Police officer charged with murder over teen's shooting death in Yuendumu

| 13.11,19. 09:44 PM |

Police officer charged with murder over teen's shooting death in Yuendumu

Photo: Apryl Day, whose mother's death is being examined, attended a Justice for Walker rally. (ABC News: Jedda Costa)

A police officer has been charged with murder over the shooting death of a 19-year-old in a remote NT community.
The victim has been identified by his family as Kumanjayi Walker, who was a Warlpiri man.

WARNING: This article contains an image of Mr Walker used with the permission of his family.

Mr Walker was shot by a police officer in the community of Yuendumu on Saturday night.

There was no medical help at the time in the community, which is 266 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs.

The Yuendumu clinic was unstaffed due to safety concerns related to break-ins.

Health workers in the neighbouring community of Yuelamu, about an hour's drive from Yuendumu, pronounced Mr Walker dead at the Yuendumu police station.

Concerns over staff safety also delayed other medical help arriving from the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).

The RFDS did not immediately leave for Yuendumu because it could not "confirm there was a safe and secure environment for the aircraft/crew to land".

The death has been declared a death in custody.

Northern Territory Police said 28-year-old Northern Territory police officer Constable Zachary Rolfe had been charged Mr Walker's murder.

In their statement on Wednesday evening, police said they would not release any further details as the matter was now before the court.

Mr Walker's death prompted rallies in Yuendumu yesterday, with more held in several major Australian cities today.

Present at the Melbourne rally was Apryl Day, the daughter of Tanya Day, a Yorta Yorta woman whose 2017 death is currently being examined by the Victorian coroner.

On Monday Northern Territory Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker said WA Police Assistant Commissioner Nick Anticich, who is on secondment with NT Police, would lead a Professional Standards investigation into Mr Walker's death.

"All the answers that people are seeking will be known," he said.

NT Independent Commissioner Against Corruption commissioner Ken Fleming and the NT Ombudsman will also provide oversight to the investigation.


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