One brave girl takes a stand in the face of racial riots.

The cousin of a dead Aboriginal boy has explained why she made the ‘split second’ decision to stand up for police during the Kalgoorlie race riots, telling Daily Mail Australia: ‘We really wanted it to be a peaceful protest out of respect for (Elijah)’.

Hayley Garlett, 18, and her mother Patricia Gerardi, 39, were widely praised after they put themselves in harm’s way and stood in front of police officers during Tuesday’s riot.

Angry protesters shattered court house windows and pelted officers with rocks, furious over the death of Elijah Doughty, 14. A 55-year-old white man had been listed to appear in front of a magistrate charged with Doughty’s manslaughter.

“We did not want that to be what people think of our people. Our memories of him aren’t that, what that was yesterday,” Hayley said.

“He was a happy kid, he was always happy always smiling. He would not want that in his name, or anyone’s.

“I just wanted it to calm. I did not think, but of course I was scared. But it was something I felt I had to do.”

Speaking of the police’s role, she told the Nine Network: ‘They’re there to protect us. They’re not the ones that did that.”

A Facebook post highlighting Hayley’s bravery has been shared over 57oo times and received nearly 20K reactions.

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  • The Police may have been notified that there would be a orderly protest.
    The girl and her Mum were very brave and thoughtful to protect the Police.
    They may not have actually been involved in the rally. I have seen rallies that had spectators watching from a short distance away.


  • Any person who would torture a person in the process of murder is a waste of space. Nobody deserves anything such as this ……..not even an animal does.


  • Good for her. Its so wrong to attend these things and be violent over it when the family have asked for things to be peaceful. Sometimes I think people attend just for the confrontation rather then for the true cause.


  • Very brave of her indeed! An amazing girl!!


  • She was a very brave girl, what a beautiful thing to do. Peaceful protests are more meaningful in the end!


  • An amazing young lady,a great example.


  • Great example Hayley, you were an inspiration !


  • I’m still at a loss to understand what happened.


  • A brave and smart young lady. Her family should be very proud


  • A very courageous young lady, well done to you and your parents for raising someone with principles, respect and bravery, you should be so proud of yourself, well done!


  • Respect for this young woman – the face of courage.


  • Wow, amazing! Just goes to show the ones who cared the young boy killed aren’t the ones over reacting. These scenes on the news really shocked me


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