A prominent human rights lawyer said the family of a 29-year-old Aboriginal mother who died after being shot by West Australian police on Tuesday night have a number of questions to ask about "system and protocols" that may have led to the incident.
Principal solicitor for the National Justice Project, George Newhouse, told NITV's The Point on Wednesday that he has been asked to to assist the family of Yamatji woman Joyce Clarke, who was fatally shot by police after they were called out to a "disturbance".
Ms Clarke sustained a gunshot wound to the stomach and was taken to Geraldton Regional Hospital but later died.
Mr Newhouse also said it was important for there to be independent investigations so the community can continue to trust the police.
“If communities don’t feel that sense of trust, they don’t feel that they’re treated appropriately, [and] this poor relationship with the police will continue and more people may die,” he said.
Meanwhile, the family of Joyce Clarke have called for calm in Geraldton, 400 kilometres northeast of Perth, after around 100 protestors demanding answers gathered outside the local police station on Wednesday.
Regional WA Police Commander Alan Morton yesterday confirmed police were headed to a reported incident in the suburb of Karloo when officers encountered Ms Clarke.
Commander Moreton expressed condolences for the family on behalf of WA police and described the shooting as "traumatic for everyone".
“No one expects to commence duty and have to use lethal force in the execution of that duty. Tragically that was not the case for the officer last night,” he said.
The commander was unable to say why police used a lethal weapon over a non-lethal weapon and added that would be determined by an internal investigation.
Police lowered the Aboriginal flag at the local station to half-mast as sign of respect.
There has since been reports in WA media that police have also imposed liquor restrictions in Geraldton until Saturday, citing "high emotions".
It also reports that the family of the victim are requesting the name of the constable who shot Ms Clarke be released.
Ms Clarke’s mother, Anne Jones, told reporters overnight that her daughter a "caring and loving" girl.
“[I'm] devastated but I just got to stay strong for my grandchild," she said.
- The family has given permission for Ms Clarke's name and photos to be used.