NT police officer Zachary Rolfe was a & # 39; decorated agent & # 39; before he was charged with murder
The Northern Territory police officer charged with assassinating an Aboriginal teenager was a & # 39; respected & # 39; police officer praised for his courage has been revealed.
Zachary Rolfe, 28, is accused of killing 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker in the small desert town of Yuendumu, 300 km northwest of Alice Springs, on Saturday night.
The young officer, who joined the police in 2016, is suspended and is not expected to plead guilty.
Walker died two hours after he was reportedly shot twice during a fight with the police, although the events prior to his death are unclear.
In an interview with NT News, Rolfe's colleague & # 39; s described the situation as the & # 39; worst nightmare & # 39; of the force.
Zachary Rolfe served in the army before joining the police in 2016 and won the Clarke Medal (he is shown collecting his medal with the Governor General) of courage for rescuing a woman from a flood in Alice Springs in December of that year
Mr Walker (photo) was taken to a police station but died two hours after he was shot
In fact, before he was charged, Rolfe was highly respected under the armed forces and was recognized for his heroic efforts early in his career.
One of his most striking achievements in the performance of his service was the rescue of two Hong Kong tourists who were swept away in flood water in Alice Springs, days after he graduated from the police college.
He was later awarded the National Bravery Medal and the Clarke Medal of the Royal Human Society for his actions.
Hong Kong also handed him a bronze medal for bravery, marking the first time the honor was awarded to a foreigner.
And prior to receiving accolades from the police, Rolfe, the son of well-known Canberra corporate identities and philanthropists Robert and Debbie Rolfe, had visited the Canberra Grammar school where he reportedly excelled in his studies.
Richard Rolfe is the director of the Audi Center in Canberra, a position he has held since 2007.
Zachary also served in the army before joining the police in 2016.
The officer (center) served in the army before joining the police in 2016
The NT police confirmed that an officer was charged with murder on Wednesday evening. Pictured: stock image of Yuendumu
The case has caused a stir among the Aboriginal community, which has long accused police officers of using excessive and unnecessary force with indigenous people.
Following Walker's death, Rolfe was reported to have received death threats and is now believed to be low.
The incident happened after two police officers appeared in Mr. Walker's home to arrest him for alleged breaches of his suspended sentence.
Without doctors in the city, Mr Walker was taken to a police station, but died two hours after he was shot.
Timeline of the tragedy: How did Mr. Walker die?
Saturday 7:15 pm: Mr. Walker is shot in the house by the police and hurried to the station
7:30 am: Call for help goes to doctors in Yuelamu, an hour away. Doctors had left Yuendumu that day for fear of burglary after their cars were smashed and robbed earlier
07:42: A call is made to Royal Flying Doctor Service – but a crew did not leave for a 50-minute flight due to concerns about finding a safe place to land
8:00 am: Crowd gathers outside the police station. Residents claim to have seen blood splashing over a mattress and bullet casings in Mr. Walker's house
8:30 am: NT police Facebook post says officers are dealing with & # 39; critical incident & # 39;
According to the ABC, the police lock themselves up in the station and turn off the lights.
8:30 am: Nurses arrive in an ambulance when resident in the crowd outside the station says & # 39; you are f ****** late & # 39;
According to the NT Health department, rocks are thrown at the ambulance, injuring the health workers
9 o'clock in the evening: Mr. Walker is dying
11:00 AM: Residents go to bed and pray that Mr. Walker is alive
Sunday 6.53 am: The police announce death
Police say they have kept the community in the dark because of security concerns
The police claim that Mr. Walker has stabbed & # 39; officers & # 39; with a & # 39; sharpened weapon & # 39; but did not say what the weapon was.
In a statement on Thursday, the Northern Territory Police Association (NTPA) said that Rolfe would fight the murder charge.
& # 39; Although we acknowledge the tragic circumstances of the event, the member has made it clear that he will not plead guilty and vigorously contest the indictment, & # 39; said the statement.
& # 39; Like everyone, he has the presumption of innocence in his favor.
& # 39; The member and his family have the full support of the NTPA, as do all his colleagues & all our members, who endanger their lives every day to protect the Northern Territory community from violent violations. & # 39;
NT police confirmed that the officer was charged with murder on Wednesday evening.
A statement read: & # 39; A 28-year-old male police officer in the Northern Territory has been charged with one count of murder. Since this case is in court, no further information is released. & # 39;
Rolfe was given a bail on December 19 to appear in court in Alice Springs.
Mr. Walker's family was told of death until the morning after he was allegedly shot after he & # 39; night believed he was alive.
Angry residents from the remote community of around 800 Warlpiri people gathered after the alleged shooting at the police station while officers locked themselves up.
NT police-acting deputy commissioner Michael White said after the alleged shooting Mr. Walker had been taken to an officer and stabbed him with a weapon, sources said to be scissors and a struggle, but the family disputed that version.
The officers had cameras worn on the body that were viewed by NT internal police investigators.
Mr. Walker was released from prison on October 21 for property and stealing violations, but was again arrested for violating the terms of his release.
The police had Mr Walker attend the funeral of a family member earlier that day.
There was no medical staff to help in the first instance after the alleged shooting, as employees of the Yuendumu Health Center evacuated earlier on Saturday due to safety concerns.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service also postponed its response due to safety concerns before it was canceled because the young man died.
Staff at the Yuelamu health center 60 km away were injured after they went to Yuendumu after the shooting and helped to declare Mr. Walker dead.
Rally & # 39; s were held in Alice Springs, Darwin, Melbourne and Adelaide
Protesters have taken to the streets in Melbourne and demand changes in the treatment of Aboriginals by the police
They were injured in community unrest and needed evacuation to get treatment for cracks and bruises at Alice Springs Hospital.
Emotions run high among indigenous people in the NT and around the nation and death has been a flashpoint for anger over police treatment of Aboriginal people, including custody deaths, high prison rates, past massacres and stolen generations.
Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner and NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker flew to Yuendumu to assure people that an independent investigation would be conducted.
Rally & # 39; s were held in Alice Springs, Darwin, Melbourne and Adelaide.
Hundreds of protesters sang & # 39; Justice for Walker & # 39; because a smoking ceremony took place in Darwin on Wednesday at the steps of the parliament.
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