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Police officer charged over driving unmarked car in fatal Indigenous teen crash

Warning: This story contains the name and images of a deceased Indigenous person.
A police officer who was driving an unmarked police car allegedly involved in a fatal collision with an Indigenous teenager has been charged over the boy's death.
Jai Kalani Wright, 16, was riding a trail bike that allegedly collided with Sergeant Benedict Bryant's unmarked police car on February 19, 2022, in inner-city Sydney.
He suffered critical head injuries when was thrown from the bike and died the following day at Prince Alfred Hospital. 
Jai Wright died following a collision with an unmarked police car. (Sydney Morning Herald)
An inquest into Wright's death was halted late last month when it emerged Bryant would be referred to prosecutors for potential charges.
Yesterday, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutors confirmed charges of negligent driving occasioning death and dangerous driving occasioning death had been laid via Court Attendance Notices.
"Following a referral from the State Coroner on 8 February 2024, the Director of Public Prosecutions has provided advice as required by the Coroners Act 2009 and determined that proceedings will be taken against a known person in relation to the death of Jai Wright," a spokesperson said.
The Dunghutti boy from Revesby in Sydney's south-west was studying to be an electrical apprentice and was described by family members as bright, funny, very happy and the life of the party.
Speaking outside court after NSW State Coroner Teresa O'Sullivan halted the inquest but before the charges were laid, Jai's father, Lachlan Wright, said he was happy to be taking the first steps towards truth and justice.
Mr Wright and Jai's mum, Kylie Aloua, yesterday told the Sydney Morning Herald they were  "emotional and relieved" to hear of the charges.
Pictured from left to right are Wright's brother Marli, father Lachlan, brother Kaidyn and Jai's mother Kylie talking to the media. (Sydney Morning Herald)
"It's been two years without our vibrant, beautiful son beside us," they said. 
"He was funny, witty, and loved by so many people.
"We ask our community and all of Jai's supporters to hold back on comments about the case for now while the legal process plays out. Thank you to everyone for your support over these two tough years."
Police said the bike Jai had been riding was seen for the last time before the crash turning right into Sydney Park Road in Alexandria.
It had been stolen about 7am along with a black Mercedes and a white BMW, before similar vehicles were spotted at a traffic light in Newtown about 25 minutes earlier, police said.
Two constables lost sight of the bike but alerted other officers to patrol the area.
Counsel assisting Peggy Dwyer SC told the inquest officers were told to stay in the area but not pursue the vehicles.
Footage played to the court allegedly showed Bryant swinging an unmarked silver Holden Commodore in front of the bike before it hit the police vehicle at high speed.
Speaking outside the inquest on January 30, Mr Wright said everyone regretted choices they made while young but there was no reason for anyone to lose their life because of a mistake.
"We grow from our mistakes, we learn from that," he said.

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