• Social media lit up with birthday messages for Kumanjayi Walker (NITV)Source: NITV
Social media is lighting up with birthday messages and calls for justice for Kumanjayi Walker, who would have turned 20 today but died after he was fatally shot by an NT police officer last November.
By
Rachael Hocking

Source:
NITV News
13 Oct 2020 - 4:55 PM  UPDATED 13 Oct 2020 - 5:00 PM

Photos declaring 'Happy 20th Birthday Kumanjayi' with the hashtag #JusticeForWalker were shared online as part of a celebration of Kumanjayi Walker's life on Tuesday.

The Warlpiri teenager died after he was fatally shot by a NT police officer last year in his home in Yuendumu, around 300km north-west of Alice Springs. Within four days the officer was charged with murder.

Social media posts were encouraged by family and community members who are this week marking two major milestones since last November: Mr Walker's 20th birthday on October 13, and his funeral which will take place on Saturday.

The Justice For Walker Instagram page said the posts were inspired by Aunty Tanya Day's family, which asked for people to wear pink on her 58th birthday as her family continued to call for justice over the 2017 death in custody.

Among the posts were reminders to spread love with those you care about, while others created art inspired by photos of Kumanjayi Walker.

Warlpiri woman Anyupa Napangarti Butcher wrote, "Please take a moment to be grateful for your life & show love to those who are close to your heart".

Others used their posts to call for justice, with the Executive Officer for the peak body for Aboriginal legal services Roxy Moore writing, "Kumanjayi Walker should be alive with his family today celebrating his 20th birthday. But he was fatally shot and a police officer is on trial for murder".

Yuendumu community will host a birthday concert on Tuesday night, with PAW Media and IndigiTUBE expected to live stream the event at 630pm AEST.

A memorial will take place on Friday evening leading into Saturday's funeral, where the community will march from Mr Walker's house to the basketball court for the ceremony, before laying him to rest.

On October 26 Judge John Birch will decide if there is enough evidence for the NT police officer charged with murder to proceed to the Supreme Court for trial.

The officer has indicated he intends to plead 'not guilty'.

Yuendumu community renews calls for justice on eve of committal hearing
Almost ten months after he was fatally shot in a remote central desert community, Kumanjayi Walker's family will find out whether the police officer charged with murder will be put on trial in the Supreme Court.