Jacinta calls for calm in face of nephew’s death
INDIGENOUS Alice Springs councillor Jacinta Price has told of the heartache of losing her nephew in a tragic shooting in Yuendumu, but has been scathing of protesters, who she says were jumping on a bandwagon and using the death for their own political means.
Kumanjayi Walker was shot by police about 7.15pm on Saturday and died a few hours later but the family was not told about his death until the next day.
Due to the closure of the health clinic because of attacks on staff members he did not receive immediate medical attention outside of first aid.
Ms Price was with her mother Bess Price, a traditional woman from the Warlpiri tribe of Yuendumu 293km northwest of Alice Springs, at the protest in front of the Alice Springs police station, appealing for calm in the face of the hostile protest.
Writing on Facebook Ms Price said: "In these sad times we want peace in our communities as we seek justice."
She also revealed a relative of the dead teenager is a police officer at Yuendumu.
"My cousin, who is the uncle of our deceased nephew, is to be commended for his handling of these circumstances as a police officer at Yuendumu," she wrote.
"He is working tirelessly with family to support them as best as he can throughout the investigation and while family seek answers."
Ms Price said her family have had a public meeting with police at Yuendumu.
"Their meeting was respectfully conducted even as members of my family openly expressed their sadness and anger," she said.
"We are all of the understanding that an investigation is currently underway and family will be working with Police to put the pieces of this situation together."
Earlier the same day a clearly distressed Ms Price live streamed scenes from the angry protest opposite the Alice Springs police station.
She told protesters to "leave this situation" and to go away.
"You're not going to be at his funeral … go and let our family deal with this," she told protesters.
"It's not your family and you've got no shame.
"Go away and let Aboriginal people deal with it instead of you mob interfering.
"You are the ones yelling and causing division in our communities. You're the ones yelling at us and we're standing here grieving. It's our family not yours.
"You mob are only interested in jumping up and down and creating a circus."
Staring down a screaming protester Ms Price stood firm.
"It's our family and we would like to deal with it our way … it was our Warlpri family member who was killed," she said.
"This is what happens when protesters get hold of a situation that doesn't even belong to them.
"We're a grieving family and there is no respect being shown for the fact that we would like to get to the bottom of this situation without division in our community being created.
"I'm sick of protesters in my community. I'm sick of protesters using aboriginal and our circumstances for their own political means.
"This is all they are good for standing out in front of places shouting, but what are they doing?
"It's my nephew that we will be burying in a couple of days."