Kumanjayi Walker’s family a police officer at the Alice Springs Hospital on the night he was shot. The community thinks they still have not had their questions answered. Picture: EMMA MURRAY
Kumanjayi Walker’s family a police officer at the Alice Springs Hospital on the night he was shot. The community thinks they still have not had their questions answered. Picture: EMMA MURRAY

‘Why was Kumanjayi shot three times? Why didn’t police use taser?’

The community of Yuendumu has been left with more questions than answers following Tuesday's visit from Chief Minister Michael Gunner and Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker, a spokesperson has said.

The two visited the community about 290km northwest of Alice Springs after 19-year-old local, Kumanjayi Walker, was shot and killed by a police officer who police say was trying to arrest him.

Police say the teen stabbed the officer in the shoulder and was then shot.

Community members have disputed this account but it is not clear if there were non-police witnesses in the bedroom where Mr Walker was shot.

"We were asking questions and I think most of them wasn't answered properly," Ned Jampijinpa Hargraves, a resident of Yuendumu, said.

"They both said they were sorry to hear of what happened.

"We're still not satisfied and we're still not happy with it."

 

Mr Walker died in Yuendumu when the health centres was closed after staff we evacuated. Picture: Facebook
Mr Walker died in Yuendumu when the health centres was closed after staff we evacuated. Picture: Facebook

 

Mr Hargraves said both leaders had been evasive in their responses to the community.

"Why was Kumanjayi shot three times? Why didn't police use a taser gun or pepper spray or handcuffs?" he asked.

He said members of the community were still confused as to why the police officer was flown to Alice Springs and given medical attention before Mr Walker.

"We asked the police why they evacuated the policeman but not the person they shot. Why?" he said.

"What we want is the truth? What really happened that night?

The health centre had been closed hours earlier after staff were evacuated because of break-ins earlier in the week, the Health Department said.

The department said two health staff who came from Yuelamu on Saturday evening to treat Mr Walker were attacked and one was injured.

Community members were angry it took three hours for those staff to make it to Yuendumu and that the Royal Flying Doctor Service was not called straight away.

 

Requests by the family to view the police body cameras have been denied.

The visit has also infuriated police, with the force's peak body, the Northern Territory Police Association, saying its members are disgusted at the inference the Chief Minister's comments drew with respect to the actions of police on the night.

NTPA president Paul McCue said he had a phone discussion with the Chief Minister on Tuesday night expressing his concerns and asked the Chief Minister to withdraw his comments and clarify the intent of his comments.

Mr McCue also called for calm in the wake of "vile" comments directed at police on social media.

"Many of our police have been subject to some pretty vile comments through social media and people need to be calm and respect the work police do," he said.



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