Kumanjayi Walker’s mother launches legal action
THE mother of a teenager who was killed when he was allegedly shot by an NT Police officer is taking the police to court.
Three police officers, the NT Police Commissioner and the NT Government have this week all been summoned to appear in a Local Court, after Aboriginal teen Kumanjayi Walker was allegedly shot dead by police in Yuendumu community late last year.
Constable Zachary Rolfe has already been charged with the murder of Mr Walker.
Mr Walker's mother Leanne Oldfield has launched the legal action, which she hopes will allow her "deeply traumatised family and the community of Yuendumu to participate in this quest for justice".
"This week I have taken a significant step in seeking justice for the death of my son," Ms Oldfield said.
"On Wednesday, acting as both the complainant and the private prosecutor, I filed three complaints against three police officers, the Northern Territory police commissioner, and the body politic known as the Northern Territory of Australia, along with three summons to appear in the Local Court.
"The defendants have now been served with summons to appear in the Yuendumu Local Circuit Court on 11 February 2020.
"Having the charges first mentioned in the Yuendumu Local Circuit Court will allow my deeply traumatised family, and the community of Yuendumu, to participate in this quest for justice, and I have faith that true justice will prevail.
"I am so grateful that the Alice Springs Local Court has allowed this matter to be heard in our small local circuit court here in Yuendumu. I am so grateful to have a local and accessible court in our small community.
"The Alice Springs court is 250 kilometres away and having the matter heard in our community in Yuendumu has made justice accessible to me, my family and the community.
"This is the first brave step to begin the healing process for all of us from the death of my son Kumanjayi."
NT Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Nick Anticich confirmed the organisation was aware of the legal action.
"The Northern Territory Police is aware of formal documentation, with respect to a private prosecution, that was lodged in Alice Springs Local Court on Wednesday," he said.
As this matter is subject to normal court processes, the Northern Territory Police will not make any comment."
A spokesperson from the Department of the Attorney-General and Justice said the Local Court received paperwork in Alice Springs.
"In accordance with the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1990 concerning private prosecutions relating to indictable offences, the matter may be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions," they said.
- with additional reporting from Phillippa Butt