14th November 2019

Tragically, at just 19 years old, Kumanjayi Walker’s short life is over, a life taken too soon at the hands of Constable Zachary Rolfe in the NT outback community of Yuendumu.

His death comes just two months after the shooting death of Aboriginal mother Joyce Clarke in the WA city of Geraldton, the third fatal police shooting in WA in the past 12 months.

“It’s unacceptable that Aboriginal people are being killed by police, it is abhorrent and must stop” said Aboriginal Legal Service of WA CEO Dennis Eggington.

“There are clearly still major problems that exist in policing practices and police dealings with Aboriginal people. We’ve again reached crisis point and this must be addressed as a matter of urgency”.

ALSWA is also concerned that prolonged inquests continue to punish those left behind. “It is reprehensible that their pain and suffering is unnecessarily enhanced and we call on the government to expedite the coronial inquest process”.

ALSWA welcomes the news that Rolfe has been charged with murder, however is disappointed that he has been released on bail.

“The eyes of the world are again on this country for its disgraceful track record and relationship with its First Nations Peoples. Our governments should hang their heads in shame as they think about the grieving families who have to live with the absence of a loved one, taken too soon, by trigger happy police. A police badge is not a licence to kill” said Mr. Eggington.

ALSWA’s deepest condolences are with the families and communities whose loved ones have died at the hands of police.