In a rare sequence of events, the Northern Territory police have held one of their police officers accountable after last weekend’s shooting of a 19-year-old Indigenous man, Kumanjayi Walker.

The news has shocked Australians, both black and white, after a long history of ‘Palm Island-style’ wrist-slapping for cowboy police officers in remote communities.

Walker died after he was shot at Yuendumu, 300km from Alice Springs, on Saturday night when two police officers went there to arrest him for breaches of his suspended sentence.

Rallies were held last night in both the victim’s community, Alice Springs and capital cities – before the NT police announced they had uncharacteristically arrested one of their own.

A 28–year old male NT police officer had been charged with one count of murder.

While this development is quite refreshing in a nation where Indigenous people represent 1 in 4 deaths in custody, the NT police have also confirmed that they aren’t ready to go all in. The officer has been suspended on pay and released on bail.


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