Queensland's crime watchdog has savaged the state's police commissioner and the way his officers handled the death in custody of Palm Island man Cameron Doomadgee.

The Crime and Misconduct Commission says six officers must face disciplinary action over their roles in two investigations into Mr Doomadgee's 2004 death at a watchhouse on Palm Island, an Aboriginal reserve 65km north-west of Townsville.

It also found Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson had presided over a self-serving culture in the police service, characterised by double standards and "an unwillingness to publicly acknowledge failings on the part of the police".

"The police commissioner must now demonstrate to his officers that this conduct is not acceptable and will no longer be tolerated," CMC chairman Martin Moynihan said.

"He must rid the service of these destructive aspects of the police culture."

The CMC has given the commissioner two weeks to say what actions will be taken against the six officers.

If the CMC is not satisfied with his response, Mr Moynihan said the CMC would commence disciplinary proceedings itself through the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Mr Moynihan said while there was insufficient evidence to support criminal charges against the six officers, disciplinary action was warranted.

"The conduct of four officers involved in the original police investigation is serious enough to warrant recommending consideration of disciplinary proceedings for misconduct," he said.

He said disciplinary proceedings must also be considered against members of the internal investigation team.

"I am now looking to the Police Commissioner (Bob Atkinson) to acknowledge the flawed and unacceptable conduct of the officers involved in both the initial police investigation and the QPS review," Mr Moynihan said.

"He must step up, take strong, decisive action and restore the confidence of the public, and its own members, in the police service."

Mr Moynihan said the people of Palm Island had deserved a thorough and impartial police investigation.

They had also deserved a rigorous and independent internal police review when the initial investigation was criticised.

But they got neither.

Immediately after the report's release on Thursday morning, the police commissioner gave an address on YouTube but did not address any of the criticisms levelled at him.

"For some there will never be a sense of satisfaction that justice has been done," he said.

"I have always acknowledged that the investigation into the death of Cameron Doomadgee could have been handled better."

He said that since Mr Doomadgee's death, the Ethical Standards Command of the police service had conducted 50 investigations relating to deaths in custody that had not been criticised by coroners nor the CMC.

"We are committed to having this matter resolved, but it is important that be done in a considered, fair and evidence-based way," he said.

"But it is time to bring this matter to an end so that everyone involved can move on."

Ahead of the report's release, the Queensland Police Union attacked the CMC's own handling of the case.

Union president Ian Leavers said Mr Atkinson wrote to the CMC on the November 24, 2004 offering to surrender full control of the Doomadgee investigation.

"How can the CMC credibly critique the work of the police involved in the investigations when they declined the opportunity to conduct the investigation themselves," he said.

"The CMC had the authority, power and the moral obligation to take over this investigation and they couldn't be bothered.

"Now, almost six years after the death the CMC want to shift the blame to police instead of accepting the responsibility lies squarely at their feet."

Mr Doomadgee died from massive internal injuries at the Palm Island watchhouse on November 19, 2004 following his arrest for public drunkenness.

He had struggled with his arresting officer Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley, who was acquitted of a charge of manslaughter by a Townsville jury in 2007.

The death sparked riots and saw the island's police station burned to the ground, amid claims of a police cover-up.

Earlier this year Coroner Brian Hine delivered an open finding into the death of Mr Doomadgee, saying he could not definitively say if the injuries that killed him were deliberately or accidentally inflicted.

But he said there was evidence that other police had colluded to protect Sen Sgt Hurley and said the CMC should take over responsibility death in custody investigations from police.

That change has already been made.

Before the report was handed down, Mr Atkinson said he intended to serve another term after his current contract expires at the end of October.

He said he'd not yet signed a new contract but "the government has indicated they are going to reappoint me and I'm grateful for that".

- AAP