News State NT News NT police officer charged with murder in relation to death of Kumanjayi Walker

NT police officer charged with murder in relation to death of Kumanjayi Walker

Protesters call for justice for 19-year-old Warlpiri teenager Kumanjayi Walker at a march in Melbourne on Wednesday. Photo: AAP
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A Northern Territory policeman has been charged with murder over last weekend’s shooting of 19-year-old Indigenous man Kumanjayi Walker.

Mr Walker died after he was shot at Yuendumu, 266 kilometres from Alice Springs, on Saturday night.

Two police officers went there to arrest Mr Walker for breaches of his suspended sentence.

A 28-year-old male NT police officer had been charged with one count of murder, NT Police said on Wednesday night.

They said they would not release any further details as the matter was now before the court.

The charge came hours after the Yuendumu community turned out to ‘sweep’ the police station where the teen died, and protests around the country marched to seek ‘Justice for Walker’.

Protester painted their hands red for the march in Melbourne. Photo: AAP

Emotions ran high at a Darwin rally, which was a flashpoint for people’s anger over the treatment of indigenous people by police, with Aboriginal deaths in custody, high prison rates, past massacres and the Stolen Generations raised.

Yuendumu locals and Mr Walker’s family have complained they were not told about his death until the morning after he was shot and believed overnight that he was still alive.

They are calling for an investigation independent of NT Police and want the officers stood down without pay and charged if misconduct is proven.

Rallies were also held in Melbourne and Adelaide on Wednesday.

Northern Territory Police released a statement on Tuesday that  acknowledged the Yuendumu and Warlpiri community’s grief and the broader interest in the investigation into the shooting.

“There is a lot of public commentary especially on social media, which could influence witnesses and not allow the investigation to run its full course,” the statement read.

“Out of respect to the deceased man, his family, Yuendumu, the wider Warlpiri community and the welfare of the officers involved, we ask that social media users are mindful of the hard work being done by the community leaders to support the grieving and maintain community safety.”

The shooting took place at Yuendumu, 266 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs. Photo: ABC News

The investigation is being overseen by senior West Australian police officer and current NT Police Assistant Commissioner Nick Anticich.

A report is being prepared for the coroner.

Further independent oversight of the incident will come from the NT Ombudsman and the NT ICAC.