UPDATE, 14 November 2019, 5.03pm
The NT Police issued the statement below this morning.
Widespread reporting names Constable Zachary Rolfe as the police officer charged with murder following the fatal shooting of Kumunjayi Walker at Yuendumu on Saturday.
The police and the police association continue to avoid using Const Rolfe’s name and decline to confirm his identity. Court records are also not yet available to confirm his name.
Saturday was a tragic day for the Northern Territory.
A man has died and now a Northern Territory Police Officer has been charged with one count of murder.
The officer has been granted bail to appear in Alice Springs on the 19th December, 2019.
An investigation commenced in response to the incident on Saturday night by Major Crime Squad and Professional Standards Command overseen by Assistant Commissioner Nick Anticich.
This incident is also subject to oversight by the Northern Territory ICAC, Ombudsman and the Coroner.
As this matter is before the court, no further information will be released.
Our thoughts are with everyone involved in Saturday’s incident.
Our sincere condolences go to the deceased man’s family, the Yuendumu and wider Warlpiri community.
This is a difficult time for all members of the Northern Territory police force and the community we serve.
Support is being provided to all people involved in the incident and their families.
Grieving needs to occur.
We acknowledge and respect those who have already held vigils and marches in a peaceful way and ask that this be maintained.
This will be supported by NT Police to ensure the welfare of those attending.
With the court process and other inquiries underway we trust that the community can work together to allow that process to proceed without undue influence.
The NT Police Association issued the following release, with no further comment:
The Northern Territory Police Association (NTPA) acknowledges that a decorated member has now been charged with murder, in relation to a critical incident at Yuendumu on Saturday 9 November.
Whilst we acknowledge the tragic circumstances of the event, the member has made it clear that he will plead not guilty and will vigorously contest the charge. He, like all, has the presumption of innocence in his favour.
The member and his family have the complete support of the NTPA, as do all of his colleagues and all of our members, who put their lives at risk every day to protect the community of the Northern Territory from violent offending.
A 28–year old male Northern Territory police officer has been granted bail in an out-of-session Local Court hearing to appear in Alice Springs on December 19, 2019, according to a media release from the police headed “Police Officer charged – Yuendumu shooting”.
The release says: “The officer has been suspended on pay.
“As this matter is before the court, no further information will be released.”
An earlier police media release says he was charged with one count of murder.
UPDATE November 14, 8.15am
The NT Police Association says it “is continuing to support our member who has been charged with murder, as well as his family, and all other officers involved in the critical incident at Yuendumu on Saturday, November 9.
“The officer who has been charged is being provided all appropriate legal advice and support at this difficult time.”