• Police watch over relatives of Kumanjayi Walker gathered outside of Alice Springs Local Court on Thursday, December 12, 2019. (AAP)Source: AAP
An NT court hears the police officer charged with the murder of Kumanjayi Walker should be acquitted as he was simply acting in the line of duty “in accordance to his training.”
By
Aneeta Bhole

Source:
NITV News
25 Sep 2020 - 4:37 PM  UPDATED 28 Sep 2020 - 5:34 PM

A decision on whether there is enough evidence for a NT police officer to stand trial, after being charged with the alleged murder of a 19-years-old Aboriginal man, will be made next month.

Kumanjayi Walker was fatally shot by Constable Zachary Rolfe at his home in Yuendumu, around 300km north-west of Alice Springs on the evening of November 9 last year.

Mr Rolfe’s lawyer David Edwardson QC argued his client should be acquitted saying he was simply acting in the line of duty “in accordance to his training.”

“The law recognises, and rightly so, the reality of actions in the agony of the moment,” Mr Edwardson said. 

“There is no evidence, in our submission, upon which a jury, properly instructed, could lawfully find that there were no reasonable grounds for the accused’s belief. 

“This is plainly a case of justifiable defensive conduct and no properly instructed jury could exclude this defence.” 

Crown Prosecutor Phil Strickland SC said evidence showed otherwise. 

“It is quite incorrect to say there is not a single piece of evidence to say that he did not comply wholeheartedly with his training,” Mr Strickland told the court.

“There is abundant evidence from the experts he did not comply with his training.

“It is a jury question particularly whether there was a reasonable response. And in my submission your Honour would reject the application.” 

Family gathered outside the Alice Springs local court on Friday with Mr Walker’s cousin Samara Fernandez addressing the crowd.

“We don’t want to be speaking to media at this time,” she said in a video posted to the Justice for Walker Facebook page.

“We’re going to control our media so I’m asking everyone to refrain to speaking to media.

“We’re very grateful for everyone that has come down.” 

The matter has been adjourned to October 26 at the Alice Springs Local court.

Kumanjayi Walker: Family say they've lost sleep over 'traumatising' video of fatal shooting
Following three days of a committal hearing for the officer accused of fatally shooting Kumanjayi Walker, the case has been adjourned until September 25.