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Inquest into Northern Territory teen’s death moves to the outback

An inquest into the death of Kumanjayi Walker is ongoing.

An inquest into the death of Kumanjayi Walker is ongoing. Photo: AAP

An inquest for an Indigenous teenager shot dead by a Northern Territory policeman is expected to hear about the pain his community suffered when it resumes in the outback town where was killed.

Kumanjayi Walker, 19, died after Constable Zachary Rolfe shot him three times during a bungled arrest in Yuendumu, northwest of Alice Springs on November 9, 2019.

The long-running inquiry into the Walpiri man’s death has heard evidence about racism within the police force in the months before he was shot while resisting arrest in his grandmother’s home.

Coroner Elisabeth Armitage will on Monday move the hearing from Alice Springs to Yuendumu for two days.

She will hear from Walpiri elders and others, with the trip described as a “listening experience”.

Ms Armitage will also view sites in the community that are key to her inquiry and relevant to Mr Walker’s death.

“It is an incredibly generous invitation that has been offered. It is a gracious invitation,” she told the court earlier in the month.

“I take it very much to heart that we are being welcomed into Yuendumu.

“At the end of this process, however painful the process is, we do hope that we have a sense of hope.

“I am very pleased to be able to come to the community to listen to the hurt and the pain but also the plans for the future.”

The visit is also likely to include a truth-telling meeting, where community members will be able to air their feelings and talk about the impact of Mr Walker’s death.

The coroner had planned to start the inquest with a visit to Yuendumu in early September but it was scrapped after some in the community objected to it.

After the visit, the inquest will recommence in Alice Springs on Wednesday, with Constable Rolfe expected to give evidence.

However, the officer’s lawyers have reportedly applied to the NT Supreme Court to challenge the coroner’s decision to hear some of the evidence concerning their client.

Constable Rolfe was charged with Mr Walker’s murder four days after the shooting and acquitted in March following a Supreme Court trial.

The inquest last sat on November 4 in Alice Springs.

– with AAP

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