Thousands gathered at a vigil on October 31 for Indigenous teenager Cassius Turvey, who was allegedly attacked while walking home from school in Perth and later died from his injuries.
Footage by Natasha Collard shows the crowd at Weip Park in the Midlands suburb of Perth as well as Cassius’s mother Mechelle Turvey speaking at the service. Turvey said: “So many people have said so many things about Cassius but my son is my greatest.”
More than three thousand people showed up to the vigil, NITV estimated.
Cassius, a Noongar Yamatji teen, was allegedly beaten with a metal pole while walking home from school with a group of friends in Middle Swan on October 13, the ABC reported. The 15-year-old died in hospital 10 days after the attack, having sustained serious head injuries.
A 21-year-old man has been charged with murder in relation to the case, the ABC said.
Aboriginal leaders condemned what they called a “cowardly racist act against an innocent child” and urged authorities to hear their concerns, according to NITV.
Noongar Elder Uncle Ben Taylor said Cassius’s death had caused enormous sorrow in the community. “All our hearts are saddened today, crying out in pain,” he said during the vigil, which also included choir and dance performances, NITV said. Credit: Natasha Collard via Storyful
MECHELLE TURVEY: Cassie's tonight. Thank you for that.
Cassius was named by his big brother. Jonah, where are you? Put his hand up.
JAY TURVEY: Right here.
MECHELLE TURVEY: That's his eldest brother, Jay. Me and my husband. Rest in peace, Sam. We spent ages trying to name this kid and we wanted a really strong name.
That would represent our son and the first name we thought of was Samson, because my husband's name was Sam. But then we thought, no, that's a yucky name. No, no, keep that. And every night, me and my husband used to sit in the lounge room with the baby naming books, and we'd flick through, flick through. We'd argue.
And then one night, Cassie's oldest brother, Jay, just got sick of us and he said, take those books away, you old fools.
His name is right in front of you. You'se are blind. The strongest name you could ever give my brother is Cassius. As in Cassius Clay, a.k.a. Muhammad Ali. And I'd like to thank my son, Jay, for giving him that name, because that name is just a name on his birth certificate, but that name represents Cassius to the T. Strength. He was strong. And as Muhammad Ali done throughout his life, he wasn't just strong in the ring boxing. But he took his strong words in the community and to the world. So many people have said so many things about Cassius, but my son is my greatest. And I thank you.