Cops kept looking for slain teen despite plan: Court
POLICE officers continued to search for slain Yuendumu teenager Kumanjayi Walker after being told where he was staying for the night and despite having earlier planned to arrest him the following morning, a court has heard.
In giving evidence in a committal hearing into Mr Walker's alleged murder by police officer Zach Rolfe on Wednesday, Constable James Kirstenfeldt told the court he was gathering "intel" on the 19-year-old's whereabouts when he visited a house in which Mr Walker had charged at officers with an axe only days earlier.
Constable Kirstenfeldt told Crown prosecutor Philip Strickland SC he continued to look for Mr Walker even after a young boy at the house told him where police might find and arrest him at 5am the next day as planned.
"One bit of intel off an about 10-year-old child did not satisfy the intelligence gathering," he said.
"That's not enough to say 'Oh yeah, he will be there'."
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Constable Kirstenfeldt agreed he had told the boy "it would be best if we could find him tonight before he ends up in a lot of trouble" but maintained that the arrest schedule only changed "when we found him".
"5am is that night, I didn't (distinguish) different from AM and PM," he said.
"From midnight on, it's night time."
Constable Kirstenfeldt said when he viewed the footage of the earlier axe incident at the house before starting the search he expected to see one of the officers injured.
"One of the first things I thought was now that he's used a weapon and violence to get away, he's probably going to do that regularly now in the future so it was a little bit upsetting to see those coppers let him go," he said.
"I thought he was a violent young man with no qualms about using weapons against police," he said.
Rolfe has denied any wrongdoing in the shooting and the committal hearing continues in Alice Springs on Thursday.
Originally published as Cops kept looking for slain teen despite morning arrest plan: Court