Kumanjayi Walker inquest hears officer wouldn’t have called specialist team if she had known about racist texts

The officer in charge of the Yuendumu police station on the night Kumanjayi Walker died says she wouldn’t have allowed the unit Constable Zachary Rolfe was part of into the community if she had known any members of the team had exchanged racist texts.  Key points: Sergeant Julie Frost says she wouldn’t have called the response team … Read more

NT police officer feared ‘cultural payback’ after Kumanjayi Walker shooting, coroner hears

A Northern Territory police officer in Yuendumu on the night Kumanjayi Walker died was “scared of a mob of community members potentially driving through the doors of the police station, storming the police station and going for firearms”, a coronial inquest has heard. Key points: The coroner heard the decision not to immediately inform Mr Walker’s … Read more

Kumanjayi Walker inquest hears officers thought drawing their guns would ‘escalate’ axe incident, before shooting death

Two police officers have revisited the so called “axe incident” that took place days before Kumanjayi Walker’s shooting death, telling the coroner they didn’t think the 19-year-old was a threat, even when he confronted them with a weapon during an attempted arrest.  Key points: Kumanjayi Walker brandished an axe at officers, three days before he died  Senior … Read more

Zachary Rolfe’s ‘blatantly racist’ and ‘disgraceful’ texts with colleagues read out at Kumanjayi Walker inquest

Text message exchanges between Constable Zachary Rolfe and several police colleagues have been described as “threatening”, “blatantly racist” and “homophobic” by a serving sergeant, as they were read out in the Northern Territory coroner’s court.  Key points: In one text, Constable Rolfe refers to Aboriginal people as “neanderthals” In another text, he describes “acting” on body worn video Ian … Read more

‘Overtly racist’ and ‘disturbing’ Rolfe texts should be included in Kumanjayi Walker inquest, coroner hears

Eight-thousand pages of messages were downloaded from Constable Zachary Rolfe’s phone, including some that were “disturbing” and “disgraceful”, after he was arrested and charged with murder over the death of 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker in 2019, the Northern Territory coroner has heard. Key points: Legal arguments over objections to some evidence continued for a second day … Read more

NT Police considered further unrelated charges against Zachary Rolfe, days before shooting inquest

Days before the inquest into the death of Kumanjayi Walker began, Northern Territory Police considered referring Constable Zachary Rolfe to the Director of Public Prosecutions for allegedly perjuring himself during a 2019 court case, the coroner has heard. Key points: Constable Rolfe’s barrister told the coroner that police considered referring him to prosecutors last week … Read more

Police officers from major centres lack ‘respect and responsibility’, Yuendumu shooting inquest hears

A senior Aboriginal community police officer has told the Northern Territory coroner that police from out of town are “rougher” than their bush-based counterparts and lack “respect and responsibility”. Key points: The Yuendumu Aboriginal community police officer told the inquest cultural awareness training for NT police officers was inadequate  Kumanjayi Walker’s grandfather says he felt “traumatised” … Read more

Kumanjayi Walker inquest hears Constable Zachary Rolfe’s use of force was ‘not reasonable’ on five occasions

The inquest into the 2019 police shooting death of Kumanjayi Walker has heard a use of force expert concluded Constable Zachary Rolfe had a “tendency to rush into situations with a disregard for his or others safety”. Key points: Counsel assisting intends to table a review of Constable Rolfe’s use of force The coroner heard … Read more

Kumanjayi Walker’s family revisits ‘terrifying’ night he died as inquest begins in Alice Springs

In an emotional start to a three-month coronial inquest into the death of Kumanjayi Walker, the Northern Territory coroner heard first hand from members of the Warlpiri man’s family about the night he died, urging the court to hear their voices. Key points: Members of Mr Walker’s family addressed the court and called for urgent action The … Read more

NT Police increase presence in Yuendumu in response to escalating destruction, violence

After weeks of incessant unrest among family groups living in the remote Central Australian community of Yuendumu, police have increased their presence in the face of escalating property destruction and violence.  Key points: There has been a wave of unrest and violence in Yuendumu for several weeks NT Police has increased its presence, but has emphasised … Read more