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Agent Zachary Rolfe was found not guilty of murdering Kumanjayi Walker and all the other charges he faced in the NT Supreme Court on Friday.
Outside court, Officer Rolfe was asked about the verdict.
“Obviously I think it was the right decision, but a lot of people are suffering today,” he said.
‘The Kumanjayi family, I am going to leave this space for them.’
Officer Zachary Rolfe was found not guilty of the murder of Kumanjayi Walker and all other charges he faced.
Officer Rolfe denied killing Kumanjayi Walker after the teenager stabbed him with scissors on November 9, 2019.
He had pleaded not guilty in the Northern Territory High Court to the two alternative charges of involuntary manslaughter and violent act that caused death.
Walker died after Const Rolfe fired three shots into the 19-year-old’s back and torso as he resisted arrest in Yuendumu, 180 miles northwest of Alice Springs.
The Crown conceded the first shot, fired while the teenager was on his feet and struggling with Sergeant Adam Eberl, was justified.
But he said the second and third shots, which are the subject of the murder charge, went “too far.”
Jurors in the four-and-a-half-week trial heard testimony from some 40 witnesses. Police body camera footage of the shooting was also shown to the court.
“As we have discussed before, it was a tragic day. A young man lost his life. But let’s not forget that Agent Rolfe, Agent Eberl were brutally attacked and continued their training.
“It was a farce that Officer Rolfe was charged so quickly and without a thorough investigation. We will have more to say about it in the coming days.
Outside the courtroom there was deep anger and frustration on the part of Aboriginal members of Mr. Walker’s community.
All of Walker’s supporters were devastated by the verdict, as they demanded an end to guns in his community.
‘When are we going to get justice?’ Warlpiri veteran Ned Jampijinpa Hargraves said.
We don’t want guns! Enough is enough! It has to stop. To our people, let us stand firm.
“And we don’t want another young black man, or a little girl, getting shot.”
Another indigenous elder, Warren Williams, questioned why there were no Aboriginal people on the jury.
“We wanted to see Zachary Rolfe locked up,” he said.
Williams said there was a clear double standard when it came to indigenous Australians charged with crimes.
‘Justice seems to be really dishonest. It helps (non-Indigenous Australians) avoid justice instead of holding them accountable,” he continued.
Members of Mr. Walker’s family and community have expressed outrage at the verdict delivered on Friday.
‘There are over 500 Aboriginal deaths in custody that need justice. No police officer has been charged or convicted of any offense in relation to the deaths in custody of (Indigenous Australians).’
Another Walker supporter said the family and community were “devastated by this injustice.”
We are all so full of anger and pain. It is a racist system that we have here in Australia,” he said.
‘Our spirit may be broken, but we are the powerful decision makers, we as a Warlpiri nation, against the weapons we know the police have used against our people by choice.
must stop. We demand an end to guns in our communities.’
He criticized those who saw Agent Rolfe as a “hero”.
‘Disgusting. After he went into our community as a predator, he took our young man. He is a hero to you.
Would you call misfortune death?
Because I wouldn’t. He has been criticized and criticized by people who did not know him. They only saw his flaws and wanted to put him on trial for his own death. That’s gross.
“He was a cheerful young man who was generous, a young man who was taken too soon and a young man who will be sorely missed.”