Justice for the family of Kumanjayi Walker, for the people of Yuendumu Community, and for First Nations people in the Northern Territory
Media Release - Sydney: Wed, 16th March 2022
Call from Edmund Rice Centre
“The Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education today stands in solidarity with the family of Kumanjayi Walker, with the people of the Yuendumu community, and with First Nations people in the Northern Territory”, said Edmund Rice Centre Director, Phil Glendenning.
“The recent court verdict provides no sense of justice for the family of Kumanjayi Walker, nor for the people of the Yuendumu community, and nor for the First Nations people of the Northern Territory”, he affirmed. “They have witnessed a long history of violent gun deaths of their young people at the hands of police.”
“Kumanjayi Walker’s family and Yuendumu community leaders have demonstrated great dignity and strength throughout this process. We stand with them in their call for reforms to NT policing including a call for increased Aboriginal community control, and an end to guns in remote communities”, he said.
“The Edmund Rice Centre strongly supports the call today by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commissioner, Dr June Oscar, for guns to be banned in remote First Nations communities”, he stated.
“We understand that there will be resistance to these calls. That resistance will simply be history repeating itself – but for this to never occur again, such history has to be changed, starting with some simple acknowledgements of reality”, Mr Glendenning emphasised.
“First, it must be acknowledged that there is an inherent bias in the justice system, evidenced by the fact that there were no Aboriginal people on the jury. The entire jury was made up of non-Indigenous people. This clearly neglects the age-old legal dictum that justice should not only be done, but be seen to be done”, he underlined. “On that criterion alone, what was delivered in this case was not justice for Kumanjayi Walker and his family.”
“Second, many people now believe that the system is rigged against Aboriginal people. The results of court cases, the absence of Indigenous faces on jury panels, and the number of First Nations young people who have been killed by police without a single conviction for these deaths, suggests that belief is most likely correct”, he said.
“Finally, enough is enough. Too many Indigenous young people have been killed by police. The call from the Yuendumu leaders must be embraced, in order to reform the justice system to remove inherent bias against First Nations people, allow for increases in Aboriginal control and participation in the justice system, and there must never again be guns in remote communities”, Mr Glendenning concluded.
Edmund Rice Centre for Justice & Community Education
15 Henley Road (PO Box 2219 LPO)
Homebush West NSW 2140
ABN 64 066 939 786