him,” said his older sister, Ayla.
Ayla remembered him on the basketball court and said that his passion for the game was evident from a young age.
“He had a lot of natural talent,” she said.
“He took his game very seriously.
“Sometimes you could see his eyes sparkle when he was dribbling the ball.”