Business is booming.

Kumanjayi Walker inquest: Former NT cop Zachary Rolfe sent racist texts to colleagues

During an investigation into the death of native teenager Kumanjayi Walker, ‘shocking’ text messages sent to colleagues by a Northern Territory police officer have been revealed.

Walker, 19, died on Nov. 9, 2019, after Officer Zachary Rolfe, 31, shot him three times in the remote Yuendumu community, 290 km northwest of Alice Springs, when he attacked him with scissors.

Constable Rolfe, who had been cleared of a murder charge at a Supreme Court trial, and his team had been dispatched from Alice Springs to relieve the exhausted local police.

He had tried to arrest Mr. Walker at his grandmother’s house for running away from a rehabilitation program.

Kumanjayi Walker inquest Former NT cop Zachary Rolfe sent racist

In the months leading up to the Kumanjayi Walker shooting, Zachary Rolfe sent a series of texts to colleagues referring to indigenous peoples as “c**ns” and “Neanderthals” (Photo: Rolfe arrives at the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory in March)

Yuendumu Remote Sergeant Anne Jolley was questioned during the inquest on Wednesday by Assistant Attorney Peggy Dwyer, who read her texts sent by Rolfe to fellow police officers between March and November 2019.

In one conversation, a female officer sent on a job to a remote community told him she was “super hangry.”

“Hate that. Oh, if you’re hungry, you can dry off the locals,’ Rolfe replied.

The female officer replied, “If your last name rhymes with Olfe, you can dry off the locals.”

To which he replied: ‘I do have a permit to give the locals a towel. I like it.’

Ms Jolley said she understood the phrase to refer to beating someone up.

A mock-up of a text exchange between Rolfe and a female colleague (photo)

A mock-up of a text exchange between Rolfe and a female colleague (photo)

A mock-up of a text exchange between Rolfe and a female colleague (photo)

In another, Rolfe referred to a “c**ns,” a term Sergeant Jolley, Yuendumu’s chief officer, agreed the investigation was downright racist.

Const Rolfe also referred to “Neanderthals drinking too much alcohol,” which Sgt Jolley accepted as “disgusting and unacceptable.”

In another post from Const Rolfe, he criticized the local police or “bush cops” who he said were “f***ing s*** house.” dr. Dwyer said the lyrics suggested he believed local law enforcement was weak.

Sergeant Jolley said such an attitude was hurtful to officers who worked very hard in their community so that they did not have to use force.

NT Police Force adviser Ian Freckelton KC said the posts were offensive but did not represent the values ​​of the territory police.

“It is important not to give the wrong impression that this modest number of abusive text messages would be imputed to the entire police force,” he said.

“If you do, you run the risk of undermining the respect with which the force is generally held.”

Earlier testimony on Wednesday told the inquest that Mr Walker had tried to harm himself after he was taken into custody as a child several years before his death, and that police were concerned about his mental health and well-being.

Sergeant Jolley said she had seen the teen’s health deteriorate when he returned to the remote community in 2015 after a period of absence.

It was noted that he constantly roamed the streets at night and engaged in disruptive behavior.

“When I spoke to family, they just said he wasn’t listening,” Sergeant Jolley said.

At some point before his death, the officer believed that Mr Walker was a “troubled young man through no fault of his own.”

Asked to reflect on the lack of help to the teen, Sgt Jolley said: ‘It looks like we’ve let him down’.

Yuendumu Remote Sergeant Anne Jolley said Mr Walker (pictured) was a 'shy' child and authorities had 'abandoned him'

Yuendumu Remote Sergeant Anne Jolley said Mr Walker (pictured) was a 'shy' child and authorities had 'abandoned him'

Yuendumu Remote Sergeant Anne Jolley said Mr Walker (pictured) was a ‘shy’ child and authorities had ‘abandoned him’

Kumanjayi Walker (pictured), 19, died on November 9, 2019 in Yuendumu after being shot

Kumanjayi Walker (pictured), 19, died on November 9, 2019 in Yuendumu after being shot

Kumanjayi Walker (pictured), 19, died on November 9, 2019 in Yuendumu after being shot

Sergeant Jolley said she first contacted Mr Walker about a local break-in when he was about 13 years old.

“He was a shy person. And there was a certain fear when he saw us,’ she said.

“He was always very reserved and when we had to lock him up, he got very emotional, he cried.”

The inquest was also told about a report detailing an incident in May 2014 when Mr Walker was taken into custody.

While in a police cell, the teen continued to shout threats to harm himself if he went to juvenile detention.

He hit the wall twice with his head, hit the wall several times, threatened to gouge his eye and bit his finger.

Sergeant Jolley described the boy’s behavior as worrying and said she feared for his well-being.

“I would have had the medical clinic there asap,” she said.

Sergeant Jolley told the inquest that Mr Walker’s death had certainly traumatized the local community.

“They are healing, but it will take time,” she said.

Lifeline 13 11 14

Children’s Helpline 1800 55 1800 (for people aged 5 to 25).