Internal email slams top cops over Rolfe murder charge
ALICE Springs detectives were left fuming after a decision was made in Darwin to charge Constable Zachary Rolfe over the shooting death of Kumanjayi Walker.
Constable Rolfe was flown to Darwin from Alice Springs on November 13 after being told there were concerns for his safety following the shooting of the 19-year-old indigenous man at Yuendumu four days earlier.
After arriving in Darwin he was arrested and later charged with murder.
Several sources have confirmed the detectives leading the investigation in Alice Springs were furious about the decision that was made while they were still gathering evidence into the case.
The decision to charge Constable Rolfe has seen police morale plummet with rank-and-file officers furious with the top brass over their handling of the case.
An email was sent to all sworn officers shortly after Constable Rolfe was charged under the heading "#Bluelivesmatter".
"I have never felt more conflicted, disgusted, disrespected, vulnerable and distrustful than I do right now in the time I have worked for the NT police," it said.
"Something needs to be said with regard to the calibre and integrity of those at the helm of our organisation."
The email was deleted within minutes of being sent and officers were then warned anyone distributing the email would face disciplinary action.
Police officers are also furious at comments made by Chief Minister Michael Gunner in Yuendumu on the Tuesday after the shooting where he told community members "consequences will flow" as a result of investigations into the shooting.
A day after making those comments Mr Gunner sent a message to all police thanking them for their work.
"The last few days have been tough for the Territory," he said in the internal broadcast sent at 4.04pm on November 13.
"Many people are hurting, and that includes our police family."
Less than three hours later Constable Rolfe was charged with murder.
But Mr Gunner said his comments made at Yuendumu had been misinterpreted by the NT Police Association.
"They know that I was talking about the coronial which is an independent investigation, we do not know what the coronial will find yet, but out of every coronial there are findings, recommendations, consequences, so I still expect consequences to flow from that independent investigation," he said.
Asked if he would choose his words differently if he had his time again, Mr Gunner said: "Maybe, but I would think that a lot of the argument we're having here is about people deliberately taking those words out of context and deliberately misusing those words."