Nation-wide rallies are being held to demand answers over the shooting death of 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker.
– located around 300 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs.
Protesters in Melbourne. Source: AAP
On Wednesday night, NT Police announced that a
A National Day of Action saw supporters express grief and anger at what they have described as yet another case of "injustice" against an Indigenous Australian.
A National Day of Action was held for Kumanjayi Walker. Protesters have even rallied outside Federal Parliament. Source: SBS News
Wiradjuri man Michael Weir was among those standing in solidarity outside Parliament House in Canberra.
“This injustice that is happening to our people – it’s wrong,” he told SBS News.
“It seems so blatantly obvious to us that racism is behind this and we never get justice.”
Wiradjuri man Michael Weir. Source: SBS News
The national movement is calling for an independent investigation into Mr Walker’s death and for authorities to release all police station and bodycam footage of the incident.
Mr Walker was taken to a police station after being shot – where he later died from his injuries.
But several community elders have told who say they had attempted to arrest the 19-year-old over "outstanding offences".
There are calls for an independent investigation into the 19-year-old's death. Source: SBS News
Mr Weir said he felt anger and despair upon hearing news of the 19-year-old’s death.
“Not shocked just really angry and really hurt and you feel hopeless,” he said.
“How do we stop this?”
The remote community’s health clinic was closed over the weekend, meaning there was no medical staff on hand at the time of the shooting.
There have been more than 420 Indigenous deaths in custody recorded since a Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in 1991.
This latest incident comes after another in September, when a
Darumbal woman Hayley McQuire told SBS News the justice system “needs to change”.
“We are here because we are hurting and we are sad,” she said.
“Our justice system is not just for our people and it needs change and needs collective responsibility.
“It is our responsibility to say we have got better standards than this."
Darumbal woman Hayley McQuire. Source: SBS News
Senator Pat Dodson promised those in mourning outstanding questions around the 19-year-old's death would not go “unanswered”.
“We come because another Aboriginal life has been needlessly taken,” he said outside Parliament.
“This death will not go unanswered – this death will demand reform in the policing system and in the quality of services and health particularly into these places.”
Senator Pat Dodson speaks to supporters outside Parliament House. Source: SBS News
He expressed concern “the use of guns” was becoming part of a “culture of policing” and officers were not being adequately trained to handle adverse situations.
“It is hard knowing what all the facts are when we are so far away,” he said.
“[But] in these circumstances, the lack of information is a cause of much suspicion – the cause of much fear, anger and obviously hatred."
Supporters gather outside Parliament House. Source: SBS News
Aboriginal Legal Service Practice manager Bill Collins told SBS News he is struggling to understand how such a tragedy could have taken place.
“To hear another young man was shot by police without [using] means possible like pepper spray or tasers – it is just unbelievable,” he said.
“I still can’t believe this is happening in this day and age.”
Bill Collins speaks outside Parliament House. Source: SBS News
Senator Malarndirri McCarthy said she shared the sense of sadness felt across the nation at Mr Walker’s loss.
“What has happened should never have happened and there are so many questions that must be answered,” she said.
“All Australians are wanting those questions answered.”
Rallies were held in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart this evening to mark the National Day of Action.
The movement's demands also include 24-hour full-time medical staff in the Yuendumu community, funding for sorry business and “alternative approaches to racist policing”.
Supporters expressed their grief and anger over Kumanjayi Walker's death. Source: SBS News
NT police "as this matter is before the court, no further information will be released", following the officer's arrest and charging.