Current NT Police Officer charged with the murder of indigenous person

shellyg

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"The 19-year-old, who for cultural reasons is now known as Kumanjayi Walker."



One week ago, Mr Walker was shot by police in his home.

The police have said officers went there to arrest him for a breach of the conditions of his suspended sentence.

The first call came just before 8:00pm on Saturday. A former Yuendumu resident rang ABC reporter Steven Schubert to tell him police had shot a young man and community residents couldn't find out what happened.

A call to police confirmed the basic details: a young man had been shot by police and was in a critical condition.

The situation was complicated due to no near medical facility that could deal with his injuries and as word began to filter out in the community, they started to gather around the police station.

"When we heard what happened, the police were already on their way to the police station and they locked themselves in there," he said.

"That's when we started to get angry, and wailing, and crying.

"We tried to make them [the police] come and talk to us. They wouldn't come out, they just looked at us from the window. We want to know what happened."

Police locked themselves inside the police station with the 19-year-old and turned off the interior lights.

The local Yuendumu clinic was unstaffed that night — it had been evacuated the same day due to safety concerns related to break-ins.

The general manager for primary health in central Australia, David Reeve, has since explained that on the night before the shooting, three staff houses had been broken into while staff were inside.

"At the same time several of our cars had been smashed with rocks and broken into, so our staff were very scared, so we thought it's best in that time to put our staff back into Alice Springs just until things calmed down," Mr Reeves said.

"You're late, you're f***ing late," came a voice from the crowd as an ambulance pulled into the Yuendumu police station about 8:30pm.

The NT Health Department said the two health workers who arrived from Yuelamu were later injured when rocks were thrown at their ambulance.




In incredibly complicated circumstances, NT Police has since charged one of its officers — 28-year-old Constable Zachary Rolfe — with one count of murder.
 

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DidakDelight

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Not sure the cops need to carry a sidearm on regular duties not just in Aboriginal communities, anywhere really.
Great Post

side arms aren’t always going to cut the mustard.

M4 carbines appear to serve well in other policing jurisdictions in Australia so perhaps the NT should explore them as an option.
 

shellyg

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Might it also be smarter not to try and arrest someone on a Saturday night, in their house? When do the cops raid anybody on a Saturday night anyway?
 

DidakDelight

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Might it also be smarter not to try and arrest someone on a Saturday night, in their house? When do the cops raid anybody on a Saturday night anyway?
If a bloke belts his mrs on a Saturday afternoon and is chilling out at home on a Saturday should the cops wait until Monday morning?

I think your confused between a power of arrest (which the NT cops used) and a raid which is a separate matter altogether and quite often doesn’t involve a power of arrest
 

shellyg

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If a bloke belts his mrs on a Saturday afternoon and is chilling out at home on a Saturday should the cops wait until Monday morning?

I think your confused between a power of arrest (which the NT cops used) and a raid which is a separate matter altogether and quite often doesn’t involve a power of arrest
I'd call it a raid when the police enter your house in exercising a warrant and I think, as usual and in hindsight which is wonderful that a smarter way of doing things might have been found in this situation which wasn't a response to a situation that needed immediate intervention.

Also, I have no dog in this fight. Do you?
 

shellyg

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This is the way I see it.

Walker has a history of petty offences, cuts his ankle bracelet off in court ordered rehab Alice Springs and makes his way back to his community. The police see him, he brandishes an axe then drops it and runs off into the bush. That's bad.

The police have to arrest him (I get that) , they know he's at his nanna's house and they go in, wired. Walker is shot dead. This is much, much worse.

Community in outrage, white cop kills black kid and charged with murder. They're calling it murder essentially straight up, none of the usual preliminaries. The narrative now is, 19yo Aboriginal kid with a disability is murdered because he waved an axe around in the distance.

Did it have to happen like that?
 

shellyg

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If as we get more information, it comes out that someone from within rang the police to say where Walker was and that he was dangerous/ask they go and pick him up, it might change things.
 

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BlueE

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There was a thread on this which seems to have disappeared that I wanted to comment on some very biased posts in this incident against the police officer acting in self defence after he and his partner were stabbed when making an arrest. It's a tragedy that the victim was shot and died. However acting in self defence after being stabbed when trying to uphold the law is not murder in my opinion.

The police officer, Constable Zachary Rolfe and a partner went went to the volatile Aboriginal community of Yuendumu to arrest 19-year-old Mr Walker.

Walker had been in jail, charged with assaulting police and aggravated assault. Once freed, he breached his suspended sentence by returning to Yuendumu.

On the Wednesday before the shooting, local police tried to arrest Walker. They ran for their lives when he swung a hatchet at them.

On Saturday morning, staff at the local medical clinic were evacuated for safety reasons.

That night, Rolfe, a former soldier and decorated for bravery, went with another Alice Springs officer to arrest Walker.

Walker stabbed Rolfe in the shoulder with scissors. He then stabbed the other officer, although failed to penetrate his bulletproof vest and as they fought, Rolfe shot Walker and shot him again. It’s all on video.

On Sunday morning, Rolfe was released from hospital.

On Tuesday, Rolfe was told by superiors he’d be safer in Darwin. His name and photo had been leaked.

On Wednesday morning he was arrested in Darwin for murder and put in jail. Sources in Darwin suggest to Sky News the Director of Public Prosecutions was not even shown the video before police acted.

On Thursday, Rolfe had to leave the Northern Territory as a condition of his bail. He cannot stay to make his own inquiries.

 
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BlueE

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I don't understand, bias in this thread or the media generally?
In the thread mainly, suggesting guns shouldn't be worn in remote communities for one.

Bazookas anyone?

However the media commentary I've seen seems to be around "shoot to kill". That is not what police are trained to do! Using force to reduce threat and gain control. So fake news with many outlets printing exactly the same rubbish!

It is a tragedy and as much as I despise Andrew Bolt he at least has some facts in his article and is probably not too far wrong with his suggestion that there is a political agenda here.
 

shellyg

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In the thread mainly, suggesting guns shouldn't be worn in remote communities for one.
That's your case for demonstrating "some very biased posts"?

I feel you may not have read the entirety of the thread before launching and rather jumped to conclusion.... ?
 

shellyg

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Thanks have just changed it now can you change the heading that everyone can read?

Curious that's all you took for the post after a thread of biased posting and jumping to conclusions?
It's hard to believe you actually doubled down on this.
 

DidakDelight

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NT criminal code has some complicated legislation when it comes to murder in particular police a bit different to other states
 

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shellyg

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An application to move Constable Zachary Rolfe's murder case from Alice Springs to Darwin has been refused by a local court judge.
  • The matter has been adjourned until April 9, 2020 for a preliminary examination
  • Constable Zachary Rolfe's bail was extended until this next court appearance
  • Alice Springs local court Judge John Birch said changing venue would "pre-empt an outcome in the Supreme Court"
Constable Rolfe was charged with one count of murder over the death of Yuendumu man Kumanjayi Walker, in November 2019.

 

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