NT Police officer charged over death of Kumanjayi Walker
A Northern Territory Police officer has been charged with murder over 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker’s death in the remote community of Yuendumu.
Mr Walker was shot on Saturday night when two police officers attempted to arrest him for breaches of a community corrections order.
NIT understands the young Warlpiri man was on Sorry Business and had previously organised to comply with police after he attended a funeral on Saturday.
The officer charged on Wednesday night has been named as Constable Zachary Rolfe who was granted bail with permission to travel interstate.
The 28-year-old has reportedly left the Territory and has been suspended with pay from NT Police.
NT Police Association (NTPA) has said Mr Rolfe will plead not guilty to the charge.
“He, like all, has the presumption of innocence in his favour,” said a statement from the NTPA.
His next court appearance is set for December 19 in Alice Springs.
Wednesday saw Australians mobilise their support across the country with protests in every major city as well as others.
News of Mr Rolfe’s charge emerged during the Perth protest at WA Parliament, with cheers erupting from the crowd as protesters heard.
Amnesty International Australia’s Indigenous Rights Manager, Tammy Solonec, made an appearance at the Perth rally – calling for an impartial investigation.
“I second the community and family call for an urgent and independent investigation. We do not want the police investigating the police,” Ms Solonec said.
Statements from senior Warlpiri figures have also called for a proper investigation.
“We need a proper investigation. Outside people should be involved, not the police … We need truth and justice,” said senior Warlpiri woman, Valerie Napaljarri Martin.
“Our black lives matter. It’s gone beyond too far. This is really happening to our people.”
By Hannah Cross
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