Gunner needs to be impartial about investigation of police


Sir – The Police Association is deeply disturbed by comments from Chief Minister, Michael Gunner (at left), during a meeting with community leaders at Yuendumu yesterday.
In relation to the critical incident on Saturday Mr Gunner said: “I can promise you that investigation will be independent and the consequences will flow as a result of that investigation” when referring to an independent Coroner’s investigation.
There is nothing impartial about that statement, and the Chief Minister should neither assume, nor comment on behalf of any investigation, as it is with the Coroner.
Our members are disgusted at the inference this comment draws with respect to the actions of police on the night of the incident. The Chief Minister’s comments completely undermine the investigation that is properly underway at the moment.
We are demanding the Chief Minister withdraw that statement, as it is offensive to the police officers involved, and the brave men and women who serve and protect our community every day.
Mr Gunner neither witnessed the incident, nor was he privy to sensitive matters crucial to the investigation in the early stages, so his comments are unfounded and appear to be based purely on the need to satisfy an audience.
While we completely understand the sensitivities involved in this matter, comments such as these from the Chief Minister do nothing but question the integrity of the members involved.
The public is being encouraged not to pre-empt the outcome of the investigation and we’d expect the same, at the very least, from the Chief Minister.
Paul McCue (pictured above right)
NTPA President


  1. As a 28–year old male Northern Territory police officer has now been charged with murder following the death of 19-year-old Kumunjayi Walker in Yuendumu, we will publish no further information that could be regarded as evidence until the matter is heard again in court on December 19, and from that day onwards, we will report only matters that are raised in open court until it has handed down a verdict.
    ERWIN CHLANDA, Editor.


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