Officer Charged With Murder After Indigenous Australian Man Shot In His Home Died In Police Custody
Kumanjayi Walker was shot in his home while police were serving an outstanding warrant.
November 14, 2019 at 7:37 pm
Following protests demanding answers for the death of an indigenous Australian man, a police officer has been charged with murder.
Aboriginal Kumanjayi Walker, 19, died while in police custody after being shot in his Yuendumu home on Saturday, according to BBC.
The Guardian reports Walker was shot while officers were serving an outstanding warrant. He was taken to the police station where he died from injuries sustained during the shooting as he waited for medical assistance.
Thousands of people have marched through Alice Springs, Australia in protest over the death of 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker, who was allegedly shot dead by a police officer in the remote community of Yuendumu https://t.co/f12kRIuuLg
— Phony Constitutional Clauses; Emoluments ???????????? (@RWwatchMA) November 14, 2019
Constable Zachary Rolfe was arrested Wednesday and will reportedly plead not guilty, according to BBC. He received bail and has been suspended with pay during the investigation.
Northern Territory organizations protested following the shooting demanding an "immediate and exhaustive" investigation into the 19-year-old's death.
The Central Land Council requested to see the body-camera video from the night of the shooting.
“We want full transparency, we want to see the body camera evidence, we want it out in the open,” Joe Martin-Jard said.
“I call on the coroner to have this inquiry at Yuendumu and give families the chance to talk to him,” he said.
According to BBC, there were not any medical clinics opened in Yuendumu at the time of Walker's death.
Congress, the central Australian Aboriginal health service, CEO Donna Ah Chee said the NT Health Department should investigate why the clinic was closed and didn't "immediately" reopen.
“Clinic closures are a disturbing trend with life-threatening consequences – as we have seen this weekend,” Ah Chee said.
Independent member Scott McConnell said the clinics being closed over the weekend is an "inadequate" response to the needs of the community.
“Yuendumu is a difficult place to live and work at the moment. We do have an issue with law and order and crime in the NT, and I have been concerned about these things for a long time,” McConnell said. “I feel for health staff at Yuendumu … but the government’s response to that seems to have been inadequate.
The clinic is expected to be open today during their normal business hours with staff from the nearby community of Yuelamu.
Despite unanswered questions and the community's distress, protests have remained calm mostly due to the elders in the neighborhood.
“There has been incredibly good leadership from elders who kept people calm in an absolute vacuum of information [from police],” McConnell said.
Walker is the second Aboriginal person to die after being shot by police in the past two months.