November 23, 2019 10:55:48
The national union representing police has condemned the murder charge against Northern Territory constable Zachary Rolfe over the death in custody of 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker in the Indigenous community of Yuendumu.
- The national police union says officers are shocked NT constable Zachary Rolfe was charged with murder
- The CEO says the charge has members “second guessing themselves”
- The union says it will provide full support to Constable Rolfe and his family
In a statement, the Police Federation of Australia (PFA) said officers around the country were “undoubtedly shocked” over the charge.
“The Police Federation of Australia condemns the recent charging of Constable Zach Rolfe … following an incident in the course of his duties,” the statement said.
“Members of all police forces around the country are undoubtedly shocked, however, Constable Rolfe has made it clear that he will plead not guilty and vigorously contest the charge.”
Kumanjayi Walker died after he was shot by police in a home during an attempted arrest on November 9 in the community of Yuendumu in central Australia.
Four days after the death in custody, Constable Zachary Rolfe, 28, was charged with murder.
The NT Police Association also indicated Constable Rolfe intended to plead not guilty.
PFA chief executive Scott Weber told the ABC the association would be supporting Zachary Rolfe and his family.
“This has been a tragic incident, there has been a death, but in saying that too, we have a police officer that’s life and career has been taken away from them as well,” Mr Weber said.
He said the charge had left many serving members, “questioning the job that they do”.
“Police officers go out there to protect the community every day. What is occurring now is police officers are going out on the street and they’re second guessing themselves,” Mr Weber said.
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The death of Kumanjayi Walker sparked protests around the country and calls for action to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
November 22, 2019 18:47:53
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