Constable Zachary Rolfe appeared at Kumanjayi Walker’s trial, saying it was legal not to answer questions about the ‘racist decision’ documents. | Media Pyro


North Carolina police officer Zachary Rolfe made his first appearance at the trial in the death of Kumanjayi Walker, where he said he has the legal right not to answer questions​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ including the “racist accusation” text messages and the accusation that they were used. of great strength.

DISCLAIMER: This article contains profanity heard in court and features a deceased Aboriginal person, with the consent of their family.

Coroner Elisabeth Armitage is presiding over a months-long investigation into the death of Mr Walker, who was shot by Constable Rolfe during an arrest in the remote community of Yuendumu, 300km north-west of Alice Springs.

Earlier this year, an NT Supreme Court judge found the officer not guilty of any offense related to the shooting, which took place on November 9, 2019.

Shortly after today’s arraignment, assistant coroner Peggy Dwyer asked Constable Rolfe about a conversation with another officer, who she said spoke of “c **ns”.

When asked if the content of the message was “extremely racist”, Constable Rolfe replied that he could not directly answer the question.

“I want to exercise my right and say that the sentencing authority is based on my answers and I reject the sentence,” said Constable Rolfe.

In coroners’ trials, the coroner has the power to issue certificates to witnesses to protect them from guilt based on their evidence.

A man in a blue suit is surrounded by media and camera operators.
Sheriff Zachary Rolfe declined to answer questions about the messages between him and fellow officers while the legal proceedings are ongoing in Supreme Court.(ABC News: Samantha Jonscher)

However, Constable Rolfe has launched a legal challenge to the Supreme Court in which he and other officers are accused of arguing that these certificates do not apply to internal police disciplinary matters.

After failing to answer Dr. Dwyer’s further questions, Constable Rolfe presented 14 specific points to his right to “punitive justice”.

These are:

  • Text messages that are “racist, sexist or homophobic”
  • Text messages related to the “recording and distribution” of body-worn video
  • Text messages related to “drugs, illegal or prescription”
  • “Lies” in his NT Police job application
  • There are nine unique “forced use” features
  • The events of November 9, 2019

Counsel for the NT Police Force, Ian Freckelton KC, told the inquest that 10 of the 14 matters had been “resolved”.

A black and white image of a young man smiling, wearing a baseball cap and ears around his neck
Kumanjayi Walker was shot dead by Constable Rolfe in Yuendumu in 2019.(Submitted)

Rolfe gave ‘healing tips’ on issues

In most of those cases, he said police could not pursue criminal charges because the statute of limitations had expired while Constable Rolfe’s trial was pending in court. Supreme.

Instead, Dr Freckelton said Constable Rolfe had been given “relieving advice”, which he said was a “conversation” by a senior police officer.


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