The house where 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker was shot by former NT Police Officer Zachary Rolfe

How A Teen’s Death Exposed Shocking Police Racism In Australia

An inquest into the death of a Warlpiri man aged 19 ended this week after hearing shocking allegations of racism permeating the Nothern Territory Police Force.

Warning: The following article contains the name of a deceased Indigenous Australian.

The 19-year-old was shot dead during an attempted arrest in November 2019 by then police officer Zachary Rolfe. Rolfe was charged with murder but then acquitted following a trial.

Melissa Mackay from ABC Alice Springs unpacks the inquiry on The Briefing:

In life, Kumanjayi Walker is remembered by his family as someone who loved music, animals, spending time with his family, playing basketball and having a laugh.

But in death, a big part of Walker’s legacy has been to shine a light on shocking racism permeating the Northern Territory Police Force.

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ABC reporter Melissa Mackay spoke to Walker’s family members recently. Mackay said people are now considering the racial attitudes of government agencies in the NT.

“The night of the 9th of November is really contentious. Everyone sort of has a different idea of what happened, what went wrong, what should have happened. It’s been really traumatic for a lot of people,” she said.

After speaking with Walker’s family, Mackay said “They weren’t surprised by some of the evidence that’s come out about the attitudes of some police officers when it comes to Aboriginal people in the NT.”

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